May 31, 2013

Brat Trot 5K, Topeka, Kansas, May 25, 2013: race recap

I signed up for this race on a whim (and with the hopes of a sweet T-shirt). 

I was headed to visit family in Kansas over Memorial Day weekend, and I thought I'd throw a race in there, too. 

After arriving in Kansas City on Friday evening (and eating the most delicious barbecue in the world), I didn't make it to my dad's house and in bed until around midnight. The race was Saturday morning, but it wasn't until 9:30 a.m. I thought this was a great thing for a morning hater like me. I still got a decent night's sleep. (But, I broke many of my destination race rules.)

We arrived at the race around 9 a.m. and set up camp.

My smart spectators with chairs, drinks and snacks

It was a small, neighborhood race with 158 people running the 5K. They also had a fun run. It started and ended at a church. 
Funny. I stand out in purple, while those in
neon yellow blend in.
Side note: I need to wear something different to a race. I look the
same at every race (unless in costume).

The course wound through the neighborhood surrounding the church, and I was completely lost. I never had any idea what direction I was running or where I was in relation to the start/finish line. All of the houses (and barking dogs in front yards) looked the same. 

This was a hard 5K for me ... almost the entire way. Right from the start, I felt that it was pretty difficult. Mainly because of the thing I thought was a wonderful thing at first ... the late start time. Although the temperature wasn't too terribly hot, the sun was blazing and made it feel toasty. My vampire self doesn't do the sun. 

This was the first 5K I've ever walked in. Even my very first race, I ran the entire way. Even with things got difficult in other races, I kept running. In this race, I walked through the water stop (at mile 1.5) for an extended period and then did one additional walk break after that. 

I started to get irritated and feel a little down on myself. How could I run 13.1 miles a little more than one month ago and now I can't even run 3.1 miles?

But, I pulled it together toward the end and even had a nice sprint to the finish. 

My official time: 32:54, which is my second-fastest 5K. Maybe it was difficult because I was pushing myself? Let's say that.

The post-race food? Brats, of course.

I also took advantage of a post-race massage (I never do this at big races because of the long waits, but I was able to walk right up here). 

This was a really fun, small, local race. Everyone was so friendly, and I'm looking forward to doing this race again next year. 

Oh, and the sweet shirt I was hoping for? I got it.

Do you like small, local races? Have you ever walked in a 5K? Are you a morning person? Have you ever ran a race with a 9:30 a.m. start?

May 16, 2013

Randomness: it's what I got

If randomness was a job requirement, I would be a rockin' employee. Unfortunately, it's not, and I have to use this as my outlet.
  • With no race on the schedule until October, I’m finding myself losing some motivation. Well, it probably has something to do with the hot and humid summer months looming, too. Running feels so much more difficult, and I’m already starting to panic about my declining skills. So, it’s a good thing I don’t have a race until October. Maybe I’ll quit panicking by then.

Probably won't quit sweating a ton, though
  • I conducted an unofficial study for a week . The results? I drink 25% more water with lemon in it. Hopefully this will help combat the heat and humidity. 
  • In other beverage-related news, I drink my coffee black now with a few sprinkles of cinnamon. I kicked the sweetener out many months ago, but I never thought I could kick the milk/cream/powdered dust creamer. I always said, “I could never drink coffee black.” Take that, negative self! You can. 
  • This video has been cracking me up for the last week for many reasons: (1) I had a dog that did this; (2) I love the way her ears bounce; and (3) I love that she stops, looks around and keeps going because the music is still bumpin’.


  • I received an email this week from a local radio station, and this was the title.
GAH! The horror! Week is spelled wrong?!? Surely one read through before you hit “Send” would have caught that, right? Proofreading is kind of my thing, but that’s pretty basic. That’s not to say that this blog has an occasional grammatical or spelling error (we’re all human, right?), but come on, folks.
Do you like running in the heat? Do you drink water with lemon? Do you drink your coffee black? Have you tried cinnamon in your coffee?

May 8, 2013

Partners for Life Police Appreciation Run 5K, St. Petersburg, Florida, May 5, 2013: race recap

This is the 5K of a 10K-5K challenge. Read about the 10K here.

Because I had this fabulous idea to sign up for a 10K-5K challenge, I had about 20 minutes after the 10K before the start of the 5K, which started at 8:30 a.m. ... or so I thought.

In-between races photo

In reality, it was 8:52 a.m. before the start of the 5K. So my timed water drinking, GU taking and stretching and warming up again wasn't really timed well. I wasn't expecting much out of this race anyway (since I just ran a 10K and was uncomfortable every step), but a 22-minute late start didn't help matters any.

I wasn't planning on meeting my under 30-minute 5K goal this race, but I wanted to be respectable ... whatever that means. For me, I decided it meant under 11-minute miles.

I started out a little stiff, but warmed up pretty quickly (quicker than my usual 1+-mile warm up).  That doesn't mean I was comfortable or feeling good. I was hoping I could make it through this thing. I wasn't feeling it, and I was missing my running buddy to push me along.
Mile 1: 10:29

I don't remember much of this race, really. I just remember: (1) running on the pesky pier ... again; (2) being uncomfortable the entire race; and (3) trying to force a smile when I ran by my coach, Carolyn, who was snapping pictures (all were terrible; totally my fault — not hers).

You pesky, windy pier

Mile 2: 10:40
Mile 3: 10: 38

I tried to push it at the finish, but I didn't have much left in me.

I looked tired in this photo. I am. (My boyfriend and dog surprised
me along the 5K finish.)

I crossed the finish line at 32:59, which is my second-best 5K time ever. Hmm, I guess I did OK for feeling uncomfortable and totally not in this race.

After the race, I grabbed some bubbles (Diet Coke). I love carbonation after a race. Every race should have bubbles of some kind (yes, beer is acceptable).

Lori and I decided to capture our last race on the pier in photo (it is being torn down, so this is the last official race for us on this thing). Lori asked the girl taking the photo to be sure to get the pier in the background. She did. It's just behind Lori's head ... 

So, the big question: would I do a 10K-5K challenge again? I am proud that I did it this time, but I don't think I'd do it again. It added a whole other level of stress to a race day. I worried about the 5K all the way through the 10K. Was I using everything I had in the 10K? How was I going to run a 5K after this disaster? Then, running the 5K, I felt like it was a "just survive this thing" mode instead of a "let's give this all I got" attitude.

Have you run a 10K-5K challenge? Would you? Do you like bubbles after a race?

May 7, 2013

Partners for Life Police Appreciation Run 10K, St. Petersburg, Florida, May 5, 2013: race recap

For some reason, I signed up for a 10K-5K challenge. One of those things that sounded like a good idea at the time …

The 10K started at 6:59 a.m. It was early, but I was still worried about the possibility of heat and humidity. Thankfully, a cool front came through the area, and it was actually chilly at the start. Yes, chilly in May in Florida. (And yes, 67 is chilly.) Not sure how that happened, but I’ll take it. 

It was nice to know so many people running this race. And, it was great to be able to run with my running buddy, Lori, because, boy, did I need her. 

This race felt uncomfortable from start to finish. I just never felt in the groove. Each step took effort.

And, having to run a 5K after it was always in the back of my mind.

And, having to run on my running nemesis in both races was bothering me, too. 

We hit the pesky pier within the first mile, and it really wasn’t that bad. Granted, nothing was great in this race, but as far as the pier goes, it could have been worse. It was a little windy, but not terrible. 

Mile 1: 11:09
Mile 2: 11:51 (oops, probably started too fast)

After getting off the pier, we noticed a 3-mile marker sign that was backward, and we definitely weren't at mile 3. We figured we must turn around and hit 3 miles on the way back at that point. Well, we kept checking our watches and waiting for our turnaround, but realized that wasn’t going to happen. We kept running and hit 3 miles at a completely different spot. 

It was a little confusing, but not much makes sense to me while I’m running. My mind does not function. I guess all energy is used to run (especially this race).

The course had pretty fantastic views of downtown St. Petersburg and the bay throughout the course. As much as I complain about the pier, it really is a pretty beautiful place to run.

We stopped at each water stop and walked through to drink, but made sure to pick a spot to start running quickly after each stop. Thank goodness Lori enforced this. The way this race was feeling for me, I could have walked for miles instead of a minute.

Mile 3: 11:29

Mile 4: 11:21

Before the race, we talked about what we needed to do to get a personal record (PR). Lori needed under 1:13:16, and I needed under 1:10:37. I was really hoping we could get Lori’s PR; I didn’t want to hold her back. Thankfully, I kept up with her even though it never felt good.

We both started to tire around mile 5. It was actually pretty hot in the sun (but chilly in the shade), and we both needed a break. So, we walked for a bit, but made sure to point out a landmark to begin running again. This was the best walk break ever. I felt rejuvenated after this break, and I knew I had enough in me to finish strong.

Mile 5: 10:56
Mile 6: 10:52

We ran hard the last mile, and as we made the turn into the park toward the finish with about 0.2 miles to go, Lori said we had under 1:10. So, we gunned it. 

Thanks to Lori's husband, Chris, for the photo
(and for being an awesome spectator).

And, we did. Our official gun time: 1:09:54 (the chip time should be lower, but I don't see it on the official scoring site; my watch had 1:09:16). PRs all the way around! Yay! 


I was just not feeling it this day, and I’m actually pretty shocked that I pulled out a PR. But, it really doesn’t have much to do with me; it’s all Lori. Thanks, running buddy!

Oh, and that backward mile marker? We found out after the race that the course leader took a wrong turn at the start. I would have never known (I’m a terrible map reader, so even though I saw the course, I had no idea we went the wrong way); we ended up with a 6.2-mile course, so it seemed to work out fine.

We finished around 8:10 a.m. So, I had 20 minutes to recover and get ready for the 5K, which you can read about tomorrow.

Have you ever run a PR in a race that you just weren't feeling? Do you have a PR that you owe someone else the credit for? I sure do!