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Monday, February 22, 2016

Race Recap: Warm Up for Boston

I'm the one in yellow. Amazing free photos from CapCity Sports Media.
Warm Up for Boston took place February 21, 2015 at 8:00am in Dublin, Ohio. There were four distances: 5k, 10k, 13.1, 26.2, along with 13.1 and 26.2 team relays. I ran the 5k, then ran 13.7 more miles with Chelsea. [Race Information

Pre Race
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!
Plans changed a bit and Chelsea went out for some miles before the race start. I got to the race around 7am, picked up my packet and used the indoor bathroom (and then a porta potty), but couldn't find Chelsea before the start of the race. A few days before, I'd decided to run my 5k and join her for at least 10 miles, so I knew I'd spot her when participants began to spread out.

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.

OH! I forgot to tell you -- I got sick late Thursday night/possibly Friday. It was our first day back from our Florida trip and my first full day at work and I had to leave at 2:30pm because I was having severe stomach issues. It lasted all night and into Saturday. I made it through the Fight for Air Climb (story for another recap), but didn't eat much solid food –besides Saltines– until Saturday night. I had a bagel, popcorn, and grilled veggies. Not my normal pre-race carb load! Turns out, it was probably Norovirus!

Crossing the finish line... I think?
5K Race
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)

Straight cheesin'
Running with Friends: Extra Miles 
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.

With walk breaks we maintained an 11:45-ish pace. Our fastest mile together was lap 10! I don't know what it was about this specific looped course, but it was almost magical. I thought I'd be brain dead and bored by the time we finished, but it was interesting. Maybe it was the company. I'm sure I would have gone a little batty looping that thing alone. We kept an easy pace as we talked. Sometimes we went too fast and had to back off, but for the most part it was pretty solid.

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!
Summary + Stats
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)
Overall: 28/203
Female: 7/149*
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
Up Next: I have no idea! Maybe an Easter race?


  1. Congrats on the great 5K race, the distance PR, and helping your buddy out.

    1. Thanks! It was one of those magical days where everything just comes together.


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