On Saturday morning, I got my ass out of bed and ran a race with my dad in Mifflinburg!
There were two options for this race- The Resolution Challenge or Last Man Standing. Participants of both races ran a 1.6 mile loop over and over again. Those running the Resolution Challenge had 3 hours to complete as many loops as possible. My dad chose to do this race. Last Man Standing was a bit more interesting: Runners had 20 minutes to complete the first lap, 19 minutes for the second lap, and so on. You were not allowed to start laps early. Winners would be the last 3 men and last 3 women to complete a lap- whichever lap number that ended up being! This is the race I chose to do.
Both of us did Last Man Standing last year and it was a fun time. This year did not disappoint either.
Since I HATE the lead up to races because I am wracked with anxiety and pooping problems, I never sign up for things ahead of time and don't even write them on the calendar. As I finished my 6 miler on Friday morning, I suddenly remembered I was thinking about racing the next day. Oops. I had already run 35 miles for the week. That's not much of a taper. (I really like to taper!)
I got up quite early on Saturday and left the house with plenty of time to drive 1.5 hours to RB Winter State Park. Unfortunately, I thought I left my Garmin at home, so I drove back to get it. It turned out I had it all along!
My turn around and multiple bathroom stops on the way to the race resulted in me only arriving a half hour early. I thought there wouldn't be many participants because it was freezing cold (14 degrees!) but there were a lot of people! I had to wait in line for the bathroom and then wait in line for at least 15 minutes to register. Unfortunately while I was waiting in line, my toes became completely numb. This was not good!
After I was registered, I literally had just enough time to run back to my car, put on my compression socks and all my warm gear, grab my bag, and run back down to the start. I told my dad my toes were frozen already and he told me to go into the pavilion and stand by the fire until the race started.
My toes did not unfreeze but the race was about to start! Unfortunately I was caught way in the back of the pack, and since the first half of the race was on a narrow(ish) trail, there was no way for me to get around people. This was good and bad.
It was good because it forced me to go slow and get the lay of the land. There was snow on the trail and some spots were VERY icy. I was a little skeptical of how many laps I was going to be able to complete in those conditions!
The bad part was I was looking down at my pace and actually wondered if I was going to finish the first lap in time due to being stuck in the back! (Runners doing the Last Man Standing and the Resolution Challenge start at the same time, so there were many people who planned to walk/run for 3 hours and didn't need to be done with the first lap in 20 minutes.)
Since the second half of the course was on the road, there was plenty of opportunity for the crowd to thin out and settle into a comfortable pace, which for me on the slippy road was about a 9:30. There was no reason to run fast. My goal was to complete at least 8 laps, since that's what I did last year.
I finished the first lap with 5 minutes to spare. I went to the fire to warm up. I went to the bathroom. I got a drink. I can do a lot in 5 minutes!
I wrote out the paces I needed to keep and kept it in my pocket.
Towards the end of the second lap, my toes felt better and I was feeling confident running in the ice and the snow. But since I didn't have a buddy to run with, the whole time I was running I was thinking about the race and how hard the last two laps were going to be! So after my second lap, I grabbed my mp3 player and listened to Ezra Klein interview Obama about the Affordable Care Act. I know, I am weird. But seriously, Obama's voice calmed me down and I was able to zone out.
I didn't eat during the race, but after each lap I had water or Gatorade. There was a big picnic table of goodies. It was so cold the water was freezing! I got to see my mom after each lap. She was our cheerleader/eye candy. I also peed after every lap except my second to last one. Laps 1-6 were basically run with what felt like the same exertion to me. On a scale of 1-10, my exertion felt like a 4-5. Depending on the lap, I had anywhere between 4-2 minutes to spare. Sometimes I would stop running before the lap was over and just walk it into the finish line. It felt weird to do that, but I figured walking would be better than just standing around!
The 7th lap had to be at an 8:45 pace, so I did have to push myself a little on that one... maybe like a 7 on the exertion scale. I didn't feel tired yet, so this lap wasn't too painful. The conditions on the trail just weren't that great (I almost fell twice and others did fall), so I would always end up running in the mid 9s on the trail portion and then make up time on the road portion.
There were a lot of strong female runners out there, so I was pretty sure I wasn't going to place this year. 1/4 of the way through my 8th lap, it really hit me. I was tired. I was pushing myself. I knew I'd be able to get the lap completed in 13 minutes (8:07 pace) but I was going to have to work for it. I ended up finishing the lap with a couple seconds to spare. The whole time I could barely see. My eyes were watering from the cold. I did not fall, though! This was an 8 on the exertion scale for sure... maybe more.
I could have started a 9th lap (there were some men and at least 5 women doing so) but at this point, my muscles were very tired and I knew I did not have 1.6 more miles at a 7:30 pace left in me! I mean, I guess if you had a gun to my head I could have done it, but I was really freaking tired and was ready to be done. My heart just wasn't in it. I already had a pounding headache and didn't have another 1.6 miles in me!
I began my 9th lap walking until my dad caught up with me. Remember, this whole time he was running loop de doops as well! He was on his 10th lap.
I ran the rest of his 10th lap and an 11th lap with him. There were only 11 minutes left in his 3 hour race so he decided to stop after his 11th lap. He was definitely feeling it. I was too! I was so ready to be done! All in all, I ran 16 miles (OMG I HAVEN'T RUN THAT FAR SINCE THIS SUMMER!) and he ran 18 miles. THAT'S THE LONGEST HE HAS EVER RUN! DISTANCE PR FOR MY DADDIO!!!
I hope I am as strong and active as my dad is when I'm 56!!!
Even though we didn't place, we were very happy with our performances. We stuck around for the awards ceremony and then hit the road. I was feeling very tight and I knew the drive home was going to be a bit painful! I started to get really freaking hungry so I stopped at Sheetz and got a huge burger, rye chips, and a Diet Mountain Dew. I LOVE CHEMICALS!
This is my OMG I GET TO EAT A BURGER face!
The medals were made out of wood- very cool.
We got a shirt, but after looking at mine when I got home, I realized I should have gotten a medium. This small is very... small.
Have you ever run an unconventional race?
What's the coldest you have ever raced in?
What's the coldest you have ever raced in?
You and I had already chatted about this but I will say it again, way to go--you guys both kicked ass! Those conditions weren't ideal but you stuck with it and had a fabulous race! I am so proud of you! How long before your soreness wore off? I know Saturday night was tough but were you feeling yourself after a day or two? P.S. you could totally just go out and run a marathon if you wanted--you are in that good of shape!!ReplyDelete
I am not sure about the marathon thing! I mean, I could do it slowly, but it would hurt the last 8 miles for sure. And then I would hurt for like a week after!Delete
So yes, Saturday night I was so sore and creaky from the waist down! Quads hurt Sunday and Monday. They hurt on Tuesday as well but not as bad, so I ran 8 miles and it felt so good! I want to run today but the roads are a sheet of ice! Lifting.
well, I think you are amazing! strong to run a great race and recover like a champ!Delete
When I didn't hear from you on Saturday morning I thought for sure you chose to stay in your cozy bed..haha. You are a beast for coming out and running this race when you didn't have too (I mean because you didn't pre-register).ReplyDelete
This concept of this race reminds me of a movie I watched over Christmas break. I can't think of the name of it right now but it's where runners had to finish so many loops and each loop was a marathon. Congrats on getting out there and getting it done. You deserve that burger!
If my dad wasn't doing it I would have probably stayed home! I do enjoy the relaxing drive on 904.Delete
SUCH a cool race. I loved reading about it! I can almost feel how cold it was through my computer screen! Your dad is absolutely amazing. Nice job you two!!ReplyDelete
I'm glad I could adequately describe how cold it was! You would have definitely been able to do the 9th lap. I was thinking about that!Delete
Congrats to you and your dad for running the race and for doing so well! It looks extremely cold there and I don't think I'd be running in that. I love the concept of this race because it's very strategic, more so than just a half marathon or 5K. Hopefully next year they will work out the congestion in the first lap because it would suck for someone doing the last man standing to be behind all the 3 hour people and be pulled from the race. Glad you got a hamburger and soda and warmed up, and I hope you had a good post-race recovery too!ReplyDelete
It was definitely strategic in its own way. I feel like it was my own fault for standing by the fire for too long and not lining up at the appropriate spot. My recovery was pretty good. I still have sore quads though lol.Delete
Yes on the burger! Sometimes food tastes so good after a cold run. I don't know where the hunger comes from, but the food doesn't last long.ReplyDelete
I'm definitely more hungry after a could run that a hot run.Delete
Congratulations! it sounds like a great race! cold, but awesome! I love the handmade medal!! Maybe I'll look into this race next year.ReplyDelete
Congratulations to you Dad!! that is an amazing accomplishment! are you guys running the Capitol Area 10 Miler this year?
You should do it next year! If you do we could ride up together. We don't have plans for the 10 miler. Maybe I should try it though...Delete
Are you doing it?Delete
I'm going to look it up, so I can make plans to have somebody watch my kid... or maybe have him run with me.Delete
I'm considering the 10 miler, but again... need somebody to watch my boy. ive wanted to do that race for 3 years now.
Looks like a great race! Have you ever used those toe warmers for cold conditions? I've been using them this winter and it's been great!ReplyDelete
I have not but I just bought a big pack of toe and hand warmers to take to the women's March on Washington. Although the forecast looks like it is going to be pretty mild that weekend. Yay!Delete
Woohoo! You and your Dad did great! Post race burgers are the bomb. I have a couple of medals made out of wood. Very cool!ReplyDelete
I know I was so relieved they warmed up. I always fear frostbite!ReplyDelete
Wow, congrats to both you and your dad! This sounds like such a fun race. You did awesome especially with the cold weather and no taper!ReplyDelete
Thank you, Lisa! :)Delete
16 miles!!! 18 miles!!! You two are so awesome! Like father like daughter!ReplyDelete
I cannot imagine standing around in weather like that. The last two years it's been in the mid 50s at the start of the miami half marathon and I'm literally DYING. Like last year it took so long for my corral to cross the starting line that I legitimately thought about just running to my car and going home simply because I was so cold!
It's all relative! It it was July here and it was 50, I'd be sooooooo cold and reconsider hehe.Delete
What a cool race! How many laps did the winners in the Last Man Standing run? And congrats to your dad on a distance PR!ReplyDelete
The women did 9 laps and the men did 10. Last year women did 8 and men did 11!Delete
This race is so unique, I love that you run it and share it with us!! I can't imagine running in that temperature and having to watch out for snow/ice on the route.ReplyDelete
I think podcasts are a great way to get through tough races. I know some people reserve them for training runs only, but I like to put on a podcast when I need to really distract myself from pain! lol
SAME! I train with podcasts and I race with podcasts. Love them. It's homey. Especially if it's a host you are used to. It's like an old friend is along for the ride. Seriously, Obama was very soothing!Delete