A blog about my life, fitness and fun! (...and maybe a few cat pictures...)

A blog about my life, fitness and fun! (...and maybe a few cat pictures...)

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Race Recap: Dover 10 Miler!

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I actually hate writing race recaps because I never know how to organize all of my thoughts and feelings! Sorry if this post is a little disjointed. I tried to make it flow as best as I could!

On Sunday afternoon, my dad and I ran the Dover 10 Miler. I'm going to cut to the chase. This race was HARD. My dad and I both agreed it was not fun. Boy were we glad when it was over! My dad did awesome- he finished 4 minutes faster than his pie in the sky goal. I finished 4 minutes slower than my pie in the sky goal. That brought us finishing about 30 seconds apart from each other. Like father, like daughter! My dad is an amazing athlete and is the epitome of someone who has spent their life being fit and active. I hope I get to be a lifelong athlete like he is.

Race morning consisted of sleeping until 10:15, eating shredded wheat, drinking iced coffee, going to the bathroom 50 times, and feeling apprehensive. One of my goals with racing more is the hope that I stop getting so nervous. As Lisa @ Running Out of Wine put it, it will be good for me to "get more comfortable feeling uncomfortable." That's exactly it! Also, there is a lot to be learned from each race, and it can only make me a better runner!

The race was about a half hour from my house, so my parents picked up Paul and I and we rode there together. We got there with plenty of time to register and get situated.



I lined up near the front of the runners. A bunch of high school boys got in front of me and holy crap did they stink. I wondered why they stank already. Oh well, we were all going to stink in about 20 minutes, right?

My legs felt great for the first mile or two. I wanted to go faster, but my race plan was to stick between a 7:10-7:20 pace. I could have easily run sub 7s in the beginning, but obviously, that would not set myself up for a good end of the race!

The great feeling I had the first mile or two waned, and it didn't take long for me to realize the goal I set for myself was just not attainable. It was much more hilly than I thought it would be. (Maybe I need to get better at reading elevation charts or something because I swear it did not appear so hilly when I checked online!) I saw a friend of mine before the race and he warned me about the course. Boy, was he right! 

I started listening to my pod cast pretty much right away, but I barely paid any attention to it. I tried to. I wanted to zone out. But I was worried. There were a lot of hills. I was getting out of breath. My legs felt great- knee and IT Band felt very strong. But I was struggling to breathe. It was quite warm out but that wasn't the problem as my weekend runs have been warm. It was the hills. I was not prepared for the hills.

I didn't take water with me because there was a water stop at mile 3, and then we hit it on the way back at mile 7. The course was on back country roads, and besides the spectators at the start/finish, there was only one spectator on the course! He was shouting some very motivating things, though!

A little before mile 3, I noticed a big, red, fuzzy caterpillar crossing the road. I was careful not to step on him and hoped he would make it to the other side without being crushed by a runner. On the way back, I saw the same caterpillar! He was making his way back across the road! So the little fuzzy guy was in the middle of his own little out and back. Seeing him gave me a little more motivation to get up the hill that seemed to last all of mile seven.

At mile 8.3, a side stitch started to creep up on me. I tried breathing in through my nose and out through my mouth the way my high school gym teacher taught me to do. It didn't work, because about a quarter mile later, it turned into a pain that felt like I was getting stabbed in the side. It was a full blown rip roaring side stitch that caused me to whimper out loud and stop to walk. Walking didn't help! It still hurt REALLY BAD and I was groaning out loud. I seriously though I'd have to walk the last mile and a half. But walking hurt just as bad as running, so after walking for a quarter mile, I tried running again. It still hurt, but it eased up a bit.

Soon the finish was near! All I had wanted to do since about mile 4 was be DONE, and now with this side stitch, I really wanted to be done. With less than a half mile left, my left calf started spazzing out. It didn't hurt but it seemed like it was right about to cramp up. I altered my gait just a little bit to keep it at bay and sprinted across the finish line.

Official time: 1:15:32

Not what I wanted.

Splits: 7:11, 7:13, 7:20, 7:23, 7:17, 7:16, 7:29, 7:58, 8:42, 7:35

I was on point until the last 4 miles... which were mostly uphill. Then there was the walking due to the side stitch. I really did give it my all, though. I was sucking wind the whole time! There was nothing else I could have done. What can I say other than Dover KICKED MY ASS! During the race I wanted to puke, and there was a point where I thought I just wouldn't be able to catch my breath.


My dad crossed the finish line just about 30 seconds after me! He did SO WELL!!! 


It was fun to commiserate about the race course together. I asked him if it was just me, or were we running against the wind on the way out and the way back. Dad explained that it was a crosswind, but that it's just as bad. He is a cyclist, so he explained that in biking, any wind other than a tailwind is no good because crosswinds feel just like head winds.

Me: "That was hard,"
Dad: "That was not fun."

Even though I didn't do as well as I wanted, it was a better training run than anything I would have done around my FLAT neighborhood. These hills will only make me a better runner at my half marathon in December. Sure, I wished it were easier. But I needed a hard run. This was good for me.

After pushing my body to the brink, I was very nice to it for the rest of the day. I did 2 stretching sessions and a foam rolling session. I wore my compression socks. I laid on the couch. My IT band was a little sore but nothing too bad. My toes were really crampy so I stretched them. Wow, that's the first time my toes were spazzing out after a race! I also ate... A LOT!! I ate like I ran a marathon... and didn't feel a lick of guilt about it. (After years of disordered eating, eating like this is a VICTORY.) The second toenails on both of my feet also hurt. (Update as of Monday afternoon: quads are sore today. Also, my traps! What the hell, I must have run with my shoulders hunched the entire time!)

Wendys...


We got whoopie pies instead of medals!
It appears I got some sun. It was pretty sunny out for the second week of November!

Oh, fun fact! Remember how I said I was worried about getting my period the day of the race? Well I got it 36 minutes before the race started. The good news was I wasn't pregnant. The bad news was I didn't have a tampon and the tampon machine ate my dime. More bad news: Orange shorts = ruined.
Have you ever had a KILLER side stitch in a race?

28 comments:

  1. Wow, girl. You killed it IMO. I know you didn't make your time goal but considering how hilly it was and the wind--I'm extremely impressed (heck, I am impressed even w/ out the hills & wind). A fantastic training run and a great learning experience. Way to go and congrats to both you and your dad!

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    1. Thank you Susan! I agree that it turned out to be a great training run as I would have never run something that difficult around my neighborhood. My quads are more sore today than they were yesterday!

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  2. You still had great splits despite the hard course. It looks like you would have plowed through with the exception of the side stitch. I don't usually get them (whew!). I love that you were motivated by a caterpillar, and impressed that you could see him on the way back!
    I sometimes fill in coaching for the high school team at my kids school. Yes, they stink, seriously stink, ALL THE TIME. I think that it is from wearing their sneakers without socks, and then transporting all their stuff in the gym bag. It is gross.
    Great job to you AND your dad!

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    1. I normally don't get them either, but it seems like when I do get one, it is KILLER. I was surprised to see the caterpillar as well!

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  3. If those are your splits on a hilly course when you're on your period and dealing with wind you will crush your goal next month at BDR!

    I am laughing that you said "the good news was I wasn't pregnant." Every month Adam and I high five when I get my period :D

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    1. HAHAHAHAHA! NOT being pregnant is sooooo awesome!! :)

      Ali assures me BDR is flat as a pancake AND that we can get pancakes after. :)

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  4. You did amazing on a touch course, especially with the wind! The wind can really put me in a bad place mentally during a race. That is too funny about the caterpillar! I don't know if I ever would have noticed something like that.
    Awesome job pushing through. I think those distances like 10ks and 10 milers are so hard because you are gong at a really fast pace but its so much longer than a 5k! It was definitely a great training run for your December race:)

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    1. Thank you Lisa! :) Hopefully the tough race makes me stronger!

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  5. Boo to the side stitch! And yes, I've had them while racing. I hate having to walk them off. Still, great finish time!

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    1. It's such a pain. I mean, literally a PAIN!

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  6. 10 mile races, man. I have only run one 10 mile race and it sucked. Like you, I had a lofty goal and fell way short of it (like 5 minutes short) - it was HUMID that day and I did not respect the heat. The irony is that 10 miles is one of my favorite training distances but now I just have no desire to race one again, lol.

    I'm sorry your race didn't go as planned, but I still think you did an amazing job! I just read an awesome article from Competitor Running and there is a line in it I like a lot and I think you will appreciate: "If you don’t perform as well in a race as your past races and workouts suggest that you could have, chalking this up to “one of those days” is just what losers do … OR you can acknowledge that you do a lot more workouts than you do races, and that thanks to colds, bad weather and life’s unpredictable challenges, the chances of you feeling as great in any given race as you did in your best workout simply aren’t that great. Try to learn from these without obsessing over them"
    Here's the article, it's worth a read! http://running.competitor.com/2014/09/training/9-proven-ways-squander-training_113264#sFOXHCHvkfkmXCwF.99

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    1. Aw thanks for sharing that! It's so true. That's why I want to race more! :) Maybe I will do the race next year and try to improve my time.

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  7. Awww, good bye orange shorts and they were so cute!
    You are fricking fast!! That is awesome how close you and your Dad finished :) I think you did amazing, you never can be 100% sure how you are going to feel on race day...
    I have had that painful side stitch and I hold my arms up, usually it will help, but it feels weird. It is the worst when you can't get a good breath in!
    Isn't it a lot more fun to eat and not stress about it!!
    Congrats on great race!

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  8. When I ran the Marshall Marathon in West Virginia, I woke up with my period. In the excitement of preparing for the race, I forgot tampons. I called the hotel front desk because they had a sign that said if you forgot something, ask. So I asked. All they had was a pad, and some guy that looked like he was straight out of Duck Dynasty brought it up from the front desk. He couldn't even make eye contact with me. I figured it would probably chafe the crap out of me, but I didn't know what else to do. I tried it out but I was wearing capris, and I was not wearing underwear (maybe TMI here, sorry). I went to the bathroom one more time before leaving my room and the stupid thing fell in the toilet. I ran the whole race without it. #runnerproblems

    I know you didn't run the time you wanted, but that course sounds BRUTAL! And you still managed a 1:15. I think you are pretty incredible. Congrats!!

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    1. That story with the Duck Dynasty guy sounds like something out of the Twilight Zone! Man, guy runners have no concept of what we ladies deal with! I can't imagine pad chaffing. I would rather have blood dripping down my leg than wear a pad!

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  9. hahaha thats literally how i react when i get my period. "Well. at least im not pregnant." every other part of it SUCKS! hahah. Good job on the tough course!!

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  10. Ha ha ha! Can I just say how much I love the fact that you not only noticed the caterpillar both times but that you made a point to write about it? You're the best. I don't get side stitches very often, no. Thank goodness. I'm sorry you had to deal with that! You still had a great race and it must feel good to know you gave it your all.

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    1. It does feel good to give it my all! I wish I had more to give but hey we all need a tough race now and then!

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  11. Yay racing! Yay learning from the race! Yay doing better at the next race! ;)

    You did great. Sure, you didn't hit your goal, but you put in the work and you learned something from it. That's a win in my book.

    I have totally been there with the period thing. I actually think that might be linked to my vertigo issues, but no doctor can confirm it. Maybe it's just a wonky coincidence.

    No memorable side stitches (I do them from time to time, usually when I'm running hungover). I did have sever ab issues in the last race, though. I clearly need more core work. Hills will also make you pitch your shoulders forward sometimes. So I get that shoulder blade pain sometimes.

    And now I need to go for a run. Because procrastination is my middle name.

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    1. I am definitely proud of myself for racing and doing a tough course even though I didn't perform the way I wanted. WOOHOO! At least I really tried my best. Totally googling side stitches now. I get maybe one a YEAR. This one was bad. Top tier side stitch.

      Hope your run went well!

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  12. A) That is AWESOME that your dad is a runner (and cyclist!) and did the race with you. It sounds like he is in great shape – speedy!
    B) You had a stellar race. Remember, you haven’t really raced that distance for a while, so it was a great first race back.
    C) Hills always crush my time too. Why do hills have to exist?
    D) I couldn’t agree more with your dad about the wind. Any wind that is not a tailwind is bad. Bad. Bad. Bad.
    E) I had one of my first side stitches during my second run post pregnancy. At first I thought I was dying, or having another baby, but then I realized it was a side stitch. No fun at all.

    Congrats on a great race! Your report was fun to read.

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    1. I thought I was being murdered!

      Yes I am so proud of my dad, he is a great role model.

      Thanks for reading my recap and I am glad you enjoyed it. :)

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  13. Sounds like a really tough race!! Great job gutting it out. Even if you didn't hit your goal, your paces are really impressive! And congrats to your dad, too!

    I think it's cute that there was a single spectator. What a nice guy hehe!

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  14. Megan, I'm super pumped that you pushed through and still had a very awesome time! I have to tell you, I read this and thought, "I'm sure I can go back and find at least 4 race recaps of mine that sound JUST LIKE THIS!" The side stitch is a monster that comes out of nowhere! Pushing on it and slowing slightly helps me run through it. Also, my toes always spazz out after a long or hard run! That was one thing that cramped up after my porta pottie stop in Chicago!

    Congrats again to you and your dad!!

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    1. Wow we are so alike with the side stitches and toe thing! I have never researched side stitches because they have only forced me to walk once. But I did read about pressing on it and if I ever have the misfortune of having a killer one again, I will do that.

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