Downtown 10k Race Recap

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The curse of the bad race day weather continues. I had big hopes for a 10k PR coming into this race, but it wasn’t meant to be. The weather on my phone said it would be 64 degrees (perfect), 89% humidity (ok, not so cool), and 17mph wind with gusts up to 40mph (uh oh) at the start. I should’ve reassessed my goals going into the race, but I was still very hopeful for a PR. My workouts had been going great and I felt ready.

starting out. I look like I'm about to fall asleep

Starting out. I look like I’m about to fall asleep.

The race started on Church St before heading down to the bike path. The first three miles the wind was kind of at our backs, but I was still feeling some gusts off the lake. I tucked in behind a couple men and felt pretty comfortable for the first half. However, when we turned onto North Ave reality struck. I was hit by a wall of wind, which I had to battle for the next 2.5 miles. Someone drafted off of me for a bit, then I drafted off of him. Going up a hill, though, I couldn’t quite stay with him and lost my draft buddy.

I hadn’t been looking at my watch at all, but took a glance approaching the end. When I realized I wasn’t going to PR I reassessed my goals and decided to outsprint as many guys (there were no girls near me) as possible at the end. Turning onto Church St. I turned it on. At least, I did my best to. The wind was coming straight at me and I’m sure my form looked horrendous. The last .3 miles were pretty painful as the finish line was in sight, but it felt like it took forever to get there. I felt my usual “don’t puke, don’t puke, don’t puke” sprinting in, which I guess shows that I gave it a good effort.

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Charging down Church St

Looking a little silly. So much focus!

Looking a little silly. So much focus!

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Also, big thanks to Caitlin for coming to watch me race and taking these awesome photos! You’re the best!

Overall time: 43:09. Definitely not pleased with my time as my PR is 41:43, but I guess I should accept it, as the weather wasn’t the best. On the bright side, I improved my time from last year by 13 seconds, which was in near perfect weather. I also moved up four spots (9th woman to 5th).

It would’ve been a nice confidence booster to come away with a PR, but I guess it wasn’t meant to be. As long as the weather for my marathon is all right then I won’t complain. Reading Sarah’s similar feelings about the race in her recap made me feel better.

The Science

Here’s the thing with wind. Some people might think that because the race is a loop, the wind would cancel out – the headwind would equal the tailwind and therefore wouldn’t affect my time. That’s not the case, though. The amount of extra effort it takes to run into the wind still ends up being more than the energy saved by having a tailwind. I’ve heard stats that say you only get back about half of the energy put into a headwind when you turn around have a tailwind. I’m not sure exactly how true that is, but I do know that it takes more energy to run the same time when it’s windy out.

The same goes for hills. Even if the net elevation is zero (same amount of uphill as downhill), it still takes more energy to run hills than to run on flat terrain. The amount of extra energy used climbing is still more than the energy saved running downhill. That’s part of the reason times from track races are almost always faster than cross country races. There aren’t any hills on tracks!

A quick video I took down on North Beach. Hopefully the audio can give you an estimation of just how windy it was.

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Race details:

Besides the weather, it was still one of my favorite races. It was right down the hill from my dorm and I know the entire course like the back of my hand as I’ve run those parts many times. There was also a 5k added this year, which gave some more options for people. There were raffles at the end and some prize money to the top 3 men and women, which Sarah won! Yay! The volunteers were very friendly and helpful. Overall, I thought the race was pretty great.

A Side Note:

I apologize for the delay in posts lately. This semester is turning out as I expected – insanely stressful. I had two big tests and a video/paper project due today. That should just be illegal. I felt the urge to cry after leaving my last exam because I was so relieved to be done. I think I did fine, but being my normal type A self this week has been pretty tough. It’s never felt so good to crawl into bed. Next week starts my taper. You would think I’d be excited for it since I don’t have to run as much, but ironically it seems to just add to my stress. At least, that’s according to my posts from last spring. Let’s hope I don’t become as crazy this time around!

Have you run any races lately? Ever raced in the wind? Do you go crazy when you have to taper?

Color Bonanza!!!!!

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This past weekend I finally got the color run experience. Yippee! I had wanted to see what the hype was about for a while, but just hadn’t gotten around to it. Luckily, my sister gave me registration as my Christmas present – thanks, Jus! My sister made plans to come up to Burlington so we could run the race together a couple months back and my mom joined us last minute. I had two goals going into the run.

  • Get as colorful as humanly possible.
  • Have a good time.

The race is called the Color Run, not the Color Race. If you want to run a fast time then this is not right for you, but if you want to enjoy yourself then sign right up! I have two types of mentalities going into races, which I mentioned in one of my first posts. I’m either going to race my heart out or I’m just doing it for fun. You can probably guess what mentality I had for this one. 😉

On Saturday morning the weather ended up being a lil’ bit chilly – 40’s-50’s. I guess fall really has arrived. I ended up having to wear spandex and a long sleeve shirt to keep warm. Luckily, the color easily came out of my clothing. I guess it’s just cornstarch. I always pictured paint being thrown, but it was actually more powder-like.

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The race started at 9:00, but everyone left in waves all the way up to 10:00. Pump up music was being played and everyone was warming up by dancing. The announcer was throwing stuff to the crowd and I caught a hat! Success!!!!

Around 9:20 it was our turn to run and me, my mom, and my sister took off! There were 4 color stations along the way; yellow, pink, purple, and blue. At each station I probably became a bit obnoxious by raising my hands up and trying to get the volunteers’ attention. I just wanted to get as much color as possible! There were people squirting color at all of us and each station turned into a powdery color haze. It was awesome!

About 28 minutes later we crossed the finish line holding hands. It was so much fun to be able to do this with my two favorite women! I’m so dang proud of them. I’ve been helping my mom with her training for over a year now and my sister asked me to help her out a few months ago. Gotta love it – the youngest in the family giving others advice. To see their leaps of improvement is extremely inspiring. They make me want to push myself even more.

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My mom and sis. So proud!

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Our colorful shoes at the end. I might not try to get the color off my shoes. I think they look prettier now.

Overall, I think the Color Run was put together extremely well. The volunteers were friendly, the atmosphere was fantastic, and all around was just a lot of fun. Some more serious runners might look down on the whole idea, but I think what they’re doing is pretty awesome. Our country has a huge problem with obesity, and more in general, inactivity. A 5k race might be too intimidating for a beginner runner, but if it takes a run with people throwing color to get someone active then so be it. It was great seeing people of all different abilities at the race. My favorite was when I saw different families running together. The little kids were adorable!

In conclusion, a great time was had by all. Thanks, Mom and Jus for joining me!

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posing with the Color unicorn!

 

Heading out. Clap along if you know what happiness is to you -cue Pharrell Williams-

Heading out. Clap along if you know what happiness is to you -cue Pharrell Williams-

Have you ever run a Color Run before? Do you want to run one? Anyone else at the event this past weekend?

Runner Problems – Tan Lines

Although I absolutely love running there are a few side effects that come with the territory. Don’t get me wrong – I like most of them. Toned legs, awesome aerobic ability, that endorphin high, etc.

However, there are some unglamorous sides to running as well. As I transitioned to marathon running the list only grew in size. Bruised toenails, blisters, chafing, twice the laundry load of a normal person…

As the summer is officially over, this also means my tan lines are at their worst. Watch tan, sock tan, sports bra tan, shorts tan. I’ve been running for long enough that the tan lines don’t even go away in the winter. If you try and dress me up in normal clothes I look a little ridiculous. Luckily, most of my friends are used to my odd appearance and will only comment on my blaring white feet once in a while.

So, if you want a little laugh on your Friday, here are a few ridiculous pictures of my tan lines. Enjoy.

Watch tan! This is probably my favorite one. I'm actually kinda proud of it.

Watch tan! This is probably my favorite one. I’m actually kinda proud of it.

Sports bra tan. Can't get much more defined than that.

Racerback tan. Can’t get much more defined than that.

Drum roll please.... the sock tan!

Drum roll please…. the sock tan! My foot almost matches my white windowsill.

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I guess it could be worse, though. Check out these funny tan lines.

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Anyone else rocking some runner tan lines? What’s your most awkward tan line?

A Balancing Act

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2.5 weeks into classes and I’m already stressing. It’s been one of those weeks where I feel like I’m constantly trying to catch up and haven’t had time to sit down and chill. I’m beginning to realize just how crazy this semester is going to be for me. A heavy class load, marathon training, more responsibilities with running club, and I’m stressed…

I’m finally getting into classes that are really specific to my major, which is great. For people that don’t know I’m studying exercise and movement science AKA the most awesome major ever. Probably the class I’m most excited about is Exercise Physiology.

I just got back from doing an anaerobic treadmill and Wingate test in the lab, which basically proved that I am not a strength athlete. Tell me something I don’t know already. I’m super pumped for the VO2 max test! That’s where us endurance folks will excel. Unfortunately, the day we’re doing that test falls three days after my marathon. We’ll see how hot I’m feeling and if I want to do it, but it’s a great opportunity. I don’t know when I’ll have access to something like that again.

Although I am excited for most of my classes, I’m realizing that I don’t really have any “easy classes.” No fun electives for me this semester. Looking at my upcoming curriculum, it seems like this fall will be a grind, but that the rest of my undergrad will be easier. We’ll see, but that’s what it looks like.

This semester might be a bit of a balancing act, but I’m doing my best to play the game. Anyone else start back to school? Feeling a bit stressed? What’s on your plate for this fall?

Sunday Funday

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Long run? Check. Delicious food? Check. Nap time? Check. That’s what I call a good day.

This morning I went down to the bike path to get my long run in. Luckily, my friend, Caitlin, joined me on the bike to keep me company (thank you!). You earn major brownie points for that! I think I’d go insane if I had to run for 20 miles by myself.

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It was actually my first time running on the Causeway. For non-Vermonters, this is basically a trail section that reaches across part of Lake Champlain. It was absolutely gorgeous out there. Only complaint is that I didn’t realize I had the wind at my back on the way out. When I turned around I was battling a good head wind.

the Causeway

the Causeway

And of course once we finished we had to stop for some brunch. I’m not sure why I’ve never been to Skinny Pancake, but it didn’t disappoint. Nutella banana crepe deliciousness!

nom nom nom

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I really missed running in Burlington over the summer. The variety of trails, bike paths, and road running means that I rarely get bored. If I do get bored with my training then that just means I’m not being creative and need to try something else out. The different bike paths I can access within just a mile or two is pretty awesome. They’re my favorite place to run. I hate to say it, but I even missed the hills! I’ve already conquered the huge mile+ long hill that goes from the waterfront up to my dorm a few times. I forgot how much that hurt.

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Anyways, accomplished what I set out to do today – got a good workout in and had some fun. I’m feeling more and more ready for Baystate.

What’d you do today? What’s your favorite post-long run meal? Where’s your favorite place to run?

Labor Day 15k Recap

The best adjective I can use to describe this race was painful. The course was great, the post-race food was great (most important part), but the weather just plain sucked.

When I checked the hourly weather forecast the day before the race there was a great big lightning bolt over the start. Luckily, it didn’t thunder, which meant the race wasn’t canceled. However, it rained hard earlier in the day and was kind of spitting rain/wind throughout. The rain wasn’t the problem, though. HUMIDITY was.

It felt more like a swim than a run – probably looked like it too as my clothes were drenched with sweat at the end. With every slight uphill my breathing increased way more than normal.

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Although it definitely wasn’t a great race for me, I did get a good workout in. My cheeks were actually red when I finished, which almost never happens. Only when it’s really cold or really hot (apparently really humid too) do my cheeks turn red. My mom says she used to worry about me being anemic when I was younger because I didn’t have the same complexion as my siblings. Nope, I just don’t have rosy cheeks!

The course was nice. It was in South Burlington and I actually recognized most of the course because I run over there quite a bit. The first three miles were relatively flat with the big hills coming in the 4th mile. The 5th mile then had a gradual climb and the last 5k was flat to downhill.

There were some wicked fast runners in the race. Lately I’ve been running in smaller races, so it was nice to have some more competition. I also got my butt kicked by some incredibly fast masters runners. I hope to be as fast as them when I’m that age!

All in all, not the greatest race for me, but got a good effort in. I’m looking forward to my next few races now. I’m finally going to get the Color Run experience on September 13th with my sister. So excited! Then I’m doing the Downtown 10k on September 21st and the Baystate Marathon on October 19th.

 

Have you run any races recently? Any races planned for the fall? Ever run a race in extreme humidity?