Wednesday, September 4, 2013

A weekend of races: Women Rock & Victory Recaps

I know I run a lot but 3 races in 3 days not normally, but things just seemed to fit this past weekend. Almost a year ago I registered for the half marathon and then met this great group of runners through Moms Run this Town and had fun group to share the race. They also were the reason behind the Monday race (the cheap second race addition convinced me to run both!). So here I was running a half marathon on Saturday and 10K / 5K double on Monday, great training for Dopey if no other reason.

Women Rock Half
After a week of intense heat the weather improved slightly, only 70 at race start. After the craziness of the shuttles and massive porta-potty lines we finally got the start line to hear they were delaying “a few minutes” ugh! I knew I wasn’t in full racing form yet but wanted to do what I could, then the week before happened, I spent most of Wednesday-Friday with intense back pain and right quad pain, no idea other than my stupid decision to go to a new weight class on Tuesday. I also decided to play around with race fuel since I am out of Huma Gel.
Me in the yellow on the right

The race began and I positioned myself right behind the 1:40 pacer aiming to not go out too fast. The first few miles my right leg was tight but finally loosened up and soon I was passing the 1:40 pacer! I kept a comfortable pace and soon hit the first turn around at 3.5 miles, I loved knowing so many other runners and watching for them as I passed heading back.

Another mile passed and my back became less than happy as I ran up a hill, no fun! And this continued a tight back and now tight leg that for a moment I considered just stopping and walking. It was during these miles I was again passed by the 1:40 pacer and I almost grabbed my phone to call Matt and say I’d be much later than expected. This quickly passed and I decided just run comfortable. Finally Mile 8 and life was good, like everything fell into place. I took the last of my Hammer chew and skipped my iPod to some new songs and was off. I felt great until the Mile 11 hills, as I stupidly decided to keep pushing and soon backed off when the hamstring kicked in its anger too. I knew these hills last about 1 ½ miles and just ran comfortable again. But this was also the part where we combined with the 10K/5K runners and this was motivation to keep pushing. Finally the flat ground returned and I knew the finish was near.

I see it, I am done! I glanced at my watch and grabbed my necklace from the firemen before starting my post race routine of hitting medical for ice and having to explain I really was okay, just give me ice! I found Matt and O and went back to watch friends finish before heading to the post race party and heading home to realize the Hammer chew did not make me happy, I felt awful in the car, guess that was one experiment gone wrong!

There were some issues with my number, it somehow got changed and re-assigned a new one after I picked it up last spring so there is no record of me running. According to my watch I ran 1:41:05, I am happy this is the best half all year. Still not my goal of beating last year’s time (1:39) or a PR (1:34) but getting closer.

Victory 10K
What a difference a couple days makes, we woke to temps of 40s! I grabbed a jacket and headed to the race. The 10K began at 8:00 and was a flat out and back. The field was fast so I knew not to be stupid and try to start with the leaders. I just told myself run your own race. We were off and settling in to a steady pace. Mile 1: 7:13 We soon turned and yikes where did the wind come from?!  I kept pushing through and finally Mile 2: 7:13 (wow I’m never this consistent!). Now the only uphill of the course, I felt like I was slowing until I saw friends and pushed passed. Mile 3: 7:20 and finally time to turn and the wind’s at my back! Now I watch for my friends and Matt to pass on the other side and cheer as we go. Mile 4: 7:10 (thank you downhill!) but I am now regretting this jacket! Almost there, it can’t be too bad. Mile 5: 7:09 One mile to go and I think I can PR! I’m nearing Mile 6 and realize there is another hill right before the finish and the line is further back than I thought! Time to give that last push and I’ll be done (at least for this race)…
44:43 (7:13 pace) and a PR! Nice, I find O and my parents as we cheer on Matt an then wait for the next race…

Victory 5K
Have I ever mentioned how much I hate 5Ks?! This race started at 9:30 so after about 45 minutes of rest we were back at the start line, I once again debated the jacket and kept it on, stupid! You know that feeling of running after biking, well that’s how my legs felt! I was probably not the smartest to push the 10K, but I wanted to PR. We were off and the guy next to me “this sucks on tired legs!” Not everyone ran the double, both races were separate but there was an option to combine.

Mile 1: 7:28 yep, like I expected. I was soon realizing that unlike the 10K the 5K had those runners who had no clue how to line up, I was soon passing walkers and kids weaving along the course, sprinting and stopping! Mile 2: 7:30 Almost there and I am done with this jacket, I need to get rid of it now! So I spend the final mile running with jacket in hand, not fun! I am soon seeing that lovely hill at the finish and soon the end in sight.
23:08 (7:28 pace) 3rd place Age Group finish

The two races are combined for the double and total time used to determine place and guess what? I was 2nd in my Age Group! 8th woman!

Victory Kid’s ½ Mile

And now the most important race of the weekend! O had been looking forward to this for days. She lined up next to a friend of mine and her son and soon they were off running on the road! She was thrilled to run on the road. It is an out and back led by a police car, just like “mommy and daddy’s race” Soon the kids are heading back and there is my girl with the largest grin, smiling at everyone and watching the spectators and runners as she goes. She crosses the line in 6:00 and gets her ribbon with huge grin and of course the first question, “when can I do it again?”

What a fun weekend of racing and crazy weather swings! I love seeing O have so much fun doing something I love so much. I know someday she will be running the 5K with me and pulling me along to the finish.

8 comments:

  1. Wow great job Jen! 3 in a weekend?! Nice speed and way to push through during the tough portions:)

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  2. What a busy weekend! I am signed up for the Women Rock in Chicago that's in a few weeks and I'm getting nervous as I have had some setbacks in training. How cute that your daughter ran! Mine loves to run, but gets really shy in groups of people and will not do a run...maybe someday!

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  3. That is a crazy busy weekend! I think all three of my girls are going to do their first run with our MRTT group =)

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  4. Wow, Jen- those are some impressive paces for running 3 races in a row this weekend! Awesome job on your 10k especially- those splits are perfect!

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  5. Holy cow! Busy and impressive running :) I need your speed/stamina! So good that you've planted the seed in O already ;) Got yourself a little runner there!

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  6. Amazing! And well done!

    Love O's running picture! What a cutie!

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  7. Impressive! Great job on your place, wow!!! Such a cute daughter, love you get her involved in these too. How fun for you all to enjoy this sport together!

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  8. Great job on all the races! I too have been playing around with fuel and some runs are better than others! Only way to find out is try it. Do you like Huma gels? I've been mean to try them!

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