Race Report: Go Commando Clarksville 5k – October 19, 2013

What a race!

Amanda and I arrived in Clarksville the night before the race and picked up our race packets at the Wilma Rudolph Event Center. Then we joined my parents for a nice carby dinner at Olive Garden. Mmmm, pasta and breadsticks!

olive garden chicken parmesan

Carb time!

We got up at the awful hour of 5:30 the next morning. (I really shouldn’t complain about that, since that’s the time my next race STARTS.) We got dressed, downed a cereal bar, and headed out to Liberty Park.

Since the 5k was entirely inside the park, that meant that you had to park in one of two designated parking lots about a mile down and then get shuttled to the start line. It was a little chilly, in the lower 50s and overcast, as had been predicted, but we waited for the shuttle and arrived at the park just as the half marathoners were taking off.

Amanda had worn pants and a tank, but it had started to sprinkle, and she decided the tank was a poor decision. So we went inside the event center to the expo and bought her a nice long sleeved shirt instead. Then we had our final bathroom break, met up with Jessica, and gathered at the start line.

I’m used to races starting about 5-10 minutes after they say they will, so it was a surprise when the gun went off about 2 minutes early. I didn’t have a real time goal for this race, figuring I’d come in around 35 minutes like the Oktoberfest 5k. My main goal was DO NOT WALK.

go commando 5k start

And we’re off! Can you spot me?
Source: ClarksvilleNow.com

For the first half to three fourths of a mile, I jogged next to Amanda and Jessica. They typically run around a 13 min/mile, and I didn’t want the mistake of starting off too fast, so I stuck with them. However, after that, I settled in to a nice pace around 11-11:30 min/mile. And I stayed there.

There were three points on the course where you loop back and get to pass all the people running behind you. I was running with them through the first of these, but on the second, I passed them and they were running together. I waved and continued on, probably just a minute or two in front of them at that point.

About a mile and a half in there was a water station. I grabbed some Powerade and tried to chug it down as best I could without walking and without spilling it all over myself. I succeeded at not walking through the water stop, but failed at not spilling the drink. Most of it went all over me, but it was a downpour of rain by this point, so I didn’t really care. I was just glad that I had decided to go with long sleeves.

The third loop back was just after the start of the third mile. I was feeling strong, so I picked up my speed a bit. I kept an eye out and saw Amanda, but Jessica wasn’t with her.

Here I am looking way too happy to be running in a cold downpour:

I passed through the water station again without grabbing anything as I was only about a quarter mile from the finish at that point. I was still feeling pretty strong, but going up to the finish line was virtually the only uphill in the race. I pushed through and sprinted through the finish line with an official time of 35:15, two seconds faster than I had done in Seattle. Except this time it was better because I did the whole thing WITHOUT WALKING. Yay!

go commando 5k finish line

Crossing the finish line!

I grabbed a glazed doughnut and a banana and stood by the finish line waiting for my friends. Jessica came through about five minutes after I did, and Amanda followed about three minutes later. Woohoo!

After checking our official results and taking a photo, we went inside to relax our legs a bit. We ended up over at a chirpractor booth, where Amanda and Jessica had their upper backs and shoulders worked on, and I got him to use the Stick on my legs. Hurts soooo good! I felt like a million bucks after that. I think I could have run another 5k at that point, ha!

clarksville chiropractic

Amanda getting worked over by the chiropractor.

We headed over to Blackhorse for a celebratory lunch, then Amanda and I headed back to Nashville.

Despite the rain and chilliness (it dropped about five degrees between the start of the race and the finish!), it was an awesome time with great friends. While staying with them for some of the first mile might have slowed down my overall time, I’m glad I did because it’s a lot of fun to be able to talk and laugh while racing. Now to push Amanda a little more to get her up to my speed… 😉

As always, here’s my quarter mile splits. Go go, negative splits, by the way! Mile 1 was done at a 12:38 pace, mile 2 at 11:08, mile 3 at 10:15, and the final 0.1 at 9:10. Yep, I shaved off about a minute each mile!

Go Commando 5k quarter mile splits

And the medals (yep, a medal for a 5k…I could get used to this) were pretty awesome. My favorite medal of the year!

go commando 5k medal

Maybe I’ll go for the half next year…

Shoes: Skechers GoRun 2

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Week of 10/21/13 – 10/27/13: WDW Half Training, Week 6

Only two runs this week, but my busiest month is almost over!

week of 10/21/13 to 10/27/13

I didn’t get to run this week until Wednesday morning. I got up bright and early and headed out at sunrise for 3.5 miles. It was cold, and I felt stiff. I walked mostly on the uphills but pushed through to finish the mileage.

However, then I headed out to go to North Carolina for the weekend. I did manage to get in my six mile long run while I was in the mountains, but I was in the mountains. So I walked all the uphills because, let’s face it, running up some 15% grade half mile long hills would have destroyed the chance of actually finishing six miles. I actually ran about 6.5 miles, since I did about 0.35 before I decided it was too warm for long sleeves and went to change before doing another 6.15 miles.

In other news, it looks like I have one final 5k this year on the horizon. My company has decided to race the Mo Run on my birthday, so I’m going to push my recovery week to that week and do the 8 mile long run the week before, so I don’t have to worry about a race and a long run and a party all on the same weekend.

Race Report: The Color Run – October 13, 2013

The Color Run is even more fun the second time around!

Since I had done the Color Run last spring, I knew what I was getting into and what I wanted to accomplish. I knew that I liked blue, pink, and purple (which all stay pretty vibrant), and I wanted to stay away from green, yellow, and orange (all of which I think have a tendency to make the colors look brown). I also had purchased a waterproof iPhone case, so I could bring my phone through for photos without worrying about it.

My outfit choice was a colorful skirt from RunningSkirts paired with the same Color Run tee as last time. You can see how well the color washes out of it, since it had sat in my bathroom for over six months without being washed and then I washed it the day before the run for the first time. I also put some blue hair extension clips in my hair, from a faerie costume I made years back.

Here’s our team’s before shot!

The Color Run - before

Carson, Hannah, Amanda, me, Daniel, and Jessica

We had signed up for the early 9am spot, but a few team members were running late, so we didn’t get on the course till 9:20 or so. It was the same course as last time, with the colors in roughly the same areas. The only real difference was that instead of orange being cornstarch, it was liquid, which didn’t matter much to me, since orange was one of the colors I was avoiding.

We jogged along (or I jogged along while some of the team walked), but it started to get really awesome when we hit pink! I even laid down to cover my back in pink (which mixed with the orange liquid that got sprayed on my back, formed a dark red…boo!).

Pink at the Color Run

Pink selfie!

Then we made it to the blue, and I faceplanted (on purpose) to cover my front in blue. By the time we reached the finish line (a leisurely 45 minutes after we started), I was pretty well colored, but it wasn’t over. We still had our color packs, and Daniel had purple! I instructed him to dump some on my head.

The Color Run - after

Post purplization.

One disappointing thing about the fall’s run is what seemed to be a lack of professional photographers. There weren’t any even stationed at the backdrop like last time, so we had to get other people to take our photos. Luckily, they were people my friend Jessica knew, so I didn’t feel too bad about making them take 10 different jump shots.

The Color Run - after

I think this was take three.

I did manage to not inhale/ingest as much color this time, so after I took a bath (which turned out awesomely half-blue, half-purple), I didn’t have much issue with color turning up weird places over the next few days. Still love the Color Run!

Race Report: The Zombie Run – September 29, 2013

Continuing my catchup on race reports…

My friend Lauren talked me into doing the Zombie Run a couple months ago with her and her husband. Neither of them are runners, so I went into it knowing that we would probably be walking a lot.

It was held at Shelby Bottoms with a 4pm starting time to allow the zombies to have their transformations into the undead completed. We were running as humans, as the zombies in this race don’t actually run, but just stand around waiting for runners to come by.

We arrived and went through check-in smoothly. I decided to put on the race tee, so I switched out shirts. There was no bag check, but they had given us all backpacks, so all my stuff got put in there. Note to self: I hate running with a backpack.

The start was a little late, but soon we were off. One thing they did really well was the whole cinematic effect. During the first half mile or so, you run by set-ups of people in lab coats screaming to turn around and go back, that there’s been an infestation! Then you pass by some more people in lab coats lying on the ground, dead. Finally, you reach the zombies.

In this race, each person has three life ribbons hanging off a belt. Once your life ribbons were gone, then I guess you are dead, though you get to keep running. Zombies were positioned across the trail, about three per spot and attempt to grab your ribbons. The ribbons on each side of me got taken pretty quickly, but the one in back eluded the zombies for a while.

After a water stop, we began mile two. My strategy was to casually jog up to the zombies, as if I were out of ribbons, and then sprint past them. This is exactly what I did when a zombie came out of nowhere and got my last ribbon! So with only one mile down and two to go, all three of us were the running dead.

The theming was the best part of the race. The water stations were labeled as “vaccination stations” and there were setups like a school bus full of zombies that we ran by.

I walked with Lauren and Chris most of the way, pushing them to run the downhills at least. With a half mile to go, I took off and left them. Sorry guys! Although that was mostly spent dodging all the other people that were walking and taking up the whole trail walking side-by-side.

Overall it was pretty fun, but I think there were way too many zombies on the course. It would be better if they were more spread out too, instead of clustered in groups. It was pretty impossible to make it all the way through with your life ribbons without cheating and getting more or hiding them in your pockets.

The Zombie Run

Week of 10/14/13 – 10/20/13: WDW Half Training, Week 5

I am grateful for my recovery week last week because this week felt much better than the runs I had been doing previously!

week of 10/14/13 to 10/20/13

On Tuesday, I headed out to the downtown greenway for my 3.5 mile easy run. I did intervals of three quarters of a mile at a tempo pace and then a quarter of a mile walking recovery.

I waited till Thursday for my two mile speed workout. I created an interval workout of one minute fast, one minute slow, thirty seconds fast, thirty seconds slow. It went pretty well. My fastest one minute interval was at an 8:25 min/mile pace, and my fastest thirty second interval was a 7:53 min/mile pace.

Saturday was the Go Commando 5k in Clarksville. It was cold and rainy, but I completed my main goal: run the 5k without walking! Not even at the water stops. Yay! The full race report will be coming up soon; just waiting on official photos.

I headed out the next day for my five mile long run. I decided to continue where I left off on Couch to 10k training before I got injured and did 10 min running, 1 min walking intervals. It was awesome and felt great! I had to do one and a half more intervals than Couch to 10k called for, but I finished with no issues and without having to trick myself into running by doing counting meditations! I saw a deer on the path at one point, but I didn’t have my phone on me to take a photo. Boo.