Monday, July 2, 2012

Semper Fi 5k: Race Recap

It's Race Recap time! On Saturday, I ran the 3rd Annual Semper Fi 5K in DC. I mentioned in Saturday's post that my goal for this race was a new PR. Did I achieve that goal?...

You betcha! (In case you can't read that, it says 26:21.) I cut a full 90 seconds off of my previous personal record! and I am absolutely thrilled. Evidence:

Thumbs up for new personal bests! This race was proof that if you put your mind to something, you really can achieve it, because it was. not. easy. My thoughts:

  • The race was really well organized. Everything flowed smoothly, was clearly marked, and went according to plan, as far as I could tell.
  • The positive energy was palpable - this was a race for a really great charity (the Semper Fi Fund) and so the majority of people there were military supporters. It was awesome! Very good vibes all around.
  • The race course was flat and easy to run, and very clean. The cleanliness was a big concern, because the huge storms the night before left debris everywhere - luckily, the course was pretty much immaculate by the time the race was starting, and I was very thankful to not have to be dodging sticks, leaves, and other bits of nature while I ran. The volunteers must have been working super hard before the event, and for that, I am grateful!
  • The awards presentation started right on time, results were posted quickly (both on paper and on the website later), and there wasn't a huge delay between the end of the race and the events afterwards. I've been to races where there was a long gap between, leading to lots of standing around. I've got places to go and things to do, folks! I liked that everything moved quickly.
  • There were good, plentiful refreshments after the race. This is so nice! There were banana halves, orange slices, bagels, water and Gatorade,  and snack-size Luna bars. So many choices! 
  • And a personal positive - my dad and C were there with me! They both walked, and they did a really great job, as well. Plus, I got to share my excitement and happiness with them at the end! I'm just glad to see them both out and exercising, while supporting me as well. We had fun! Thanks, dudes.
  • The water station ran out of cups. This didn't affect me, as they appeared to have plenty when I reached the halfway point, but many of the people after me were complaining about this - and with good reason. It was WAY too hot and humid to not have water available to participants. I heard some people saying that the volunteers were just pouring some water into peoples' mouths, and I can't even imagine. That would completely throw me off track! I know that they got someone on a bike to take more cups to the station once they figured it out, but this is still a huge issue for me - you must be prepared!
  • The start of the race was delayed by about 15 minutes. There were obstacles on the path (a tree down and some high standing water) that needed to be taken care of, and I completely understand that - however, this is still a negative, because with every passing minute, the temperature was climbing. Every minute earlier would have helped!
  • The whole race path was in direct sunlight, with the except of passing beneath one overpass. This made the race that much harder. There was no respite from the beating sun - and it was rough.
  • My biggest issue: I do not believe that the race course was accurately measured. My app said that I had gone 3.26 miles when I turned it off. I know that I started it a few seconds before crossing the starting line, and I walked off the course after finishing before turning it off, but in no way could that have added an extra .16 miles to my distance. Plus, as I was running, my app always indicated the mileage about 10-15 seconds before I got the the race marker. So I'm pretty sure that my app was right, and the race was a smidge too long. (That means my PR would actually be even better! But whatev). It happens, especially when races are done on a small-ish, local level, but I was still a bit miffed because the timing isn't as accurate as it could be. Plus, it was SO HOT. Every step counted.
Personally, here's how I felt during the miles:
  • Mile 1: Great! Good music, good energy, not too hot, nothing hurt. I felt so good!
  • Mile 2: The heat was getting to me - I was absolutely dripping sweat. I found some good people to keep pace with, and got lots of encouragement after the turn-around point from the people I knew who were passing me! That's always awesome.
  • Mile 3: Pretty much thought I wasn't going to make it. It was like running in a sauna. The sun was pounding on my head, sweat was dripping in my eyes, and I really thought I was going to have to walk for a bit. The last leg of the race was all mental for me: it was purely my body saying no and my brain saying yes. I was picturing myself crossing the finish line, mentally seeing myself being done and setting my new PR, and that was the only reason my feet kept moving. The power of positive thinking!!
Everyone from my group finished the race, and everyone did a great job! We took some group pictures afterward - I was so proud of everyone! Runners and non-runners, co-workers and family members, everyone out there together. It was fun! I wish that more people from my team and office had showed up, but I'm so happy about those who did. Such a great feeling to share my love/hate relationship with running with other people. #runnerd

Go team!
Terrible iPhone pic per usual - hot, sweaty messes but happily done!
Can I just mention how glad I am that I don't have any more races on my calendar until September? This heat is crazy, and I can't fathom doing a race any later in the summer than this weekend. The heat is just oppressive. Miserable! Glad that it's over with, and I can stick to my 6 AM runs, when it's... a little less miserable. Sigh.
And because it wouldn't be a real event without me looking ridiculous at some point, I leave you with this:
No idea what's happening here. Clearly the heat had gotten to me. Clearly.


elizabeth @ chronic venture said...

woohooo!!! great job on the PR!!
I am impressed you ran in that heat, good work!

Ianni said...

GPS apps don't often give accurate distances. This race was likely mapped out using a ground distance tracker. I know my google maps and running apps don't match up with distance. This has frequently become a problem for big races/marathons with people complaining about it being long.

Congrats on a Personal Record, they are always fun to achieve. You are looking great and I can tell all the work you have put in is paying off. Also C(harlie) is as handsome as ever.

Ianni said...

Oh and how did you run that in pants? You are mad!

Lindsay said...

Thanks, Elizabeth!

Lindsay said...

That's probably true - but I know I've used the same app for races before and had the results be much closer to the correct distance. This seemed like a pretty significant distance (for a short race) and when I went back to check the race website, it didn't say anywhere on there that this was an officially-measured race or anything like that, the way a lot of races do. So in that case, maybe they were aware that it wasn't quite correct. Either way, I got a new PR, so maybe my real time was a bit better ;) still good!

And thanks for the compliments - we are working damn hard. As far as the pants go - they are UnderArmour HeatGear pants, so they actually work quite nicely!