12 Months of Medals: My 2015 (And Beyond!) Running Challenge

Keels

The Official Keels of RunDisney
Joined
Feb 27, 2008
Time out! Who said that only fast runners are good runners? That's not true at all. Just because you're slow does not mean you are not good at it. It just means that you're slow. Don't ever tell yourself that you're not a good runner because you're not as fast as other people. Are you out there running? Are you training properly? Are you resting and fueling properly? Then you're a good runner. Simple as that.
OK, OK, OK.
 

Neoflynn

Run Nick Run
Joined
Feb 17, 2015
First off...How did I miss this before...Ill definitely be following along from now on though...

Thanks! I tried intervals, and I just don't think they're for me. On a race, I like to think of it in 5K portions. The first 5K is always the worst for me. The second, I'm in a groove. The third, I feel like I'm good but still doubt myself. The fourth? I wish I could be stronger - I always feel like I run out of gas.
Intervals are not for everyone...I would have such a hard time starting and stopping running I would never feel like I would get in a groove like I do now. You have the right idea in breaking a race down into portions, you'll drive yourself crazy if you are thinking about mile 13 at mile 1, as for feeling like you run out of gas are you using any kind of gel or gu on your longer runs? this was really a breakthrough for me when I started using them it may be all mental but I feel like they give me boost for the later stages of my run

So yeah, I will probably never be good at running
Get that thought out of your head running isn't about speed running is about distance, sure a lot of us measure our success and failures based on time but we shouldn't, lets all be honest here we aren't Meb....most of us will probably never win a race, but we will always win our personal race as long as we don't quit. I saw this once and its always been one of my favorite running mantra's "Weather its a 6 minute mile or a 16 minute mile its still a mile"

The finish is the best.
This times 1000!!!!!!
 


BuckeyeBama

You are stronger than you think.
Joined
May 29, 2013
Thanks! I tried intervals, and I just don't think they're for me. On a race, I like to think of it in 5K portions. The first 5K is always the worst for me. The second, I'm in a groove. The third, I feel like I'm good but still doubt myself. The fourth? I wish I could be stronger - I always feel like I run out of gas.
I don't care for intervals, either. I tried the 30 second walk intervals twice last week as a change, then tried adding them to my half-marathon on Sunday - what a mistake. Intervals are gone for me again. But I still break every run longer than 4 miles down into smaller segments. For me, if a run is between 4 and 8 miles in length, I focus on each mile as if it were the only mile in the run. I run as fast as I can during that mile while never allowing my breathing to get out of control. If my legs start to feel "heavy", I ease back. If my breathing becomes even a little bit choppy, I ease back.

For longer runs I focus on 2 mile segments because this is the distance between water stations at most races and I want to train in a way similar to the races themselves. I only think about the 2 mile segment that I am currently running. Because I run 6 days/week, I have run many, many times on very tired legs. I know that I can run 2 miles, even when my legs feel like jello. So 2 miles is never too far - never long enough to be discouraging.

But I don't think about the end of a segment when running it - I just live in that segment. If you begin to look forward to the end of a run too much, you lose your mental focus. The same can apply to the end of segments. Imagine that you will be running all day, and KNOW that you can do it. Stop thinking about the end of your run and you will find strength that you didn't know that you had. Because, as we all know, running is more mental than physical. If you believe that you can do something - KNOW that you can do something - your body just does it.

Even elite runners use these mental "tricks" to get them through long runs or races.
 
  • Keels

    The Official Keels of RunDisney
    Joined
    Feb 27, 2008
    Get that thought out of your head running isn't about speed running is about distance, sure a lot of us measure our success and failures based on time but we shouldn't, lets all be honest here we aren't Meb....most of us will probably never win a race, but we will always win our personal race as long as we don't quit. I saw this once and its always been one of my favorite running mantra's "Weather its a 6 minute mile or a 16 minute mile its still a mile"
    I LOVE Meb!! I met him at the expo at Rock 'n' Roll New Orleans and he was so nice.

    And that's a great mantra. I need to remind myself of that.
     

    SarahDisney

    So ... Yeah
    Joined
    Jul 23, 2014
    I've been seeing a lot of you on the Marathon Weekend thread, so I figured I'd stop by and check out your training journal!

    I love your detailed recaps of the races - you really give a lot of information about the course, and I'm amazed at how much you notice and remember from each race.

    I loved what you wrote about the mental side of running. I know so many people that run that when I started I thought I'd just go out there and be great and suddenly be part of a running community ... but I learned fast that it's just you out there, and all you can do is your best, which might not be as fast or as far as everyone else out there. But like you said ... the finish is the best. Especially because you went out there and did it, even though staying home was probably easier.

    I'm really excited to follow along as you train for Dopey!
     

    Keels

    The Official Keels of RunDisney
    Joined
    Feb 27, 2008
    I don't care for intervals, either. I tried the 30 second walk intervals twice last week as a change, then tried adding them to my half-marathon on Sunday - what a mistake. Intervals are gone for me again. But I still break every run longer than 4 miles down into smaller segments. For me, if a run is between 4 and 8 miles in length, I focus on each mile as if it were the only mile in the run. I run as fast as I can during that mile while never allowing my breathing to get out of control. If my legs start to feel "heavy", I ease back. If my breathing becomes even a little bit choppy, I ease back.

    For longer runs I focus on 2 mile segments because this is the distance between water stations at most races and I want to train in a way similar to the races themselves. I only think about the 2 mile segment that I am currently running. Because I run 6 days/week, I have run many, many times on very tired legs. I know that I can run 2 miles, even when my legs feel like jello. So 2 miles is never too far - never long enough to be discouraging.

    But I don't think about the end of a segment when running it - I just live in that segment. If you begin to look forward to the end of a run too much, you lose your mental focus. The same can apply to the end of segments. Imagine that you will be running all day, and KNOW that you can do it. Stop thinking about the end of your run and you will find strength that you didn't know that you had. Because, as we all know, running is more mental than physical. If you believe that you can do something - KNOW that you can do something - your body just does it.

    Even elite runners use these mental "tricks" to get them through long runs or races.
    I'm VERY much with what you said. I ran my half last weekend with "my interval" - meaning, I try to run every quarter mile until RunKeeper gives me my update. I'll give myself 10-15 seconds of walking just to regroup, process, check my breathing and then I'll go again. Sometimes, I won't need it. Sometimes? I'll need to walk the next quarter mile. If I see a SUPER big hill coming up, right now I'll let myself walk it on the knowledge that once it plateaus, it's back to running. I do walk all the hydration stations, and I find I'm better if I take one water AND one Powerade/Gatorage/Electrolyte beverage. That just tells me my hydration game is off (even though, last half, I didn't drink any beer or anything other than water after 3 p.m. and I drank ALL the water!!), so I may have to start running with my FuelBelt during races to help me until I figure out what I'm doing wrong hydration-wise.
     

    Keels

    The Official Keels of RunDisney
    Joined
    Feb 27, 2008
    I've been seeing a lot of you on the Marathon Weekend thread, so I figured I'd stop by and check out your training journal!

    I love your detailed recaps of the races - you really give a lot of information about the course, and I'm amazed at how much you notice and remember from each race.

    I loved what you wrote about the mental side of running. I know so many people that run that when I started I thought I'd just go out there and be great and suddenly be part of a running community ... but I learned fast that it's just you out there, and all you can do is your best, which might not be as fast or as far as everyone else out there. But like you said ... the finish is the best. Especially because you went out there and did it, even though staying home was probably easier.

    I'm really excited to follow along as you train for Dopey!
    Hey!! So happy to see you drop in over here!! And thanks for the kind words!!

    I love that you mentioned being part of a running community - it's still there, even though you're running alone. For me, even if it's a simple smile or a wave or thumbs up from another runner passing me in the opposite direction during a training run, I know that I'm a part of something unique and special.

    But just here on the W.I.S.H. board, I have tons of people who don't even know me encouraging me and challenging me to do things that I thought were impossible ... knowing that I can do it and telling me I can, even when people closest to me still have doubts (which is OK - they should for various reasons!). These crazy people have empowered me in ways that I never knew could be possible.

    I'm not a shy person (obviously), and I feel like my self-confidence is pretty strong. But this running thing? Yeah, it makes me feel like I can do anything. And I owe that almost 100% to the people I've met right here on these boards.
     
  • cyndiloveswalt

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 27, 2010
    My DH and I did something similar to this (only not quite on as grand a scale) the year we both turned 40. We made it our New Years resolution to run a 5k every month that year. And this from someone who had never run a day in her life! It was actually a very spur of the moment decision. We were at a friends New Years Eve party and some of our runner friends were doing a Resolution 5k the next morning and did we want to do it? Why not? I walked a lot of that first race but as I did I watched others around me and though if they can do it, I sure can! It kicked my butt into training.
    We did manage to get in at least one 5k race every month that year. That was 3 years ago. Now we just pick and choose the ones we really like. We are running a 10k on Sunday to submit for POT as we are moving to the big leagues and taking on the W&D 1/2 this year! So now I need to train to more than double the longest run I've ever done! I'm really excited though and think it will be a lot of fun!
    Looking forward to following on your journey and comparing notes about November!
     

    Keels

    The Official Keels of RunDisney
    Joined
    Feb 27, 2008
    Let's Talk About Snacks, Bay-Bee ...
    One in an occasional series of "fuel" reviews

    So, as a learning runner, one of things that's important you figure out is fuel sources for during races. Granted, what works for one person can easily not work for another. So, this will be an on-going series where I review various fuel sources. Also, I'll feature occasional commentary of my official physical therapist and nutritionist - my best girlfriend S! As a physical therapist, she specializes in both sports injuries and lymphedema - but also provides nutrition advice for patients with diabetes.

    Background:
    • I'm not a breakfast person. Ever, unless it's brunch and a mimosa is involved.
    • I will drink coffee, but prefer sugar-free Red Bull.
    • I do not drink soda, but again will consume copious amounts of sugar-free Red Bull.
    • Before races, I've tried to choke down 1) half a bagel, 2) a banana, 3) crackers. No go. I almost feel like I'm going to barf them straight back up - #NervesMuch?
    • It generally takes me 3-4 hours post-race before I'm comfortable with eating anything.
    • You won't see me using Gu. The one time I tried it ... it was not pretty. But we'll leave that story for a different time.
    This Week's Review:
    Each week, I will be featuring a fuel source and will be offering my review on two different flavors. Up first:

    Sports Beans by JellyBelly:

    Overview:
    SportsBeans are essentially caffeine-infused jelly beans, produced by jelly bean monolith Jelly Belly. The concept is simple - they're jelly beans.
    Packaging: If you choose to try SportsBeans, I would advice you to "pre-open" the package. It has a tear spot, but if you're an aggressive "tearer" like me, you'll blow straight threw the "ziploc" part of the packaging and then you can't reseal the package. I usually cut the top and then stick the package in my belt. Also, the package is REALLY bulky - too much space for not enough product. It's also a harder packaging than cellophane.
    Product: One package (1 oz.) features roughly 15-18 beans. They're slightly larger than regular jelly beans, and the consistency is slighting grainier than a normal jelly bean.
    Taste: They're super sweet - like a jelly bean - but because I drink so much Red Bull, I can taste the "caffeine" component.
    Comments from S: "No. You're not eating these again. I'm throwing these away. The first ingredient is evaporated cane juice and the LAST ingredient is caffeine. You're better off eating a Snickers bar."
    Flavor Comments from me: I find the watermelon to be a little more tasty than the cherry, but both are pretty delicious.
    Verdict? I love SportsBeans. I've used them for every training run over four miles AND before and during every race I've run. That said - have I felt the energy boost that they're supposed to provide? Not really ... at least not compared to other fuel sources I've tried. But, I like the taste.
     

    BuckeyeBama

    You are stronger than you think.
    Joined
    May 29, 2013
    I really like your journal. Keep up the good work!

    Like you, I don't do breakfast. I do have 1 cup of coffee in the morning, but only for the caffeine - don't really care for coffee unless I turn it into a liquid dessert.

    I do eat something before a race - about 60 minutes before the start I have a Zone bar (peanut butter).

    I don't eat anything during runs (including races) unless the distance exceeds 16 miles. I find that Gatorade/Powerade provide enough carbs to suppliment the glycogen stores in my muscles for those distances. Past 16 miles I have tried many things. My favorite so far is strawberry Chomps, but I have not tried the Sport Beans. Maybe I'll mix some in this season.

    When I do take Chomps on a run, I remove them from the packaging and put them in a small ziplock bag before I leave the house. Too hard to open those packages when sweaty.
     

    Keels

    The Official Keels of RunDisney
    Joined
    Feb 27, 2008
    I really like your journal. Keep up the good work!

    Like you, I don't do breakfast. I do have 1 cup of coffee in the morning, but only for the caffeine - don't really care for coffee unless I turn it into a liquid dessert.

    I do eat something before a race - about 60 minutes before the start I have a Zone bar (peanut butter).

    I don't eat anything during runs (including races) unless the distance exceeds 16 miles. I find that Gatorade/Powerade provide enough carbs to suppliment the glycogen stores in my muscles for those distances. Past 16 miles I have tried many things. My favorite so far is strawberry Chomps, but I have not tried the Sport Beans. Maybe I'll mix some in this season.

    When I do take Chomps on a run, I remove them from the packaging and put them in a small ziplock bag before I leave the house. Too hard to open those packages when sweaty.
    I haven't tried Chomps (they're on the slate in the next couple of weeks), but I have tried two different flavors of ShotBlocs (spoiler alert!! They're next week's review). And I do exactly what you mention - I pop those little buddies out of the sleeve and put them in a Ziploc.

    I've tried putting the beans in a Ziploc, but they don't hold up as well - so I leave them in the bulky, scratchy packaging.
     
  • Keels

    The Official Keels of RunDisney
    Joined
    Feb 27, 2008
    My DH and I did something similar to this (only not quite on as grand a scale) the year we both turned 40. We made it our New Years resolution to run a 5k every month that year. And this from someone who had never run a day in her life! It was actually a very spur of the moment decision. We were at a friends New Years Eve party and some of our runner friends were doing a Resolution 5k the next morning and did we want to do it? Why not? I walked a lot of that first race but as I did I watched others around me and though if they can do it, I sure can! It kicked my butt into training.
    We did manage to get in at least one 5k race every month that year. That was 3 years ago. Now we just pick and choose the ones we really like. We are running a 10k on Sunday to submit for POT as we are moving to the big leagues and taking on the W&D 1/2 this year! So now I need to train to more than double the longest run I've ever done! I'm really excited though and think it will be a lot of fun!
    Looking forward to following on your journey and comparing notes about November!
    Thanks for checking in!

    And you're already doing a 10K??? Way to go! W&D will be a breeze for you! I did my first 10K in January and have now already done two halfs! I'm actually running another 10K (PoT for Disneyland) tomorrow morning, so I'm actually looking forward to a little drop-back in distance.

    As far as getting to the half distance - the week before my first half, I ran my furthest distance (10 miles). I knew that if I could do 10, I could do 13. It wasn't easy, but it was doable. I'm SO glad I tried a half before the runDisney races, mostly because I got my nerves out of the way LONG before what should be some of the funnest (yes, that's a word, right?) races I run.

    Keep up the great work - looking forward to hearing about your 10K!
     

    Neoflynn

    Run Nick Run
    Joined
    Feb 17, 2015
    Before races, I've tried to choke down 1) half a bagel, 2) a banana, 3) crackers. No go. I almost feel like I'm going to barf them straight back up - #NervesMuch?
    have you ever tried a powdered protein shake? I will usually drink these as a breakfast substitute on my early work mornings and have also incorporated them into my pre race meal I use Myoplex but there are plenty to choose from I mix mine with milk (usually 2 scoops and 16 oz of milk) and will add a banana with it, just a thought for you...

    as for the sportsbeans I tried them as well and did enjoy the taste but didn't find that I got much boost from them like I do with GuGels...I did just pick up some GuChomps to try to see if I like them better than the Gels, I know some people hate the gels but I have always found them to be a good boost for me
     

    SarahDisney

    So ... Yeah
    Joined
    Jul 23, 2014
    This fuel source post could not have come at a better time for me (because obviously, your posting schedule should revolve around me). Up until a few weeks ago, I was running short enough distances that I didn't need to eat anything before or during the run, but as I increase my distance, I really need to find fuel sources for during the run (I usually just have a few crackers an hour before the run, which keeps me going for the first 45 minutes or so). I've actually heard about the Jelly Belly Sport Beans, and I wasn't sure whether or not I should try them - but based on your review, I think I might. If they don't really give the expected energy burst, I'm not sure if they'll be great for really long runs, but for where I am right now, I'm hoping they'll be fine.

    Thanks for the review!
     

    Keels

    The Official Keels of RunDisney
    Joined
    Feb 27, 2008
    This fuel source post could not have come at a better time for me (because obviously, your posting schedule should revolve around me). Up until a few weeks ago, I was running short enough distances that I didn't need to eat anything before or during the run, but as I increase my distance, I really need to find fuel sources for during the run (I usually just have a few crackers an hour before the run, which keeps me going for the first 45 minutes or so). I've actually heard about the Jelly Belly Sport Beans, and I wasn't sure whether or not I should try them - but based on your review, I think I might. If they don't really give the expected energy burst, I'm not sure if they'll be great for really long runs, but for where I am right now, I'm hoping they'll be fine.

    Thanks for the review!
    You're welcome!! I know you have some restrictions on what you can eat, so I'll keep that in mind when I write about things.

    So far, I've tried Gu (ICK. NO. NEVER), Cliff ShotBlocs and Gatorade Prime Energy Chews. I picked up some Gu Chomps, Honey Stingers and some Clif Shot Gel (not optimistic about this one) to try in the upcoming days/weeks.

    Since my focus has shifted away from races (I'm pretty sure I ran my last race until September yesterday) towards compiling weekly distance, I'll have more of an opportunity to try new things and see what I like and what I don't like.

    Honestly, I can't really tell if I get an energy boost from any of these items - but I do enjoy the taste of them and it mentally gives me a little boost. I'm having a hard time deciding whether things I use are actually providing a real effect or if it's just a placebo effect (ie. K-T Tape, energy chews, etc.).

    I drink a bit of sugar-free Red Bull daily, but I don't ever notice anything from it - it's more about the taste. However, if I go a week or so without it, I notice the searing caffeine-withdrawl headache. Blergh!
     

    Keels

    The Official Keels of RunDisney
    Joined
    Feb 27, 2008
    have you ever tried a powdered protein shake? I will usually drink these as a breakfast substitute on my early work mornings and have also incorporated them into my pre race meal I use Myoplex but there are plenty to choose from I mix mine with milk (usually 2 scoops and 16 oz of milk) and will add a banana with it, just a thought for you...
    Yeah, I probably need to get into the smoothie game again. I just don't really like milk (I know - I don't like milk, I don't eat breakfast, I eat all the macaroni & cheese - I sound like a toddler!), so I used to use EAS powder with water in a blender bottle. I'll figure out eating on a daily basis some day (like, I had a caesar salad for breakfast at 8 a.m. this morning because it sounded yummy).

    Race day is just becoming a weird thing for me. I guess I am nervous, even though I don't FEEL nervous. But I'll eat something and I'll feel like I'm either having to force it down or like it's about to come back up. Yesterday, I tried half of my favorite Kind bar (Dark Chocolate & Cherry) and then a handful of Goldfish crackers. It wasn't too bad, mostly because I love that flavor of Kind bar.

    :confused3
     

    SarahDisney

    So ... Yeah
    Joined
    Jul 23, 2014
    You're welcome!! I know you have some restrictions on what you can eat, so I'll keep that in mind when I write about things.
    Thanks! That's definitely why I like to see a reviews on a wide variety of energy sources ... with a wide enough sample size, there's got to be something I can have! (Thankfully for me, the first one you wrote about is one I know I can have and I've already been thinking about).

    So far, I've tried Gu (ICK. NO. NEVER), Cliff ShotBlocs and Gatorade Prime Energy Chews. I picked up some Gu Chomps, Honey Stingers and some Clif Shot Gel (not optimistic about this one) to try in the upcoming days/weeks.
    That's a lot of products you've tried & are planning to try. Hopefully one of them will work out for you...

    Since my focus has shifted away from races (I'm pretty sure I ran my last race until September yesterday) towards compiling weekly distance, I'll have more of an opportunity to try new things and see what I like and what I don't like.
    That's what I like about having a "break" between races ... it gives you a chance to experiment and see what works for you.

    Honestly, I can't really tell if I get an energy boost from any of these items - but I do enjoy the taste of them and it mentally gives me a little boost. I'm having a hard time deciding whether things I use are actually providing a real effect or if it's just a placebo effect (ie. K-T Tape, energy chews, etc.).
    I think that even if it is just a placebo effect, as long as you know how to replenish & recover after the run, it's okay.
    I might be wrong about this, but the way I see it, you just have to get through the run, and then you have time after the run to replenish!

    I drink a bit of sugar-free Red Bull daily, but I don't ever notice anything from it - it's more about the taste. However, if I go a week or so without it, I notice the searing caffeine-withdrawl headache. Blergh!
    And that's why I won't drink coffee every day. I used to only have coffee once or twice a week, but since I started running I've been drinking more ... and like you said about the red bull, if I go too long without it, I have caffeine withdrawal problems. So I definitely know the feel.
     

    Keels

    The Official Keels of RunDisney
    Joined
    Feb 27, 2008
    MayFest 10K: When USATF-Certified courses break bad



    Goal: 1:14
    Previous Training Best: Race 10K time of 1:21; Training 10K time of 1:16

    This race had been on the calendar pretty much since the beginning of my 2015 challenge for multiple reasons:
    1. It was USATF Certified
    2. It was far enough into training that it would be a good Disneyland PoT race for myself and my running buddy M.
    3. I was very familiar with the course as it's almost the exact six mile training loop I use along the trails.

    The week previous, I had run my second half marathon so I already had a pretty good idea of what corral I needed to be in for Disneyland at this point - I was pretty much giving up on a speedy 10K time (I'll talk more about that later). This was also my second week of Dopey-dedicated training, which means I ran pretty much every day this week leading up to this long run. The Higdon Dopey plan I'm roughly following right now said I needed 7 miles, so I thought "OK, cool. A 10K is pretty close to that - I'll just go with that and call it a day". If this were a movie, some ominous music would play and the scene would fade ...

    The Run:
    I know there is no such thing as setting yourself up for 100-percent success when it comes to run events. I KNOW this. But, I went into this 10K with the honest and truthful belief that I had done EVERYTHING I could do to ensure a successful run. This was my home turf! I run this place four times a week! I'd practiced my tangents (which, admittedly, can range from pretty bad to outright terrible) according to the course map so much that I had two runs of this distance according to the race map that were pretty much spot on. I was ready. I was going to get the time I wanted and I was confident.

    My good friend M had never run on the trails before (she lives in a smaller town about 20 minutes west of Fort Worth, so she runs a lot in her neighborhood and runs smaller races in the area), so this was the biggest race she was to run (and our first to run together since the Cowtown 10K was snowed/iced out). I was also looking forward to this. When I mentioned I was doing the DLH, she was all in and has trained as hard (and sometimes, probably harder) than I have to accomplish this goal. This was her last shot at a PR PoT.

    When we get to the start line, I realize that it is significantly further back that the indicated starting point on the certified course map. That should have been my first warning sign, but I didn't really think anything of it. The horn sounds and we were off.

    Sidenote: I think I've mentioned it before, but I prefer to start back towards the pack of people. It takes me a little bit to get in the right mindset, and honestly - to use a horse-racing reference (it was Derby day, after all!), I like to hang back a little and let the race come to me. It also keeps me from getting frustrated when people just start blowing past me left and right.

    M hung back with me so we could start this race together. We ran through the start line and about the first .10 mile where the pack could space out a little bit, we fist-bumped each other and then M took off. I mean, girl was flat. out. flying. She had a specific goal in mind, and while she hadn't run more than a combined 5 miles in the past two weeks due to IT soreness (which was straightened out by our PT superstar friend, S!), so was going to do everything she could to get to that goal.

    I had a goal, too, but I knew what I was capable on this course so I didn't really push it. Slow and steady, run my own race, all that. I knew where the hills were, I knew about the bridges, I knew about the couple patches of crap concrete. Just do what I do and I would hit my goal. This was really just a training run for Dopey that I had to put in.

    The course was an out-and-back route with a short run to start out to get to the trail. According to the map, it was to feature one water stop that was very close to the turnaround spot. I crossed the last bridge on the out spot and bam - there was the water stop! This should've been my second warning sign, but according to my GPS I was at 2.75 miles, so I thought nothing of it and kept going. I took the water spot, enjoyed a little hydration and then got back at it - turning a corner under a highway bridge to an extremely flat and open part of the trail, which is good. The bad thing? You could see how far remained before the turnaround point.

    It was at that point I knew right away that the course was screwed up. The turn around point was close to my 3.5 mile turnaround point I use for 7-mile training runs. Factor in the extra run to the trail at the start and then and extra run into the MayFest festival grounds at the end of the run (which, according the map, followed nearly close to my standard 6-mile even training course) and I knew it was all over. So, I just settled in for the 7-mile Dopey training run I needed to ultimately do that day, knowing that my mileage would come pretty close to that.

    M made the turnaround and came flying past me - I gave her a high-five and she yelled "No knee pain!" and I told her to keep crushing it and she sped off. I make the turn, head back and get to where the course should end and my GPS pings the 10K finish marker. So I cross back over the pedestrian bridge and a volunteer yells "Straight down the sidewalk! You're almost there!". So I keep going, and going, and going.

    My GPS pings 6.5 miles and I see M walking towards me, having finished. She hops on the course and I slow down so we can chat while we run.
    "The course is way too long! It's 6.75 miles! They tell you when you cross the finish line that they'll adjust the time!" and a couple of expletives followed all of that. We did the last .25 miles together, which was pretty much my favorite part of the race. When I got to the finish line, there wasn't even a clock running. Results weren't immediately available (they were doing the "time adjustments" manually, so they'd have to print them off and hang them up). We peeked in the tent that had the results and M saw she finished in 1:10, but with a pace that didn't match that time.

    Because this was her big PoT race, she walked over to the scorer working the results and asked when they would adjust time. Her response? "Oh, we're not doing that. We're just adjusting your average pace to reflect your time over 6.75 miles! It should be good if you need it for races around the city. Congrats!"

    And that was that.

    Her GPS finish time for a 10K? 1:04:40. Her best race by a large margin. Better than her overall goal PoT.

    Finish Time: Who knows. It doesn't even matter now.

    My Thoughts:
    On the Race Event as a whole:
    I'm just really angry with the race directors for this thing. It wasn't a cheap race (considering - I think, with fees and timing chip we paid around $50), the shirt is a 100% cotton throwaway shirt, there was no medal and no charity aspect - but through all of their marketing they kept crowing about how it's the only USATF-certified race other than our big marathon weekend here in town.

    I had a feeling when I got to the starting line that the course was going long (like I said, this is a course I run multiple times a week for my training runs), but I wasn't expecting it to be a half-mile longer. They really, really fudged with the map, too, once I ran through the course. I actually pulled the map up on my phone and M & I went through it while we consumed our post-race drinks.

    And then you get the volunteers that tell you after you finish that your time will be adjusted and they know the course is long. Well, then, make it right the first time.

    On the pursuit of Proof of Time: I realized during this race that my PoT as it is for Disneyland (and probably Wine & Dine) is going to stand as it is. I've thought a lot about it since that second half marathon last weekend, also coupled with the Dopey commitment. Right now, with my DLH Proof of Time, I'm in a corral where I belong. I know I can get a faster 10K result than my first and it would jump me by about 15 minutes on the half, but honestly? I don't belong there. Both of my half finishing times fall directly in line with where I'm currently slotted by PoT. Right now, I know how long it takes me to finish a half at this early point in my training.

    Also, I've realized a lot that it doesn't matter where you start, but where you finish. I like starting in the back of the pack (so to speak). I like to get my mental game in check (not going to lie, it takes a couple of miles). And I like to settle into a groove and then let my competitive nature take over (you know that whole 'blowing past people' thing I talked about? I'd rather be that person!). I would rather start at the very front of corral H and make a move than try to keep up with corral G and get frustrated.

    And, really, for me right now it's putting in the miles. If I get a 2:30 half-marathon PoT, I want it to be because I did it and I ran it. Not because I ran really fast at a shorter distance and a calculator thinks I can do it.

    I know this thinking isn't for everybody. But mentally, it's what works for me.

    In closing:
    I'm not going to say "This race sucks! Don't do it!". The course is AWESOME. It's straight, it's flat, it's shaded and pretty. Will I do it again next year? Probably not because it will lead into Pixie Dust. I stand-by my assessment that it's a bit pricey for a 10K - the halfs I ran were $50 and $75 respectively, they had GREAT medals and tech-fabric shirts, as well as copious amounts of on-course hydration support. It cost me nearly $50 for this 10k, it only had one water stop, was disorganized, had a cotton shirt I will never wear and no medal. I would consider it again, but I will never pay separate for timing for this race until I can guarantee that it is the correct distance. They basically just got to pocket that money.

    Also, I'm thinking this was my last race for a while - probably until Disneyland. That said - I may decide to do a couple of fun runs with friends, but we're getting into the warm months of the year and I think that my time will be better spent conditioning for Dopey in the long run than forcing myself to hit an unnecessary time goal every couple of weeks.

    But if y'all have realized anything about me by now, it's that I'm prone to making very long-thought out and rational decisions (see: Dopey). /sarcasmfont

    Finish Line Sefie!!
     



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