Tag Archives: 10k

Berlin Ohio Amish Country Half Marathon (10k) race review

So, yesterday was (finally) the Berlin Ohio Amish Country Half Marathon.  This was one race I was actually looking forward to with anticipation and dread.  Running the back roads of amish country was something that really spoke to me (given where I grew up and everything, it seemed like a great race).  Running the hills that were reported to be the course was kind of terrifying.

I watched the weather pretty closely for the whole week last week.  I was dreading the hills if it was going to be 90 and humid.  For a while, it looked like it was going to be a cool and mostly sunny day.  Turned out it was a very chilly rainy day.  It wasn’t a hard rain, but it was mostly a steady rain and it was cold.  I was planning on being able to just run in my Goofy suit.  But it turned out a jacket was a welcome addition to the day.  On the up side, it was very comfortable wearing my goofy hat and it wasn’t too terribly warm for it at all.  AND I got compliments along the route on my hat.

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Turned out my feet were soaked in the first mile.  But it was neat to see the shine on the parking lot.

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I met Aiden Jaquez and his mom while I was waiting for the race to start.  Aiden is 10 and he is on track to be the youngest person to ever  complete 50 halfs in 50 states (and he will go on to be doing the 50 marathons in 50 states if he gets his wish).  Aiden will be finishing his final half marathon in October 2019.

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The starting line was just ahead.  It was on the other side of the neatest American flag I’ve seen at a race yet.  The fire truck hoisted it up over the parking lot and we were off.
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The country side was beautiful, even if I was soaked and cold by the time we crested the first hill.DSCF2061

The course was riddled with smells.    Silage, apples, cow and horse manure, goldenrod… It was neat watching people try to dodge the road apples along the way.  I’ve gotten used to people running the tangents to try to make better time.  It was great to watch them adding dozens of steps to their run trying to avoid the ‘dangers’.DSCF2054

I got to listen to some interesting snippets of conversation along the route.  For a little while, I was running close to a couple of people who were doing the half.  They were discussing the bat houses that were perched on fence posts along one farm.  It was the topic of conversation for about half a mile or so… how the bats eat a crap ton of bugs.DSCF2045

The pacer buggy pulled over at about the first mile marker.  The horse was gorgeous.
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And then there was me.

I finished third in my age group.  Not as well as I would have liked (time wise) but given the weather and the hills, it was better than I actually expected to be able to do, though.  I finished with an average pace of 13:06 and finished at 1:21:24 (9 minutes off of average).  141st out of 200.  Not fabulous, but respectable.

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Better than that… I finished strong.  I finished feeling pretty good (if very soggy and cold).41250490_2009647699056153_290775676850536448_n

The race venue had some neat picture opportunities.  And… I did conquer the hills.

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And, for what it’s worth… I’m planning (right now, anyway), on doing the half marathon next year.

It’s a hard course, but it was an amazing race.

 

Love and Light

April

9/9/2018

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Rock Hall 10k 2018

It was an awesome race slash training run. I mean, seriously… training run with bling! What could be better?  It was a small enough race that it didn’t take fifteen minutes to cross the starting line but a big enough race that you didn’t feel like it was a bunch of people from work who decided to run together on a Sunday morning.  I’m pretty sure I will do this one again (although I may make it a half instead of a 10k next time).

Started out feeling really good.  The morning was fantastic.  Kind of on the damp side and cool enough that wearing a light hoody was comfortable.  Bear didn’t bring one and, riding on his scooter, he regretted it.  He looked really cute wearing my Figment hoody.  Walking kept me warm, but driving his scooter (given the speed he was going) made the trip from Tower City to the Rock Hall a bit chilly for him.  It was even worse when he was chasing the pigeons.


The only problem I really had with the race itself was that the half started at a different place than the 10k and 5k and finding where we were supposed to line up was a little less intuitive than some other races I’ve done.  DSCF1773It was kind of neat to see other people wearing getups too.  I absolutely loved the guy in the gorilla outfit.  He said he would so anything for a laugh.

Squirrel Girl was just a little stressed over the race.  She didn’t train so much and  was really feeling the stress lined up at the starting line.  She was worried about finishing at all… about finishing in under 3 hours… her knee giving her issues… she was stressing quite a bit.DSCF1774
Turned out she didn’t need to stress all that much. She and I ended up finishing about one chip second apart. I would have beaten her by about 5 minutes but about mile 2.5 pushing too hard and the humidity absolutely made me feel crappy.  Crappy enough that I spend precious minutes being sick in the park.  NOT how I wanted to do this race.  BUT it did give me a reality check and make me slow down to a very fast walk the rest of the race.

I suppose Squirrel could have reminded me that you’re not supposed to push too hard too fast the way I remind her all too frequently, but I have to give her credit for not.

I have to admit though, that even slowing down (for me) and not having trained (her) didn’t really impact either of us finishing strong.

I went in to this race having my doubts. I was worried about the temperature and humidity in August, especially this year (it’s been really bad this year). I was worried about how my weight loss was going to play in to my race. But thanks to supportive people I met through WW who are as crazy (if not more so) as I am I’ve learned to listen to myself, to my body, and how to fuel my body for long runs… and not stress nearly as much as I have been over possibly eating too much or gaining back what I’ve worked so hard to lose.

Did we both push too hard?  Oh yeah.  Squirrel tends to be very light headed and shaky when she gets through most any finish line.  I know the last mile she was fighting to keep herself going.  I keep impressing upon her that she needs to take training a little more (than not at all) seriously so her body doesn’t get shocked by the race effort.  She did eat watermelon (me too… beat the heck out of even the thoughts of a banana)after the finish line.  But this morning her thighs and her abdominal muscles are complaining quite a bit.

Me?  Despite the fact that I should have finished sooner (I will plan better next race for feeling crappy), I felt really amazing at the finish line.  I finished strong and (yeah, I was tired) didn’t really feel like I wanted to pass out in the grass.  The ice packs that PNC handed out were very welcome as were the towels that one of the vendors was giving out (after I soaked it in ice water in the water pools at the finish line).

I’m proud of myself.

I’m proud of Squirrel Girl (and will now be highly harping at her to train better for February).


Lessons learned?

  • Listen to the advice I give her.
  • Find shorts for under the goofy skirt because leggings might not be the be all and end all
  • Train for one minute one minute walk run ratio because I need to get faster
  • Drop several running groups that I belong to on Facebook because hearing how much other people believe that having a 10 min mile is so freaking slow that they may as well just quit because that time is so slow and sucks so much is demoralizing
  • Hills are not the enemy
  • Waterstops are your best friends
  • home made peanut butter and jelly fuel baggies are kind of awesome if you don’t look at them when you eat them.

 

Onward and upward.

Next race?

Amish Country 10k in just under 3 weeks.  With any luck, this race will be less humid and chillier.  If I can just keep timing my Orencia infusions so they fall shortly before races, I will be in pretty decent shape!

 

Love and Light
April
8/20/2018