|I'm the one in yellow. Amazing free photos from CapCity Sports Media.|
A few weeks ago Chelsea contacted me on Twitter. She needed a 25 mile training run (!) for her upcoming ultra and thought she'd give WUFB a shot. I've looked into this race a few times and each time the looped course scared me. Yeah, it's a single 1-mile loop 'til you finish your distance. You're responsible for keeping track of your laps and the .1 and .2 distances have a staggered start. I emailed the race directors for advice because I knew I'd be running her final miles and wasn't sure if I'd hit 13.1 in the time allotted. They recommended I sign up for the 5k to have a bib.
|Me and my new friend!|
Weird side story: before the race I didn't know where the starting line was (.1 and .2 distances started in two separate locations). Around the time I figured it out I was chatting with a really nice lady. We must have looked like we were having a great time because we were approached by two separate race photographers for a photo. (I found out her name was Tina. Hi, Tina!)
Goals / Sickness
Based on last year's results, I could have placed in the top 10 (females) if I ran my normal under 27 minute time. I figured I'd do that, but if I was feeling really excellent I'd gun for a PR (under 25). Just before the race I found out last year was very snowy (8 inches) and single track, which explained the slower times. After that, my race plan was up in the air.
|Crossing the finish line... I think?|
ANYWAY, since this race is a loop and since you're in it with 3 other distances I was pretty amazed by how fast some of the half and full marathoners were going. (I don't know why it still amazes me that people are really fast.) My first mile went well, even though my feet were a little numb. I missed my Garmin going off because we were at a turn, so this mile was a surprise to me: 8:03
I backed off a bit on mile 2. By now I knew I couldn't PR. It just wasn't going to happen. I felt really slow during mile 2, so I was surprised to see 8:11. But, um, "the wheels came off" in mile 3. My pace never went into the 9s, but only barely. At 2.5 my stomach was wrecked. I wasn't sure if I was going to have to stop and walk or go to the bathroom. I knew I had to get back to the finish to even get to a potty so I figured I might as well keep running. Even if it was slow. At 2.7 I knew I was really close, but my stomach cramped. Like the worst lady cramps you've ever had. Fun! I normally sprint into a finish line, but I couldn't manage anything better than my mile 3 pace: 8:30.
Imagine my surprise when I crossed the line and got a 9th place female award! I looked at my Garmin and saw 25:32. That's actually my second fastest race 5k. It felt so icky, so I'm pretty pumped to try another race when I'm healthy! Moving on... (normal recap stats at the bottom)
As soon as I finished my stomach calmed down and I positioned myself on the loop to look for Chelsea. I was in just about the worst spot staring into the sun when she saw me and waved. I hollered that I'd meet her on the next lap then stashed my bling and goodies in my car. When we started running I think she was 10 or so miles into her 25. She was using a run/walk interval of 4:15/:45 (which I heard as :15 walk so I was really surprised how long those :15 walks lasted ha!). We were both leery of intervals, but it was a great ratio. Long enough to give you a break, but short enough to keep you going. I have a terrible habit of taking walking breaks that lead to a shame-spiral and unravel my races. This was perfect.
At lap 11 I realized I was going to have a distance PR (I've only ever run 14 miles). That was pretty cool. Just before the final lap I decided to take one rest lap and sat on the ground and stretched a tiny bit while Chelsea powered on. I know it was just a mile, but I needed the break! When she came back around I'd cooled off so much I was actually cold. Regardless, we kept on trucking through the final lap. Her GPS buzzed 25 miles before we finished our final lap and I was at 13.7*. We walked into the finish, grabbed some goodies and photos, then said our good-byes.
*Holy crap, we ran a half marathon after I finished that 5k
|A great day!|
What a fantastic day. The weather was beautiful (sunny and upper 30s to 40s), the course support was pretty stellar for such a small event (one group, one cheering volunteer, and the water stop stood out), and the awards were really cute. I had so much fun running WUFB. I'd do it again in a heartbeat, but I do wonder if some of the magic came from running with a partner.
5K Final Time: 25:32 (8:15m/m)
Age group: 4/30**
* I know it's not 9th like my award, but it's from the official results. I'm guessing someone dropped their original distance in favor of the 5k.
** Only age group with 4 people in the top 10. Why are 30-34 year olds so fast?!
|Sweet swag - I love my wooden award!|
|Chelsea's photo when she hit 25 MILES!!|
|One of my favorite photos of the day|