August 11, 2012

Wood Duck Dash race report

Today was a first for me. I combined my long run with a race, to make the run a little more interesting!

I woke up early, with the plan of getting to the race location (the metropark that I always run) and to start running by 7:00 (the 10K race was scheduled to start at 9:00 a.m.). I had oatmeal with milk, dates, and brown sugar, and a cup of tea before heading out. I brought along a chocolate Gu and Gatorade.

It was raining the whole way there, and I was bummed. The temp was fantastic--59 degrees! But I really didn't want to get soaked before the race even started. When I got to the park, it wasn't pouring rain, but it was a steady drizzle. Better than a downpour, at least!

I decided to do two out-and-back routes from the car (a 3-miler and a 5-miler, in different directions). As soon as I started running, I realized that it was going to be MUCH better than last week's long run! I felt fantastic. Last week, I was so sluggish and tired--due entirely from a week at my sister's of eating restaurant food, lots of junk food and beer. Today, however, I could feel was different.

After my first mile, I looked at my Garmin and saw I was running a 9:54/mi pace--too fast. I knew I couldn't maintain that pace for the whole 14 miles, so I deliberately tried to slow down (but not TOO much). However, after a mile, I stopped feeling so fantastic. I can't really pinpoint what was wrong, but I just wasn't feeling nearly as good as the first mile.

But, I kept going, running in the rain. At about mile 3.5, I saw a doe and her fawn! It was adorable. They just froze and looked at me, and I was terrified to be close to them (my dad and brother were attacked by a buck one time, so deer scare me). I stopped to at least take a picture:

(I didn't say a GOOD picture)
After they crossed, about a half-mile down the trail I came across another doe. I scared her and she took off into the woods. And I saw a fourth deer on my way back from the out-and-back! I'm used to seeing a thousand rabbits when I run, but not many deer.

I planned the last part of 8th mile to end right at the packet pick-up. There were a ton of people there when I showed up. So I went in and picked up my race shirt and bib. I saw Jessica in there (she decided just yesterday to run the race as well). She thought the race shirts were hideously ugly, but I kind of like them. Unfortunately, they are cotton shirts and not tech shirts, so I don't know that I'll ever wear it. Actually, never mind--I'm wearing it right now ;)
I went back to my car to put the shirt in there, take off my hydration belt, and change my shoes. My only regret is that I didn't bring a change of socks--my socks were wet. I only decided to change my shoes because my feet were really sore last week after my long run in my new Brooks Adrenaline's. I'm hoping it wasn't the shoes that made my feet hurt, but I didn't want to risk it happening in the middle of a race.

I saw my friend Stephanie, and said hello to her. Her two boys were running the "Ducking Dash" (and Jessica's boys were all running it as well). I stood around (freezing cold, because I was soaked from head to toe and I had stopped running 20 minutes prior). After the kids' run, we lined up at the starting line. I went to the back, knowing I was going to run a slower pace today. I started the race with Stephanie, and figured I would try and keep about the same pace as her, since she said she was aiming for "under 11:00/mi pace".

When the race started, she was going much faster than 11:00/mi! It was actually more like 10:00/mi, so I didn't try and keep up with her. After a half-mile or so, she ran ahead. I couldn't believe that I was literally one of the last people in the race. My pace wasn't SNAIL-like or anything--I was running just over a 10:00/mi, and there were only about 10 people behind me.

There was a short out-and-back first, and I saw Jessica on the way back while I was going out. She seemed to be running really well. I was keeping pace with a girl for a while, and we were the only two people around. The rest of the crowd was a quarter mile ahead, and the very last people were behind us quite a ways. So I finally decided to pass her, but I was careful not to push my pace too hard.

At around mile 2, I saw Stephanie ahead of me by a quarter mile or so. I really just wanted the race to be over already, and I had a long ways to go. So I decided to see if I could "catch" Stephanie. She was doing REALLY well--she had hopes of beating her last (and only) 10K time, which was 1:10:xx. I had a very hard time catching up to her, because my legs were feeling pretty dead!

We turned into a path lined with wood chips in the woods. Stephanie was less than a tenth of a mile ahead, so I was trying HARD to close the gap. Eventually, I called out to her, and we started running together. I wasn't sure if I should have done that or not, because I didn't want to step in if I wasn't wanted--she had a goal for the race, and I was only doing it as part of a training run. I told her to go at her own pace, regardless of what mine was, but we ended up sticking together.

The last two miles were tough. Running on the wood chips was difficult--my legs felt heavy. We also had to run on wooden bridges, which were slippery from the rain; and a gravel path. The last mile, I really felt like I wanted to just lie down and die quit. I was tired, and just wanted to be done!

When my Garmin beeped at 14 miles, I realized I could just walk the rest of the way if I wanted, but since I was so close to the finish, I decided to run it in. I told Steph to go ahead of me for the finish, so I didn't ruin her finish line picture ;)

My race results:
Chip time: 1:05:02 (10:29/mi pace)
Overall place: 84 out of 106
Female 30-34 place: 8 out of 11

My splits for the entire 14 miler:
I'm thrilled to have redeemed my last week's long run! Doing the 8-mile run before the race was a good idea. I'm not sure I could have done it if I waited until after the race.


  1. You know you're a runner when you plan a run before a race ;) good job!

  2. I LOVE this idea! I think I'll try incorporating a 5 or 10k into one (or more) of my training runs too. And heck, you still rocked it! Thanks for the inspiration. ;)

  3. Did your friend beat her first 10K time? : )


  4. I'm so glad this worked well for you. Great job on your race too!

  5. What a champ!!! Great job on the training run and the race, looks like it was a blast!!!

    If you havent already, you should sign up for the Wicked Halloween Run!! Kona runs it and they are just awesome!!

    Btw I made your infamous Dr Oz brownies & YUMMY! I actually tasted the pumpkin though but loved it!!

  6. That's an AWESOME time for not pushing it! I did my 1st 10k last year and came on at 1:04, NOT having run 8 miles prior!

  7. Way to go! Congrats on accomplishing what you set out to. Loved the area you were running in.

  8. Great run and fun pictures. Son was on my Facebook page--(not sure how he figured out my passwords, etc.?) and saw your post about running 14 miles and burning 1380 calories. He commented to me that "Surely you would burn more calories than that running 14 miles." But my thought was, "Think of all I could EAT, if I burned 1380 calories!" It's weird that I always always think of FOOD. As if I could ever run or do anything to burn 1380 extra calories in a day! You are amazing--but WHAT did you EAT to celebrate burning all those calories? I hope it was something GOOD!

  9. I read about your blog in Fitness magazine. I am feeling really inspired . I started running years ago and dropped a lot of weight. I love to run more then anything. Unfortunately, even with my continued running I have put on some weight. I would say 15 pounds and I am not happy at all. I have struggled with my weight my whole life. Even if I lose the 15 I still am not at the weight I truly know I was meant to be. I am rambling, but any way really like your blog. Giving me some hope to start losing weight again. I feel really good about. Thanks for sharing your story.

  10. Awesome job! I like the tee! :D

  11. You just flippin' amaze me every day! It was not only a pleasure to run with you, I think it was a necessity because I don't know if I could have made those last 2 miles without your presence next to me on those trails!! Congrats on a great 14-mile day!!


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