Monday, October 17, 2011

Acumen Race for a Cause 8K: race report

This "doing another race the week after a half Ironman with a giant hangover" thing is starting to be a pretty cool trend, I think.  Too bad I couldn't follow this one up with a week in paradise.
Last week this girl hit me up to join her at a Sunday-morning 8K as part of some crazy "race every single day" plan she has going on this month.  This race actually lined up nicely with the "45 minutes easy run" I had on my schedule.  After doing my first extremely creaky recovery run on Thursday morning, I decided that the very nice race tee-shirt was worth my very inexpensive race fee, but warned her that I would be rocking a pretty serious 10 minute-mile recovery pace and that if she ate all the finish line bagels before I got there, our friendship might be over.
This was also going to be my first 8K race.  I have a problem with racing 8Ks because it's about 13 (or 45) seconds short of a 5 miler.  Why can't we just race the full 5 miles?  I live in Virginia, not Canada, and have been raging a quiet and very personal boycott of the 8K for my entire racing life.  But "brunch after, with mimosas" was enough for me to change my life-long convictions, so I spent Saturday preparing for the race just like I would prepare for any race.  Eating a correct balance of carbohydrates and protein....
Hydrating...
Relaxing with friends and making sure to stay off my feet.

I slept like a rock on Saturday night but woke up Sunday morning to discover that someone had rudely inflated my brain to about four times its normal size.  Sadly, my race buddy hurt her foot on Saturday and couldn't make it to the race, but it was pretty easy to convince Beth to join me for the ghost of our Sunday-morning-gossipy-recovery-run.  I showed up at the race early enough to park, get my bib, and stop in the porta-potty on the way to the start line to let loose some of the 9 gallons of water I had slugged since I woke up.  Huge fail.  Who puts down the seat on a porta potty?


We lined up and went, noticing that everyone around us had dressed for an Arctic marathon instead of a sunny and chilly morning in Virginia.  Tights and fleece?  It was 60ยบ out, or maybe my blood thickened by dehydration was keeping me warmer than everyone else.  The race itself was nice, an out-and-back with only a slight hill on the way back that lent very well towards catching up on everything that had happened in the 36 hours since we last hung out.  I felt creaky and headachey for the first 3 miles or so, but then my legs loosened up a bit just in time for my hangover to wake up.  We made sure to negative-split the race by cranking out a 9:17 last mile - yeah, sick, I know, we were really flying - and as we rounded the corner to the finish, I saw a guy with a stroller sneak up on our left.  In honor of the poet, who was out running his first 20-miler and HATES to get stroller'd in the last few feet of the race, I lunged around him and towards the finish line with all the grace of a stampeding elephant and he WENT WITH ME.  Ughhh.  I held my roughly 6-minute-mile pace for all of 15 seconds only to collapse on the other side of the finish line, pausing just briefly enough to remove my timing chip before staggering over towards the porta-potties (lid up this time).
I was pleased to note that I followed my race plan to a T: 50:04, and negative-split the back half by more than 5 seconds.  Another item now filed in the "easiest PR to beat ever" column.  How was your weekend?

26 comments:

  1. Booting at the end of a race is something I don't do. I boot MID-RACE. Good work.
    Also, I ran 9.5 yesterday and it was 60 degrees and CRAZY windy. I ended up taking off my shirt and running with just a sports bra/capris while tourists were walking around bundled up like it was January. JUST WAIT, PEOPLE.

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  2. Running with a hangover = no fun! At least you threw up at the end and during.

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  3. I meant to say and not during the race. ugg.. I can't seem to type

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  4. Hooray for wine and friends on sunny autumn days! You are hard core. I do not run with hangovers. In fact, just in case one sneaked up on me, I waited til past noon to get my run in yesterday.

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  5. Where does getting "strollered" rank on the list of "bad things to happen to you in a running race"?

    Yay for following your plan! Sorry bout the puking...

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  6. Too. Much. Wine. I even had another glass with dinner.

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  7. I think this sounds like a very sound approach to racing! ; ) Congrats on your first 8k. Not so bad, was it? And I always get a laugh out of the way people dress for running the first time it gets below 70. Hello?

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  8. I don't get it, all you runner girls that can run with a hang over! You are tough! I could have 2 drinks and have the worst race ever, that's why I have to stop drinking during my season and if I do drink it is only on Sundays since Monday is my off day which makes for very lonely drinking! :-)

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  9. Way to stick to your plan! Sounds like Saturday was a pretty fantastic day.

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  10. This is a great (and quite funny) race report, and I totally missed that you guys ran it! I do hope they caught pics of you toasting stroller dad. :)

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  11. I say we reinstate the Sunday morning run. Vomit optional.

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  12. Ah, that's pretty good. I love the 8k distance! So close to 5 miles I can race it like it was 5. And the distance scares people away that are intimidated by finishing a 5k, so you tend to have better people on the course. In most races the side to side action will add some extra distance anyway, so I'm sure a garmin would indicate it was over 5 miles anyway.

    Hey, do you ever run the Mt Vernon trail in alexandria? I walked it (hungover) on saturday morning before heading down south and it was beautiful. The potomac, the GW parkway, all the cool bridges and monuments in between, really a spectacular place to run. I was hoping I'd see you out there.

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  13. did you really puke in the potty? Did you look down? You are bad ass. I have never run an 8k. that seems to be a weird distance. I do, however, always run hungover, so we have that in common.

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  14. I wonder if that pre-race routine will work for Austin this weekend?

    Maybe I'll just do one-legged squats like you and Chrissie. Just trying to figure it all out.

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  15. I can't believe you went into the portapotty to puke! I think that would have freaked me out more than puking on the ground. Way to race a hangover though. I don't know how you did it. I'm such a lightweight!

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  16. haha! negative split = amazing. and so glad you beat that guy. i hate getting passed by strollers! ha!

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  17. Awesome job on the race after just having done a half Ironman! I just found your blog and noticced that you are racing CDA next year. I will also be racing and it will be my first full Ironman. My first half Ironman will be Oceanside in March. I look forward to following your training on your blog! I don't have a coach so I will be using lots of research, books and blogs to help me train. Best of luck!

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  18. I don't think I have ever actually puked post-race. Definitely felt like it a few times. Clearly I am not pushing myself hard enough or drinking enough the day/night before. Goals for next time! ;)

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  19. I've only run 2 8Ks and one was in your neck of the woods. Are they more common around you?

    I wish your race buddy could have run it with you. :(

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  20. Love this recap. I actually wish there were more 8ks so I could slap people more when they say "what's an 8k?" I always just say that it's 3 more k's than a 5k.

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  21. Hah, gotta love those automatic PRs! You do Not have to love those stroller-racers.

    From one I've-raced-"Dehydrated" (way too many times) runner - HIGH FIVE. I have never had to utilize the porta-potty afterward, so you're one step ahead of ome there. ;)

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  22. when i first read that, i thought it said "i just kicked a guy with a stroller." i was like man, that katie is no joke. lol! great racing lady. i like an 8K. just sayin'.

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  23. "I live in Virginia not Canada." Love this. I'm not sure I've ever seen an 8K around here! But then, Texas isn't very accommodating to the ways of the metric system....er, or anything else really. Glad you chicked the stroller guy!

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  24. Nice! I personally love that I get to stop just shy of 5 miles! Sounds like a lot of fun!

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