Monday, January 30, 2012

The Hearnish 10K (GRTC Freezeroo Series #4) Race Recap

Sorry to keep you in suspense after my post on Saturday, but the photos are finally up and I can write my race recap for our third (the fourth in the series) Freezeroo race!

I'm going to start this recap with the description from the GRTC website of the Hearnish 10K:

"It is hilly, it is challenging and it is longer than advertised! At 6.385 miles, it is the longest, and maybe the hardest, 10K you will ever run. (The 10K is certified, so you can get your time - I can almost guarantee it won't be a PR!)"

Well, most of that was right. It was definitely hilly, challenging and long and it was the hardest 10K we've ever run (we've only done one other 10K before), but we both got PRs (official ones anyway).

The location of Freezeroo #4

The race took place at Powder Mills Park in Perinton. It actually went in and out of three towns: Perinton, Pittsford and Victor. Which also meant that it went in and out of two counties, not as fun as two countries but I'll take it!

Unfortunately, I had been experiencing some foot pain but I toughed it out anyway (FYI most of the pain is gone now, good thing)! I wasn't sure how the race was going to go since Mike and I had driven the course and knew what was waiting for us. The course was HILLY and my warm-up runs weren't feeling that great, but I put it in my head that I was going to run the entire race no matter what.

Mike posing for the camera

I'm in the teal right near the sign

The start of the race was a little bit icy, but after the first road it wasn't too bad. The first 5K of the race had two hills that we had to run up. The first one was a baby hill but the second one was probably about a mile long! There were some breaks here and there but for the most part it was up, up, up!

I was feeling pretty good and my foot was cooperating, thankfully. I just tried to keep my pace as close to 10 minutes per mile when running up the hills and to take advantage of the downhills (even though toward the end of the race these were bothering my foot more than the uphills).

I hit the 5K mark at 30:33 and kept on pushing for the the last half, even though I knew that the worst hill was waiting for me!

When we started the race Mike and I weren't sure if there was going to be a water stop or not. These races are just for fun and I know that they don't get a lot of volunteers, but thankfully around the 4th mile there was one! I think I have finally perfected how to drink out of a cup while running and I was glad to have something to drink.

Then it happened. I ran up the WORST hill I think I have ever run up in my life. I was the ONLY one running up the hill from what I could see and Mike later told me that he was the only one running up the hill in his group of runners too. This hill was worse than anything we saw at our half marathon, which was probably the most hilly race we had ever run up to this point. Mike and I both think that proportionally this 10K race was hillier than our half marathon.

The one thing that I said to myself to get up the hill and not walk was "don't walk, don't surrender" over and over again. I would sometimes add "there is a downhill coming". I think this helped and even though I was probably running at the same speed as everyone else walking, I'm happy that I ran up it!

Go Mike!

Happy the uphill is over!

After running up the hill, the rest of the race was smooth sailing and mostly downhill. One interesting thing was seeing a car hanging over the edge of the road, I'm not sure if the driver was trying to avoid runners and then drove off the road or what!

I've never seen this before during a race

Right around the 6 mile mark, I was passed by this girl who I recognized from where I work and who I thought was in the same age group as me. I really wanted to beat her so I kicked it in at the end, but she JUST beat me (by 4 seconds).

She asked me which age group I was in and she said "I thought you were in my age group and I really wanted to beat you!" I told her I thought the same exact thing, but we are in different age groups. Oh well, she gave me some good competition in the end.

My final time was 1:03:00 and here are the splits from my Garmin (time was 1:02:57 according to that):

Lap 1 - 9:19 pace
Lap 2 - 10:17 pace (part of the long hill)
Lap 3 - 9:53 pace (the other part of the long hill)
Lap 4 - 9:42 pace
Lap 5 - 11:01 pace (the massive hill)
Lap 6 - 9:32 pace
Lap 7 (.42) - 7:43 pace (that's what competition does I guess)

Average Pace: 9:49 minutes per mile

In the end I now have an almost 9 minute PR! I have run faster than that in other races and training runs, but since they aren't official I am going to go with 1:03 as my new 10K time. I'm hoping that I can break an hour during the last Freezeroo race, an actual 10K. Mike ran the race in 54:47, which was about a 7 minute PR for him!

Do you try to run up every hill or do you walk occasionally?

Sunday, January 29, 2012

One Year Ago

One year ago today we adopted Bernie! Technically we didn't bring him home on January 29th because we had to go and buy all of his essential items, but we did put him on hold at the local humane society and knew we were going to make him a part of our family.

The photo on Lollypop Farm's website

Adopting him was sort of on a whim, but it was one of the best decisions we have ever made! He brings us so much joy and laughter and I hope that he feels the same way!

In his first year with us Bernie has experienced a lot, so here's a photo journey through that year!

First day home! 8 weeks old

First lighthouse

First toy destroyed: red star

First bath

First and only PetSmart graduation day

First indecent exposure?

First bandana

First swim!

First play date

First family photo

First time at the ocean and in Maine!

First hike

First birthday treat

First snow beard

There you have it! We had a great first year with Bernie and I'm looking forward to many more!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Freeze Your Thorns Off 5K Virtual Race Recap

I feel like I signed up for this virtual race SO long ago and it finally happened! I think this may have been the first virtual race that I signed up for, but not the first that I have raced.

The 2nd Annual Freeze Your Thorns Off 5K was hosted by Adam at The Boring Runner. I'm not going to write very much in terms of a race recap since I ran this virtual race during our 3rd Freezeroo Series race today and I will write a full recap as soon as the photos are up.

I picked the first 3.12 miles of the Hearnish 10K because I knew that it would be the faster portion of the race. I'm just going to say that when Mike and I drove the course last night we had flashbacks of our half marathon. The course was HILLY!

The first half had two hills, more on that tomorrow, and my time was 30:33. The only reason that I got my time at exactly 3.12 miles is because a guy asked me how our time/pace was and when I looked at my watch my mileage said 3.12!

Gotta love the lighthouse calendar in the background

Thanks Adam for hosting this virtual race, it gave me the motivation I needed to get through the first half of my 10K!