Sunday, May 20, 2012

USA Masters 8K Championship

The good thing about being a runner who is constantly training is that if you decide on a Tuesday evening to sign up for an 8k Saturday race, it's not really a big deal. Of course, if this had been a marathon, I wouldn't have signed up. So, I get this email from USATF about the 8K National Championship to be held in Williamsburg, Va. on Saturday and the deadline to sign-up is Thursday evening. I looked over the entry requirements and saw that the only thing I needed was to be a USATF member, age 40 and above. There was no other requirements. Hmm...I thought, this would be a good opportunity, I know I won't win or even come close but still, I would be lumped in with the other elite master runners there that day. Cool! Let me assure you, in no way do I count myself as an elite! So, I talked to Will and signed up. We arrived on Friday in time for me to attend packet pick-up (yay for PPUD!!) and then I had to attend a "technical" meeting that evening. The purpose of this meeting was to discuss the rules that applied to the USATF runners. We had a different bib than the other runners and we also had to wear a bib showing our age on our back.  

There were about 1,900 runners for the 8K but the USATF runners were able to line up in the front. We also had our own tent and our very own port-o-potty. You know I was excited about that!! There were several teams racing in the master championship. It was pretty awesome standing around and seeing these teams dressed alike and encouraging one another. I'm hoping CapRun will be able to participate in this sometime, too! So, the race begins and as always, I have my own thing to do. I'm racing against myself and trying to reach my goal for that day. But, there is something about being passed by some men wearing a bib that says age 70-74. Umm...okay. Alright, back to my goal, I enjoyed the run and was able to stay focused to finish in 39:05. That is 1 minute slower than my 8k PR from last November so I was pretty happy with that. The finish line was on a track. We ran 3/4 the way around and finished on the 50 yard line. As usual, the volunteers were so encouraging and helped make it a great race. 

The results: My age group is 40-44 and there were 15 racing. I finished 15th. Yep, dead last but, still got to go to the elite tent and use the potty haha. In the regular race there were 132 in my age group and I finished 16th. This number sounds better. Here is the link for the Masters results.

I must add this little tidbit, even though it has nothing to do with the 8k but, at the technical meeting the Boston marathon race director was there to help out. Dave, I hope to participate in your race one day! 3:45 is still within my reach. Let's do it!

Thanks for reading! Don't forget my beginner running group will begin soon! There is an informational meeting May 31 at Buffaloe Lanes South 6:30pm. 
Email me: for more information. See you there!

After the race...
My cool USATF coat!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Burro Loco 5K Trail Race: Tall grass, shoelaces, and the unknown

This past weekend I ran in my first trail race. I wasn't planning to run and really wasn't prepared, which was probably a good thing. It was definitely an interesting experience. I had gone down to Myrtle Beach to run with the Black Dog Running Co. at their weekly social run and someone mentioned this "Burro Loco" 5K that weekend. I saw it was a trail race but didn't really think it would be a big deal, so I signed up. Little did I know what I had gotten myself into. Not one to be able to "race for fun" I realized very quickly how different trail racing is from road racing. For one thing, you don't go as fast. I had warmed up on the course about a half mile that morning and wished later on I had seen the entire thing. There were about 125 racers that morning and as we lined up, I still had no clue what was getting ready to happen...Off we took through the woods and after the first half mile I realized that I had better pay attention to the ground or I was going to fall flat on my face. The tire tracks I had been following suddenly disappeared. Umm...what now, I thought? The grass was as high as my knees and there were dips in the trail, too. My shoes were soaking wet and I could feel the grass and other weeds tearing at my legs. Through the first mile I was the lead woman. I figured I would be passed pretty soon but was giving it my all. Not once did I ever consider the creatures that were lurking in those woods. haha! Yea, I guess there probably were some snakes around. I was too busy trying not to fall and twist my ankle and then for the first time ever in a race my shoelaces came untied. I always double knot and have never had a problem but the high grass worked them loose. I was going to just ignore it but figured my shoe would come off sooner or later so I begrudgingly stopped to tie it. Would you believe I had to stop and tie the same shoe two more times and the other one time!! That cost me about 15 seconds! I crossed the finish line with one of them untied but I was not going to stop anymore! And then there was the long jump I took. I came up on this creek thing and with only a split second to decide went soaring across. Not sure how I made it but, I did-then there was a second one. Good grief...not wanting to chance it, I ran to the outside and a shorter jump. I had already been passed by two women, but I did end up finishing strong as the third woman overall. My time was 25:04. And then there was the issue with my shoes. I had my Brooks Green Silence on, not a smart choice for a trail race, but all I had other than my brand new Kinvara 3's. Thanks to the mud runner who told me how to care for my shoes. They are as good as new...well, I can tell they've been through something other than road work but still usable.

So, I am not sold on this trail racing stuff...trail running for training, yes...but I am a long distance runner and do not want to injure myself. If I couldn't run my marathons because of some trail race, well...let's just say, I'd be pretty upset! Kudos to all you mud runners and trail racers though! Next time, if there is a next time, I will see the entire course before I decide to run...

I did meet some new friends! Tammy, Daniel, and Tina-I will be in touch!!

                                            Burro Loco 5K