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Running my first race on Sat!

SallyBR's picture

Well, I did it... I will be running a 5K race on Saturday morning, 8AM! 


I am number 178 - they expect to have between 500-600 people running - I know I am nuts for doing this, but... just want to see how it feels to compete. As Phil says, I will probably do a reasonably good job "for my age bracket" ( don t you think I should just kiss him to death for putting it this way?)


Anyway, I know we have runners around (maybe even lurking...) - if you have advice or tips, send them in! I intend to high carb the night before, and try to do my best!  

 

TracyK's picture

Good for you, Sally!! No advice here, but we'll all be cheering for you!! :-)


"Noncooks think it's silly to invest two hours' work in two minutes' enjoyment; but if cooking is evanescent, so is the ballet."


Julia Child

StevenHB's picture

I'm currently in training for a half-marathon on October 11 (I completed this race last year).  I'm what some would call a "penguin" - waddling from the starting line to the finish line at ~9 minutes/mile.


Sally, don't do anything too different in preparation for your race.  Frankly, for a 5K, there's no need to carbo load.  Here are some things that I think that you should do:



  1. Lay out your clothes Friday night with your number safety-pinned to the bottom *front* of your shirt.  Be sure not to pin down the tear-off strip at the bottom if there is one.  You definitely won't want the number on your chest.  More experienced runners will not be wearing the race tee-shirt, if there is one.  Do whatever you feel comfortable with.

  2. Get up early enough to eat a light breakfast (I usually have a bagel *without* spread of any kind), drink some water and go to the bathroom.  The last thing that you're going to want is to "have to go" in the middle of the race.

  3. Get to the race site early (30-60 mins before the start).  If there are bathrooms there, be sure to pee again before the race.  Then drink some water.

  4. Do whatever warmups you normally do.  Recent research suggests that stretching without warming up is a bad idea; however, if you've been do so all along, don't stop now.

  5. Race and have fun.

I like the Runner's World beginner's forum.   You might want to register there and ask the same question to get more viewpoints.  There's also a Women's (running) forum there.



Without coffee, chocolate, and beer, in that order, life as we know it would not be possible

Without coffee, chocolate, and beer, in that order, life as we know it would not be possible
SallyBR's picture

Thanks, Steven


Yeah, I agree - no need to carbo-load - I've been low-carbing this week, and intend to just switch to a normal carb intake today and tomorrow


The distance does not scare me at all, as my normal run is 8.5K anyway - I am just curious to see if racing will be fun to do, or a huge ordeal.  They are having a 10K race on the following weekend, I thought about trying that one, but decided that it was best to be "conservative"...


I won t be wearing the race t-shirt - for one thing, even the small size is too big for me. I will wear my regular shirt, and will make sure the number is pinned low.


Wow, you will run a half-marathon! I would love to be able to do it some day - who knows?  But, I doubt it - I believe that a 10K would be my upper limit

 

StevenHB's picture

I think that if you looked at me, you'd be surprised that I'm looking toward doing a half-mary.  I'm not huge but I'm not skinny either.


Re: Getting up to 13 miles yourself: It takes time.  When not training for this race, I'm usually running 5 miles (8.5K).  For training, I start increasing one weekly run one mile each week.  If you're making a big change, you should go down a mile/week in your long run every three or four weeks.  It's only a 2-3 months to get ready.


My real problem is that I have a tendency to get overuse injuries.  I was going to do 12 miles on Monday but had a pain in my right achilles (and I'd had some mild discomfort after my 11 the week before).  So I'm doing the bike instead of running for the moment.  I'm going to try running again on Wednesday of next week.  Cross your fingers for me.


Last year, the race course took us through Fenway Park, where we ran on the warning track.  Pretty cool, but there was a five-minute backup at the entrance to the park when I got there.  I'd rather have finished five minutes sooner.  This year, they're not going through the park.



Without coffee, chocolate, and beer, in that order, life as we know it would not be possible

Without coffee, chocolate, and beer, in that order, life as we know it would not be possible
Biscuits's picture

The only thing I can add to what Steven said is this:


Wear very comfortable running gear.  Not the time to break in a new pair of shoes or a new shirt.  DH finds tanks very uncomfortable for running long distances (although 5K isn't that far).  He prefers either a short sleeved T or he slices the tanks down the side a few inches to keep the arm hole from chafing his underarms.


Cotton socks always.  Don't eat too much for breakfast - a piece of fruit and bagel or whole grain toast and some juice is good.  Banana is excellent.


Carb loading is for much longer races - you don't really need to worry about that.


Don't drink too much water just prior to the race! 


Relax and have fun.  The idea is not to "beat" anyone or even come in first - it's to accomplish a personal goal and run a 5K.  Next time, you just want to beat your own time.  At least, that's DH's attitude toward running.  He usually picks someone out of the crowd who's about his own level and tries to beat that one person. 


Can't wait to hear how you do, Sally!  This will be lots of fun!



P.S.  DH has run 3 marathons, but he says the shorter races are a lot more fun.


 


wtf    - Biscuit


Edited 9/25/2003 10:00:32 AM ET by Biscuit

Ancora Imparo -

TessaK's picture

Just relax and enjoy it, I wouldn't be surprised if you end up with an age-group award (and there is nothing wrong with age group awards!).


And of course you can run a half marathon. Just not at the pace you can run 5 miles.

gjander's picture

The advice others have already given is all good.  The competition is fun but you will want to figure out ahead of time how to put that competition in perspective.  If this race has been run before look up last years results and see how others did.  Then pick a realistic goal based on what you know about your own fitness level and how it will fit into the likely results.


I usually pick a number of goals--some of which will be very difficult, others that are doable but hard, and others that are likely.  For instance, I might say decide that I would like to 1) finish in the top X overall 2) set a personal best 3) beat a certain time 4) whip my running buddy that will be in the same race 5) not get passed by any runners in the last half of the race.  That way I have challenges to meet but won't walk away completely disappointed if I don't achieve a single goal.


Some goals will depend on race day conditions and may not be possible no matter how well you perform so be sure to pick at least one goal that you can control completely.


Also, decide on a race strategy ahead of time and do your best to stick to it.  If your goal is to have fun and finish comfortably then you will want to start slowly--it will probably feel too easy at the beginning.  5k can seem like an awfully long distance if you have gone out too fast and crashed.


Gary


 


 


Edited 9/25/2003 3:09:58 PM ET by GJANDER

SallyBR's picture

Hi, Gary


thanks!


I will have to think about goals - that might be hard, because it will be my first race, and I really have no idea of what to expect. I think my main objectives are


- to finish the run without getting injured


- to do an ok job for "my age bracket" (le sigh)


- to feel a sense of joy at the end, of "mission accomplished"


That is about it - I really have no expectations about anything else.


Today I ran my 8.5k, but took it very very easy, but it was not an easy run. For some reason I felt heavy, tired, and my right leg was threatening to cramp up... not a nice feeling when you know you intend to run a race 48 hours later. But, I will do a few good stretches when I logout, and absolutely no exercise tomorrow.....


 

 

ehBeth's picture

Crossing fingers, eyes and legs, braiding hair, and wishing you everything you want for tomorrow morning!


 


 


If you can't play a sport, be one.
If you can't play a sport, be one.
SallyBR's picture

Oy... you are making me nnnnnnervvvvous... :-)

 

ehBeth's picture

You're going to do brilliantly well.


I simply have no doubt about it.


And that's all there is.  Think about the wonderful bath and massage you'll deserve later on.   =; D


If you can't play a sport, be one.
If you can't play a sport, be one.
SallyBR's picture

Well, my friends... I survived....


My time was - 24 minutes and 38 seconds, which surprised me indeed, I did not expect to finish in such a "short" time (I was hoping to break the 30 min mark, not the 25!)


I am very tired and my legs are sore, don t know how I'll be able to get this dinner prep going, but... hopefully I'll recover


To summarize the experience - it was harder than I thought. Much harder. First, I was surprised by how fast the starting goes - there is no way to pace yourself, because everybody is running so freaking fast, that you just go or people go over you. I was also surprised by how nervous I was - my heart was beating too fast, and my mouth got TOTALLY dry in the beginning, I was not sure I could even finish the first km...


Then people spread out a little more, and I could at least establish my own rhythm. I ran the first 4 km at exactly the same speed, 5m 4sec - then on the final km I gave it all I had (which was not much, but allowed me to pass over 20 runners in the final stretch)


The cool thing is that this blonde athlete (over 40 like myself) was running at about my pace, and I remember that "goal" tip I got here... soooo, I decided to set my goal at beating her...  well, she left me on a smoke on the 3k mark, at the 4k I started my "personal torture" and caught up quite a bit... but not enough to beat her - I was 2 seconds behind...  But, she turned around afterwards smiling and said: "I KNEW you were going to be right on my heels!" - and we shook hands, it was really cool!


Anyway, this was fun - I am not sure I would do it again, but it was a remarkable experience.


Thanks for your net-support!


Now, back to our regular schedule.... and some intense cooking! 


BTW - the male winner was an athlete from Kenya, he was not the favorite to win, he was ranked number 3. Awesome runner!  He finished it in slightly over 16 minutes

 

assibams's picture

Congratulations! Your time is really good! I used to compete in 100m and 200m dashes (in my teens) and I can tell you the dry mouth, fast-beating heart is normal. Even today my heart races when my kids compete. I guess you need the adrenalin to get yourself started.


Let Phil fix dinner, take a long hot shower (or bath) and then massage your sore limbs with some oil - or better yet, let Phil do that, too. Did you cool down (jogging slowly) after the race? This and stretching are a great way to avoid being sore for days. And the next couple of days take it slowly, when running.

"A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort."
Herm Albright

Jean's picture

You are incredible!! Way to go!!

Along the way take time to smell the flowers.

A  clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.
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help to provide free mammograms for women in need
ehBeth's picture

That is fantabulous!


I knew you could do it.


If you can't play a sport, be one.
If you can't play a sport, be one.
Biscuits's picture

The cool thing is that this blonde athlete (over 40 like myself) was running at about my pace, and I remember that "goal" tip I got here... soooo, I decided to set my goal at beating her...  well, she left me on a smoke on the 3k mark, at the 4k I started my "personal torture" and caught up quite a bit... but not enough to beat her - I was 2 seconds behind...  But, she turned around afterwards smiling and said: "I KNEW you were going to be right on my heels!" - and we shook hands, it was really cool!


I'll tell DH you took his tip to heart!  And what happened to you is usually what happens to him - he'll pick someone about his age, size, and speed, and they'll kind of size each other up, then use each other to push themselves.  Smiles and handshakes after.  It's a great way to achieve a personal best.


I'm so proud of you, Sally!!!!  Excellent job!


 


 


 


wtf    - Biscuit

Ancora Imparo -

SallyBR's picture

Gary is your husband????


How cool!  My reply to him is unread, so I was wondering if he was a lurker who posted and ran away...


Well, I spent yesterday almost on a daze - basically I did not stop working for a second - I had stuff to do in the lab, so it was back and forth from the kitchen to the lab until dinner time. I baked two loaves of bread, and made the tarte tatin, so when our guests left, I passed out on the couch and fell asleep. My feet were terribly sore, and my hips too. This innocent 5k race made me think that people who ran a marathon (or HALF a marathon, Steven...) are definitely mutants. No regular human beings should be able to do that....   :-)


 


 


 


 

 

UncleDunc's picture

I'm so glad to hear that you sleep. I had begun to wonder as I read about all the stuff you've been doing since you got back from France. :)

SallyBR's picture

:-)


Yes, I do sleep. But not much. It is one of my problems, actually. I sleep very heavily for about 4 hours, the house can pretty much explode and I might sleep through it - but after that, it is a struggle. It can be a Sat, Sun, holiday... I do envy people who say they get up late on weekends. I wish I could do it.


It' s a good thing Phil likes to get up early - with my first husband this was a huge problem. He could not wake up before noon, 1PM on weekends.

 

Biscuits's picture

Gary???!!!  No - not mine!  I'm sorry - I thought you were talking about what I said to you in my first post to this thread, which is basically what my DH told me to tell you!

 


 


wtf    - Biscuit

Ancora Imparo -

SallyBR's picture

Ha! I thought that maybe he decided to post about it himself in a later post - oh, well - the advice still stands, right?


we went running today again, as Sunday is our normal running day. The beginning was a nightmare, my muscles were too sore, but I took it very easy...  It is, however, the first time in my life that I ran two days in a row. Won t be doing this again anytime soon... :-)

 

Marcia's picture

Can you handle another congratulations wish, Sally? I wouldn't have done that in a million years! You did wonderfully well.

TessaK's picture

Gary???!!!  No - not mine! 


This was funny! Glad I wasn't the only one who misunderstood! :)


Sally, congratulations on your race, good job!

gjander's picture

Sorry for the confusion--I did read your reply but not when I was logged in so it doesn't show as 'read'.  Mostly I lurk but occasionally I post.  Anyway, congratulations on a great race!


BTW, in some ways 5k's are actually harder than marathons.  Because the distance is so much greater a marathon has to be run at a much slower pace.  In a 5k, the pace is intense and painful. 

Adele's picture

Way to go Sally! Major congratulations.

But, but, its SUPPOSED to taste like that!

But, but, it's SUPPOSED to taste like that!

dixie1's picture

GReat job, Sally. Aren't you glad it is over?

Cissy's picture

Good on you, Sally!  There's an interesting book called Maximum Performance that discusses the phenomenon of athletes who enter competitions feeling less than at the top of their sports, but who excel.  I don't know who wrote it (and it was written about 20 years ago), but you might find it an interesting read.

RuthWells's picture

Wow, Sally!  Congratulations on a fine achievement.  I am in awe!


 


Ruth Wells


"Gardening is the only unquestionably useful job."
 - G.B. Shaw

Ruth Wells

"Gardening is the only unquestionably useful job."
 - G.B. Shaw

www.lemonade-and-kidneys.blogspot.com

www.ruthssweetpleasures.com

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StevenHB's picture

24:38 is 7:53/mile, a damn fine pace (much better than I could do).


Congratulations!



Without coffee, chocolate, and beer, in that order, life as we know it would not be possible

Without coffee, chocolate, and beer, in that order, life as we know it would not be possible
SallyBR's picture

I had not thought about it in those terms - the fastest I can run 1 mile is 7'40'' - but I can only do it for a single mile, and then I need to jog slowly for a couple of minutes.


It is puzzling that I could do it on Sat for the whole 5Km - that explains the intense pain everywhere later in the day (even my hair seemed to be sore... :-)


How, oh how can you do it for half a marathon? I don t care how much slower you go, it is gotta be a freaking nightmare!