2013 Race Awards!

I decided to separate this out from my 2013 in review post, but I want to talk a little about the races I ran last year before I get too far into this year’s races. I ran in a total of nine events last year, six of which were timed races.

Best Medal

Winner: Go Commando 5k

go commando 5k medal

I loved the Go Commando medal! It is very solid, with a good weight. And, bonus: the middle part spins around and has different things on each side. One side shows the name of the race and location, while the other side shows the year.

Runner-up: Music City Fourth of July 10k

Source: Facebook

Source: Facebook

This medal has a great design. The only thing I really dislike is that the year of the race isn’t included on it, so I hope they don’t hand out the exact same one this year.

Most Fun

Winner: Rockin’ Marathon Relay

This one was so much fun because you were on a team! So if it wasn’t your turn to run, you got to relax and hang out with friends. Once you were out there, it was all you, but it was only 1.9 miles at a time and then you were back to relaxing and hanging out. And crossing the finish line with your entire team was a blast! Plus you can say that you’ve done a marathon (relay).

Runner-up: Go Commando 5k

While just a pretty standard 5k, I had fun because I got to run with friends! (Are you noticing a trend here?) Even if I just ran the first half mile or so with them, I loved seeing them on the out-and-backs and waiting at the finish line to cheer them on.

Best Course

Winner: Music City Fourth of July 10k

A lot of Nashville races are held downtown and this one was no exception. However, just before the race, the new convention center opened up, which meant we got to run on the road that goes through it, which was pretty cool, and gives this race the Best Course award, despite all the hills.

Runner-up: Fremont Oktoberfest 5k

While the course wasn’t really an awesome thing of beauty, I’ll give the runner-up spot to the Fremont Oktoberfest 5k, just because it was in Seattle!

Best Shirt

Winner: Go Commando 5k

Source: Facebook

Source: Facebook

When you signed up for Go Commando, you got a choice: did you want shorts or the t-shirt? I figured I had plenty of race t-shirts that I never wore, but I might get some use out of the shorts, so I opted for those. And I do love the shorts. But when I saw the shirt design at the race expo, I shelled out another $12 for it. That’s right. I actually paid extra money for this race shirt. That’s how much I like it. And it does have the distinction of being the only race shirt I really wear around.

Best All-Around

Winner: Go Commando 5k

The Go Commando race was a great event! It was the only race I ran that had a real expo, which was pretty cool. (And, YAY, for free Stick massages after the run!) The food spread at the end was awesome and extensive. They had real race photographers out on the course (the only one I ran last year that did). I am planning on doing it again this year, although now they’ve added a 10k so I don’t know which to run!

Runner-up: Music City Fourth of July 10k

While it rained the whole race, which made me high-tail it out of there after it was over instead of sticking around for the post-race festivities, I did have a lot of fun at this one. The course was great, although I would like it if they had a different course for the 10k, so you weren’t just doing two laps of the 5k course. But I liked it enough to sign up for the 5k this year!

Rockin’ Marathon Relay photos!

A few “official” photos of our team were put up on the Trivium Racing Facebook page, so I thought I would share!

Here we are crossing the finish line as a team! Jeff was our last runner, but we all joined up with him at the end to finish together.
Rockin' Marathon Relay Nashville

Rockin' Marathon Relay Nashville

And after we received our medals!
Rockin' Marathon Relay Nashville

Go Team Aching Bad!

Race Report: Rockin’ Marathon Relay – September 7, 2013

This was an interesting but very fun race! The course was a 1.88 mile loop around Edwin Warner Park that we had to go around 14 times (the first time being slightly shorter) to complete the 26.2 marathon distance. That meant, with our four person team, two people had to run it three times and two people had to run it four.

Team Aching Bad (ah, my love of punny team names!) consisted of Amanda, my friend Jessica, and my coworker Jeff. Amanda and Jessica are about on the same level running-wise. I’m a little speedier than them, and Jeff is a little speedier than me.

Being one of the two fastest (lol), that means I was one of the lucky four time runners! I did get to do the (only slightly) shorter first lap, so my total official mileage for the day was 7.4 miles. The most I’ve ever run in one day!

Amanda and Jeff

Amanda and Jeff hanging out during Jessica’s first lap

For the first lap, we started about what looked to be a hundred feet in front of the start line, but “officially” was about a tenth of a mile ahead. (I will note that my Garmin did not detect that much of a difference so my watch average pace for the first lap is noticeably different from my official average pace.) The horn sounded and we were off!

The first half of the course is pretty much entirely uphill. The second half is downhill with some flats. The first half is awful. Thankfully, they positioned a water station at the top of the hill, which I took advantage of every single lap.

I felt pretty speedy on the first lap. I ran up much of the hill. (I did walk a few times…that thing was steep!) Then I flew downhill. I had a quick pause on the flat to catch my breath and ran to pass the baton to Jeff, who was running after me. Below is my pace graph for the first lap, where you can see elevation too. The slowdown at the very end was due to me forgetting to turn off my watch!

first lap pacing

I think everyone on our team had about a similar first lap experience: horror at the gigantic hill and a joyous downhill run. It seemed like my second lap came before I knew it! It was a lot tougher. I walked up more of the hill and more on the flats. The third was even harder. By then, it was getting closer to mid-day and the sun was bearing down on us. The temperature had risen nearly twenty degrees since we started.

I was trying to psych myself up for the final lap. Amanda promised me three Fig Newtons from the food station if I did it in 20 minutes. For every minute slower, I would lose a cookie. I pushed as hard as I could and did it in 21 minutes. I got two Fig Newtons (and some crackers and a banana).

All in all, we finished our marathon in a little over five hours. So we’re not going to qualify for Boston anytime soon, but it was a blast (except for that hill).

Team Aching Bad

Team Aching Bad!

Here’s our official results with my laps highlighted:

Garmin says the average pace for my first lap was around 10:18, and Strava reports my fastest mile was 8:48! I would say all that speed training has helped, but I’m sure a lot of that has to do with gravity. I know downhill running can destroy your quads, but my hamstrings were what was mostly sore the next day, so my downhill form must not be too terrible. But super good news: no hip pain at all!

I’m not quite ready for Ragnar yet, but relays are FUN!

Shoes: Pearl Izumi Road N2