Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Rodes City Run - 10k (2017)

Friday's packet pickup - First off, I was so excited to bump into and finally quick-meet Rebecca at Knit By God's Hand. I've been a blog-stalker of hers for a few years ... not sure if it all started because she is a Christian knitter or that she runs, but I'm glad I found her blog AND that we just happened to show up at packet pickup around the same time. :)

Weather - Friday's weather was overcast and misty. I was actually hoping that that would be the weather for Saturday morning - it was just perfect running weather - not too chilly and the mist would keep it cool as I sprint through a 10k ... whatever. And Saturday morning's weather app told me that we were under a dense fog advisory until race start time, so we didn't bring our sunglasses. Big mistake.

Morning of - I don't eat a big breakfast before running, but didn't want to crash and burn with no fuel so I stuck with my pre-race tradition of a slice of whole-grain toast and heavy on the peanut butter with plenty of water. 
Pretty much the only time I eat peanut butter toast ... race days.

We parked in our usual lot and still had about 1/2 hour before start time. I knew I'd need to visit the portapotty though ... a few times ... so we made it to the start line with time to spare. And, per tradition, we always see someone we know while we're waiting in the portapotty line.

Race - We jumped into the crowd since there weren't signs for how to line up (as usual). I knew we were in trouble though when we were next to a couple who had bright yellow "WALKER" stickers on their bibs and a lady on the other side of us was totally done up with her make-up and hair and was drinking a can of Rock Star. I guess we need to do a better job about getting closer to the start line -- we crossed the line at 8:04 and were weaving through walkers for the first mile or so. Matt went on ahead (darn those freakishly-long legs of his) and I decided to run the first mile through and then start my interval timer (set for 4 min run/1 min walk). Have I mentioned the wind yet? At least it was at our back at the start but it was there and and it was cold. Oh - and the sun was up, no fog at all - so sunglasses really would have been helpful. No matter ... just keep running, right?

This is my first official 10k with my handy-dandy interval timer. I've only had one race where I ran the entire time so all the other races have been random intervals (walk when I got tired, start again when I get to a street sign or tree or whatever I'm aiming for). Since doing the Marathon for Mortals training for the marathon last November, I've been hooked on how well I feel while running and after the race. And I knew that if I felt like running before the walking minute was up, I could run ... and did just that. Even with the regular walk breaks, I was really hoping for a PR. The thing is though - even though I was hoping for that PR, I knew I didn't deserve it because I haven't stuck to the training program even 50% of the time. And that last mile was more than brutal - the temps seemed to have dropped and we were now running INTO the wind and it was so cold. I ended up finishing about a minute slower than last year's PR. Should I have set the running intervals longer? walking intervals shorter? worked on speedwork so that the running intervals were stronger? Stayed consistent with my training, period? I. don't. know.

This thing has been my constant running companion since last summer. Love it!

And after - Didn't spend much time in the after-race area -- no Power Bars this year? But we got our Gatorade, apple, and banana. Anyway, two more weeks before the next race (Papa John's 10-miler). I am determined to complete the next two weeks of training, eat better, and get more sleep (I laugh out loud at that one) and hopefully PR that one.

And now it's time for a bit of ranting ...

from the race website: The race was ranked the 4th largest overall race in the state and 26th largest 10K in the US by the 2014 Running USA rankings. The event attracts nearly 7,000 runners and walkers and draws athletes from all over the country to compete in the 'heart' of downtown Louisville.

This is a big race. I mean, checking the results from Saturday's run came up with 4247 finishers this year, but still a fairly large number with a normal/substantial entry fee for a fundraising event. And doing a highly non-scientific survey of fellow runners/walkers who participate, the majority (if not all of them) have said this is their favorite race. The course is great, the volunteers are amazing, it's run through neighborhoods and business districts so there are spectators pretty much all over ... etc. Yet this is the race with the worst race shirt (short sleeve cotton with minimal decoration) and when I checked the website to get race photos ... nope. Got this message instead: RACE PHOTOS: DUE TO THE LACK OF PARTICIPATION AND FUNDING, THIS SERVICE HAS BEEN DISCONTINUED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE.

Nope, I don't understand nor do I support this. 

**** Edited to add that apparently there were photos taken during the race ... but not necessarily photos of everyone crossing the finish line. I did find one of Matt and me at the very beginning and it's from behind.

AND ... no Power Bars.

Would you expect to have photos at a race that size?

What about decent race shirts? or an option at registration to say no-thanks to the shirt and give that money back to the fundraiser?

And what's your post-race treat of choice, if they're going to have post-race treats available?

Monday, March 6, 2017

Is this thing on? And my 2017 calendar (plus a couple recaps) ...

This is so late in coming -- it's just a schedule of the races we've already registered for and/or want to add to our growing list. Sad thing is, this is the first place it's being written down so I didn't realize just how many races we've got going on in 2017 ... AND, because I'm so late in writing up anything, there are also a couple recaps to mention.

12/31/16 - EXTOL Sports Benchmark Mile - Found out about this one on Facebook so we signed up. There was a discount code and it ended up being only $5, plus another $10 (maybe?) for a brunch ticket after the race. And it was in downtown New Albany so why not? It was the inaugural race, but had a pretty good turnout (I thought). Everyone got a sling bag, a t-shirt, and gloves. Dogs were welcome too and it was actually a fundraiser for the Arrow Fund (animal rescue). It was also very cold/windy and we were on the riverfront. But it was also only a mile so it was over quickly. I had to stop and walk a few seconds because the wind was just too much at that point. Even so, I now have a 'benchmark' to beat next year -- and it's about how fast I figured I'd be (slow). So at the brunch, they're handing out awards ... and I guess it's good that it didn't have more people there because I won fastest in my age group! This will be my only running award so I'm hanging on to this trophy forever.

January -
Hangover Classic - a 10 mile run -- recap: this was a new-to-us race but apparently is well-known in the local running community. There were quite a few people running (it has a 10 mile and 5k). Start line was at the American Turners Club - not even sure what this place was but I guess it was a private club for gymnastics along River Rd. We saw some friends who decided that morning to run the 5k (she's run the Boston Marathon, so a celebrity in my book!), but didn't see anyone else we knew. Take that back - I did see the lady who won the 3rd place in our age group at the mile run the day before. I think she was doing the 5k too. So the 10 mile was a new route for us -- pretty much straight down River Road to Portland and then turn around and run back. I was not prepared. It wasn't cold, but I just wasn't in the groove. I stuck with intervals since it seems to work well for me, but my phone was dying so I couldn't check pace or distance or anything without being worried it'd die. Wish list item #1 - a Garmin, so I don't have to have RunKeeper going on my phone OR a small camera, so I can take photos along my runs without having to worry about phone battery dying. Probably prefer a Garmin because I'm already gadget-overloaded. Matt and I ran together for most of it -- I'd forgotten how much I enjoy actually running with someone during races. There really weren't too many other runners for the 10 mile - several were dressed up for New Year's (wearing party hats, one guy was wearing a tux, tiaras and boas, etc.) so it was still fun and I got to run on a route I'd never been on before. Time was horrendous and when we got to the finish line, many people were already gone. We got a bottle of water and then headed back home ... only to find out later that we were supposed to have gone back inside for the after-race activities (everyone who stayed got a champagne glass to take home, plus the after-race snacks). Not sure if I'll sign up for this one again, but if the price is right and we have nothing else going on, might as well!

February -
Winter Warm-up on the Indianapolis Cultural Trail - an 8 mile run -- recap: this was an almost-fail. The week before, Allie brought the flu home from school and shared with me. Matt had gotten a flu shot, but he still picked up a bad cough. Will, the only one who remained healthy, claimed it was because he hides out in the basement playing video games all the time and wasn't breathing our sick germs. So much for trying to get him out of the house and into the sunlight ... :). Also, we moved my mom from Indianapolis into a nursing home near me this week -- so while I was still trying to get healthy, I was also spending all my free time over at the nursing home helping her get acclimated to her new surroundings and spend time with my brother and sister. As a stress-reliever, Matt and I decided to go ahead and drive up to Indianapolis for this race -- we left early Saturday morning and it was so very cold. Wind was blowing ... FLURRIES on the way ... I wasn't looking forward to this at all. We made it to bib pickup and I started to panic. We decided to cut down to the 4 mile instead ... I'm glad we did but even after starting and up until the 2 mile point, I was looking for a way to turn back around and quit. Stuck with intervals but I ran more than the interval timer told me too -- mainly because it was so freaking cold and I was underdressed!! Finished it, badly ... and then we went back home to get back to my mom. Wish list item #2: good running gloves - I wore those weird cotton/acrylic gloves that are one-size fits all and offer no warmth or protection from the cold/wind. Horrible.

March -
Rodes City 10k - I'm looking forward to this one! Love the course and the volunteers are amazing.

April -
Papa John's 10 miler - I despise this one. I will beat my best-time though. Oh, how I loathe this course though. Actually, just the mountain in the middle of it. Hate it.

Vince Klein Memorial 5k - benefiting the local youth shelter. Need to dress like a superhero ... need to find a superpower ...

Kentucky Derby Festival Mini-Marathon - hoping for a dry one this year! It'll be my third year and it's rained the other two years. Kind of thinking I might try the full in 2018 ... but it means I'd have to run the mountain in Iroquois Park again. Ugh ...

May -
Indianapolis 500 Mini-Marathon - YES! Just one week after the KDF Half, heading to Indianapolis to run another half! Not planning on any personal records with this one - but I'm super-excited because the course will be on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Meb Kan'tspellhislastname will be there.

June -
Barnyard Dash - a 10k -- haven't registered for this one yet and actually haven't decided if I'll do this one again. It's a possibility.

July - No race scheduled ... but marathon training officially begins! ... or maybe it's in June. I'm not sure now.

August - No race scheduled, because it's too ding-dong hot in August.

September -
Indianapolis Women's Half - ran this one last year (pouring down rain) and they had a registration special price of $30. I wasn't really planning on running it again but for that price?? YES!

October - No race scheduled. Marathon panic will hit full-speed this month.

CNO Monumental Marathon -- on my birthday! And now I have a time to beat from last year :)
Fast Freddie's Festive Five Mile Foot Feast -- tradition

EXTOL Sports Benchmark Mile - will they come back for a 2nd year? If so, will I try to hold on to my trophy?