Monday, March 18, 2013

Smuttynose Palooza 5k Race Report

This is a little later than normal but better late than never!

I believed I was fairly prepared for this race. Aside from the Santa 5k I did in December this was going to be the first time I was running outside. I was interested to see if treadmill running was doing anything for me or if in fact it might be even hurting me. I started my race preparations by constantly checking their website to make sure the race was still going on due to all the snow and such. However they announced that everything was still on. I then discovered that I had an hour and half drive...woohoo! Luckily my husband surprised me by talking the morning off to come with me so I wouldn't have to be alone.

We got there around 8:30am and picked all my race stuff. I picked up a friends as well who couldn't make it. Got myself dressed and ready to hit the road. The great thing about this race was that it was at the Blue Ocean Music Hall which was great cause that meant all the runners and cheerers could wait inside in a warm place before having to run in the cold. Oh yeah and fantastic bathrooms as well (which is always great when you are used to using port-a-potties at most 5k's) the morning was very pleasant. They announced that it was time for the runners to go out to the start.

We all started to head out. As we got to the end of the driveway a giant wave crashed into the street and basically flooded the whole start lane. Luckily I hadn't actually walked into the start lane yet and avoided getting soaked before running. I have to admit waves crashing onto the run course was definitely a whole new experience for me. I went around to other side of the parking lot and stood at the very back in hopes of avoiding any other waves coming our way.

photo curtisey of - trying to avoid the waves/huge puddles

The race started and we all took off...walking. One because there were so many people and it is always difficult to have a running start when your so close together and two because there was so much water and sand everyone was trying their best to avoid it so their feet weren't wet and cold for the run. After we got past that the rest of the course was pretty clear. There were some spots that had black ice but my general rule is to avoid any wet pavement.

The course itself was pretty easy mostly flat, only very small inclines which was a nice treat. I set a goal for myself to finish in under 40 minutes. My last 5k was somewhere around 42 minutes so I thought that was a realistic goal. It was nice to see the aray of people doing this race. There were the "elites" who were finishing when I was just getting to mile marker 1 then there were your average folk and families. I have to say I always love to see families doing this kind of stuff. Based on my own childhood of always being inactive and over weight and working with children on a daily basis I understand all to well how important physical activity is as well as spending time with their parents, siblings, etc. and then there were the walkers which I am always equally excited to see because at least they are doing what they can and getting out there moving. I LOVE IT!

I tried to keep up my normal run route of running half mile, tenth mile break, then quarter mile runs with tenth mile walk. It took a lot more effort and I was exhausted by then end. I actually was thinking how in the world am I going to do 6.5 miles after swimming and running? The triathlon is only four month away, AAAHHH!

I remember realizing that I only had one more left turn and then the finish line was right there. That the most exciting thing ever. I was so thrilled when I crossed that finish line!
I ended up missing my goal by 4 seconds. I crossed the finish with a time for 40:03, trust me when I say those 4 second will be gone next time, I will find a way! I made it all the way through the race without getting soaked which was a huge accomplishment. Lots of others were not so lucky.

After the race was fun. They had an assortment of things set up for all the runners. There was pizza, yogurt, fruit, water, cereal/granola. The line was slightly long but after going inside to change and coming back it was a lot shorter. They even let my husband eat when in most cases that stuff is just for the runners. Oh yea and who can forget the beer...
When we got back into the music hall I made the mistake of asking my husband if he wanted a beer. That is when he told me while I was running he had already been drinking. I am not sure that was an even compromise. But regardless since I don't drink beer at least I know he got whatever would have been mine. There was also a karaoke contest after the race which we did not stay for but the schedule of singers was full so I am sure everyone had fun with that.

All in all despite the "damage" from the snow storm and the occasion wave coming onto the course this was a really good race. It was well organized, an easy course and the post race was very inviting! I think this is one I will be doing again. Thanks to all the organizers and volunteers for all your hard work!

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