Daily Archives: June 9, 2012

Nate Race Recap

Holy cow, it’s a wet and rainy day here, folks!  Anyone else experiencing a drizzle or down pour?

Even though it was raining cats and dogs during the Nate Race, I finished in 23:53 and placed third in my age group!

When I woke up this morning, I thought I would be running the race solo, but my dad surprised me; he woke up early this morning and wanted to join me—the more the merrier!  We left the house around 7:30 a.m. and arrived in Canastota just before 8 a.m.

As soon as I nabbed my “swag bag,” I started digging for my race bib and crossed my fingers for an odd number.  I’m not overly superstitious, but I definitely prefer odd bib numbers to even ones.

No such luck today.  What’s your take on race bibs?  Do you prefer even or odd numbers?  Or does it not matter? (If that’s the case, I am jealous!)

I didn’t have my phone with me during the actual race, so I couldn’t snap pictures along the way.  A true road race, this course defined flat and fast—it was basically an out-and-back run.  Since it was so level—virtually no hills and only a handful of turns—I was hoping for a strong performance.  However, it started raining (hard!) as the runners toed the start line, and my iPod died just after mile one.  Yikes! (It was such a rookie mistake not charging my iPod the night before a race.  I should know better by now!)

Although I was apprehensive to be running without music for a good portion of the race, I was really glad there were markers that designated both kilometers and miles; the signs helped me maintain a smart and feasible pace. (I really do need to invest in a Garmin Forerunner, though.)  Along the course, there were several locals on their doorsteps and spectators sprinkled along the street side; it was great to see so many people out cheering us on even though it such a yucky day.

Even with a dead iPod, I remained calm and executed my race plan:  I ran easy for the first mile, slowly picked up the pace for the second, and laid down the hammer for the final 1.1.  Looking back on the race, I think “running naked,” or sans music, proved to be a blessing in disguise.  Without LMFAO or Kanye West blasting in my earbuds, I found it much easier to connect with my body and assess my stride and turnover rate.  A lack of music also helped me stay in the race mentally; it was easier to set mini goals (like maintain contact with the runner in pink shorts) and ultimately pick people off.  When I kicked it into high gear at the end of mile two, my mental game was still going strong:  I could hear my mantras much better (like “you’ve been here before, you know this feeling, you will overcome this”), and I also did a better job of acknowledging negative thoughts (like “my legs are tired”), and then dismissing them.  Overall, I think this is one of the smartest—if not the smartest—race I’ve ever run.

As soon as I crossed the finish line, I knew I broke the 24-minute mark; the question remaining was by how much.  There wasn’t a race clock on display, so other than my body’s indication of how fast I ran, I couldn’t pinpoint an accurate time.  After grabbing some water, walking around, and stretching out, I headed back to the finish line to cheer on my dad.

We both looked like wet dogs at the end!

After the race, we headed to the sponsor tent, and I refueled with a banana and an apple, plus plenty of water.

A kids’ half-mile fun run and memorial service for Nate followed, during which balloons were released into the sky.  It was a touching gesture.

Finally, it was time for the awards ceremony.  A race photographer snapped some pictures, and I’ll try to track down my official medal shot.

How did you spend your Saturday?  Did you run a race or take the day off?

It’s Race Day

Hey, hey!  Even though I’m up at my normal time, today is a special Saturday—it’s race day!  This morning, I’m running in the Nate Race, a local 5-K based in Canastota, NY.  Serving as a memorial of Nate Holdridge, a runner throughout high school who was tragically killed in an auto accident in January 1996, this race highlights his “dream:”  To one day see a track built in Canastota that his community could use to help showcase the sport of running.

(source)

Right now, it’s dark and dreary outside.  It’s been raining on and off for about an hour, so hopefully, the weather clears up for the race.  However, I did set my latest 5-K PR when it was down pouring in Geneva, so maybe I’m a rain runner.  I guess we’ll see!

Breakfast

Here’s a look at my go-to pre-race breakfast.

Two cups of coffee (I’m already starting to water myself down) and a bowl of Kashi oatmeal.  This oatmeal has a good balance of protein and carbs, and it’s easy to digest.  The last thing a runner wants is their tummy acting up during a race.

Good luck to everyone who is running a race or doing a triathlon today!  Are you running a race today?  Which one?  Do you run better in the rain?