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Races!! JAW 8k and Celtic Solstice 5 Miler, Ringing in Hope 5k, and Shooting Starr 6k

Posted Jan 17 2013 6:50pm
Preface:  I've been writing this post forEVER!  I am just going to stop where I am and go with it, I'm not even doing the cursory half-ass proof read.  Consider the first two reports as posted in December, since that's when I started it!


Since my Turkey Trot, I've been enjoying the holidays.  I've also had my eye on some fun upcoming races!

The first is Jingle All the Way 8k.  It's a local race that I've run the last few years.  It's also fun and seasonal!  Some of my teammates were also running and we hooked up pre-race to run a few miles.  My teammate Maria and I were discussing times and since my turkey trot wound up a 7:20 pace, she said she thought she would be comfortable starting around that pace as well.  I told her my goal was to hopefully be around 36 minutes.  She's been racing well, and had much higher goals!

At the start line I was thinking trying to run with Maria the first mile might be too fast for me, since I really need to go out slow.  PLUS, this race has THREE hairpin turns.
When the gun went off, I watched Maria take off.  About a block into the race, my garmins battery died.  Sigh.  I have no idea what I ran.  I have a feeling I wound up running that first mile WAY too fast.  Why?  About 3/4 mile into the race I realized Maria was right next to me!  YAY, I thought as I saddled up beside her, she's running 7:30's.  Then it dawned on me this was probably a lot faster than 7:20/30's. 
As I slowed down, Maria took off, and another teammate flew by us (she wound up running my old 5 miler PR!!  Sigh, again).  I tried to just stay comfortable and really never saw any mile marker signs.  I'm not sure if I just didn't notice them or they weren't there. 
The weather was in the 50's, so I wore shorts and a long sports top.  I taped my right knee which has the miniscus tear, since I wasn't running in my CW-X's.  Around mile 2ish (I guess), my left knee (the one I've dislocated around 14 times) started yelping at me.  It scared me a little bit and I debated just stopping.  I started concentrating on my breathing and trying to land properly to ease some of the discomfort.   It worked, I felt better and was able to maintain a comfortable pace.  I have no idea what the pace was, but considering that I'm only doing speed work in the pool, I'm happy with anything!

I finished the race in 36:56.  A little slower pace than the 10k I ran on Thanksgiving, but this race course is always rough on me (lot's of hairpin turns), and I HAVE been enjoying the holidays!

*** The next race, and next weekend, was the Celtic Solstice Five Miler.  Allison had emailed our crew to gauge interest and we all jumped at the idea! We then recalled that MissZippy loves that race, so we gave her a heads up that a CAR lovefest was heading her way!

As Miss Zippy has mentioned numerous times on her post, this race has awesome race swag: this year it was an Asics Thermopolis Hoody, with the race logo embroidered on it. 

That morning, the crew met at a secret location ("I brought you here to murder you", was Liz's response), and carpooled in together.

We were there bright and early enough to park right outside the entrance gates and meet Miss Zippy .  We were not energetic enough to run with her and her peeps the 5 mile warm up they planned on doing pre-race.  That's apparently how they recover from marathon's in the state of MD.

Note: When someone from MD tells you, "oh it's not hilly", what they really mean, "It's not hilly like, say, Mt. Everest"
Since the temperature was in the 30's, we then went back to the car to stay warm until the very last possible minute of needing to go out to do our warm up.  We then stripped down to race attire and headed to the start.

After last weeks race, I knew not to go out with Maria ! ha!

For us Northern VA's, it was a pretty hilly race, but I really liked it!  Part of it was along the Baltimore 10 miler course, which is a race I also enjoyed! 

I went out easy (very), and cruised home, of course it was uphill the first half and downhill or flat the 2nd.

When I finished, I found the crew and we were all very happy!

We then jumped in the car, and per Miss Zippy 's suggestion, headed to Miss Shirley's at National Harbour and had some post race hydration:

Thanks Miss Zippy for all the suggestions, hopefully next time I see you in a race, I will be able to run some of the warmup with you!  

Someone told us we looked like a sleigh, running down the road together!
  * * *

The final race of 2012 was Ringing in Hope 5k.  Originally had thought I should run the 10k, but the more I thought about it, I wanted to see if having some of my teammates around would help me be more comfortable running a 5k.

I began doing shorter intervals in the pool and breaking down my tempo to 2X15 minutes.  Simulating the workouts my teammates are doing on land.  

Except hills.  I'm bad at hills.  Bad.  For whatever reason, the pool doesn't mimic hills...

Anyway, Christmas came and went, as did a few bottles of wine, then came Redskins game the night before the race.  Tequila.

Let's just say the race was a good way to end a year that was mostly spent taking race pictures.  

Before the race, CAR Coach George Buckheit gave me his advice, "run fast".  Hmmm.

At the start line, the girls were debating going way up to the start and I decided to stay put.  I wound up running into my pal Kathy , who's been killing her races lately (she was doing the 10k).  I asked her what the heck she was doing back here and she completely lied to me and told me she was going to go out around a 7:10 pace.  I said, let's run together.  She said, yeah.

and then gun went off and she flew away like a bat out of hell on her way to snag another amazing PR.

I tried to find a comfort zone and a few of my other teammates flew by me.  It was pretty congested, what with all the little kids running 5:40 pace for the first 400 meters, and then the time was spent dodging them all.

I started to pick it up and realized I could see some of my teammates .  I decided to see if I could pick it up and catch up with them.  If I could run with them, it would be so awesome.

I caught up with some of them, and as I started to feel good, I passed them.  (whoops).  Cris is right, there is no sense of pacing when you run in the pool all the time.  I caught up with Maria , and we ran together for a little bit, it felt like old times.  Then came a bit of a hill (which was really more a slight incline) where she reminded me that these are new times; when she motored up it, and left me in the dust.  The last mile, was a struggle, a few other teammates passed me.  When I knew there was about 1/4 mile left I tried to keep it together.

At the end 22:07, I felt very pleased.  While I obviously did not start slow, I ran a solid effort, even with my holidays doing happy holiday things.  (Plus I nabbed 2nd in my AG)


Next race up was another concoction of Allison 's.  Pegged on the MCRRC site as a 4 miler, it was a race that turned out to be a 6k.  Luckily we were on to the fact that it wasn't going to be an accurate course distance wise.  But, we knew that MCRRC has a good history with well run races, even their low-key ones.

We met at the site early enough to do a warm-up, catch up with one of Allison 's friends.  I spent too much time debating what to wear, with the weather of 45*.  I wound up in capris, so I could have some additional stability for my knees and my singlet.  I mistakenly added armwarmers, gloves and a headband to the mix.

At the start the race director made a pretty odd poo-poo speech and Allison pointed out that we were going to start the race on a rather steep downhill, and the section that goes off-road, will also be downhill.

Since my meniscus is still torn, I immediately decided I didn't want to do the race, but here I was with no other alternate for a tempo.  I decided I would just have to go out really slow in this beginning down hill (which was a 2 loop course), much to the annoyance of all those behind me (I'm sorry folks).

After we jumped on one of the lovely trails in the state of MD, (truly lovely), I was able to start picking up the pace.  Of course, now a million people were in front of me on a narrow trail.  So, that sucked.

Then the leaders were coming back to us on this narrow trail, narrowing it even more.  So, that sucked.

As I neared the hairpin turn on the trail, I saw Allison heading back, she looked great. 

It was even more congested heading back down the trail trying to pass people, with the larger group coming towards us.  

We then veered off that section and hit some the residential streets.  We started and incline and they guided us onto the concrete sidewalks, which were a bit out of sorts.

Trying to pass people, I came upon a 13 year-old boy, and he was kicking it.  I passed him, he passed me back and we played a little back and back.  

As we looped by the start, the downhill, with the off-road section began again, I put the brakes on and cursed the break up of my flow.

We then headed down the trail (this time we didn't do the up and back section), I began picking up the pace again.

As I passed my 13 year old friend, I told him, "let's go, stay with me".  He picked up his pace too and we started cruising through the flat section of the trail, passing people.

Then we hit the residential section and began the incline up the hill.  My young friend turned to me as he passed me and said, "boy, these hills sure are something, aren't they?"  I laughed and agreed.  Then I told him he was doing great and he took off. 

I chased him, (but never caught him).  The concrete downhill section began and I was busy watching my step while runners began passing me.  I think I lost my bearings while I was cursing the footing, as when we turned the corner, I was surprised the finish line was right there.  I started picking up the pace to the finish.

I found Allison and we both agreed we could cross this race off the list for next year.  Side note: Allison did great, and the race was very well organized for such a low key race.  I think if I had more confidence in my knee, I would have enjoyed it much more. 

After the race, we cooled down and plotted some more races to run.

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