Friday, October 13, 2017

Devil Dash 5k 2017

Another race recap, this one not a month late though! I took a little cutback after Rochester Half to recover properly but then wanted to get back into things. Last weekend I was looking around at races to run this month in order to get my feet wet to try and run a faster time in November. I wanted some low key races to work on finding my grit again, and also just to enjoy running (I have always loved start lines).

I had a few options for this past Saturday but chose to do a very small, very low key race in Victor called the Devil Dash. My friends kids are students there, would be running it and supported their school fundraising. Win-Win-Win. I could go run, but also be there to cheer and support them.

The week leading up to the race wasn't great running wise. I didn't get in a run until Thursday. Monday and Tuesday it just didn't happen, and Wednesday I wanted to run but was dealing with some vertigo and figured better to lay low (I did get checked out by MD the following day, just to be sure). He gave me the OK to run as long as I wasn't experiencing symptoms and to stop if I did.

Thursday night I got out for some miles, and Friday I went out as well for some later evening miles and finished with some strides. I felt okay but taking Monday-Wednesday off left me feeling a bit stale. Not a huge deal since the 5k wasn't a goal race, but not ideal.

I woke up and it was pouring rain, but just sipped my coffee and pumped without stressing about it. Brian and Hannah went with me, we made the 30 minute drive and met up with our friends when we got there. I waited in line a bit for packet pickup, and then stood around for a while. I should have started my warm-up earlier but as my friends husband called it- I had a case of the F'its.

I was just like, okay cool running a race see what happens not taking it seriously. I saw a girl running a warm-up and I knew she would beat me by about 3 minutes. Yes, I'm serious and spoiler, yes she did. The rain had stopped, but occasionally started misting- it was actually comfortable temp wise so that was helpful.

I started my warm-up a few minutes before the race and just yogged around the parking lots. I reminisced a bit, as I actually went to Kindergarden at Victor and saw the elementary school, and playground. Though, I got sad when I saw the nice new playground they had- because the old playground was AMAZING. The old playground was a gigantic wooden one, I very specifically remember how good it was- but I think they tore it down for lead issues? I could be wrong. Anyways, I digress.

I ran over to the start with a few seconds to spare, reset my watch and then we were off. I didn't hit start button properly I guess and finally got it to go a few seconds into the race. Operator error.

The other girl I had seen pre-race and I took off out front, a few teenage boys did too but then we dropped them. I smiled because quite frankly it's always fun when women lead a race. I kind of set a goal to 'chick' the field. It gave me something non time related to work on. I hung with the other girl for a 1/4 mile or so and then let her go because yeah, definitely not going to keep up.

The course was a double loop with lots of turns around the campus. The road was open one way, so there were still some cars. Not a big deal, but due to the nature of things it was hard to run tangents. The other girl increased that lead more and more by the minute but I could see her in the distance which kept me pushing since no one else was really around me (again, super small race). About halfway through the first loop a guy latched onto my shoulder and I couldn't shake him but it was good because it kept me on my toes and from slacking off the pace without anyone around me. I never saw him but I heard him. We rounded the first loop and I saw Brian, Hannah and our friends. I waved and then kept going trying to keep the heavily breathing dude from passing me.
P.S. The Saucony Freedom Hat is quite possibly one of my favorite running hats.
SUPER lightweight and comfortable! 
There was a walk in conjunction with the run so I knew the second loop would be passing walkers, and others from the run. I did a lot of weaving but tried to cheer on people at the same time. I lost the heavy breather about halfway through the second loop. I knew my second mile was slower than first, but tried to pick it up through the finish. I looped back through and then cut onto the track and around to find the finish chute. I hadn't been paying attention to my watch so was happy to see 19:XX as I approached and eventually finished in 20:09.

I cut back around after the finish and found my people which is always the best feeling. I immediately chugged some nuun and caught my breath. After that we went back to the corner before the track to watch for my friends kids coming through, they did amazing! It was great to see so many kids and families out there supporting the school but also being healthy and active.

Thoughts on the race: I am really happy and quite frankly never would have thought I would be as close to breaking 20 again postpartum as I am right now. Speed has always come a little quicker (pun intended) to me versus endurance. But I'm really happy with where I am at, and it's a good testament to the fact that it's not always about running ALL the miles. I'm not running an exorbitant amount of miles right now and haven't been doing a ton of workouts but I'm still progressing. Consistency, and doing what works for me is the key.

With that said, I think I'm in sub-20 shape. My garmin measured long (loop course and not being able to run tangents I expected that), and Strava told me I was 19:38 for the 5k. I AM NOT CLAIMING I RAN 19:38, my official time is 20:09 and yes that is my time. You don't get to claim other results than the race ones. BUT, I can look at my race and how I ran it and say that I'm right there for getting my 5k times back down. I can say that given a course I can run tangents better, and a race with more competition to work with I can absolutely run faster. I say this, because it's exciting to me. It also reaffirms my thoughts on taking this fall to just run shorter races and focus on having fun!

I am running another 5k tomorrow, and then planning on just some workouts for a few weeks. I'd like to see what I can do on November 4th at the East Ave 5k as a "goal" and then potentially a 5 miler or 10k later in November as well. 


  1. Congratulations on a great race, Laura! Being so close to sub-20 is amazing, and I agree with you that if you had people to chase, weren't dodging people, and did a good job of running tangents (easier said than done in a chaotic, crazy race), you could totally shave the 9 seconds. I do get your point about how a race doesn't start/finish when your Garmin says 3.1 and the time on the clock is what really "counts", but you definitely had a solid performance.

    Good luck with the 5K tomorrow!

  2. Wow! That's amazing that you were able to get your speed back so quickly. And I love races that finish on a track! I agree-- your official time is your official time, but like you said, it can be useful to look at the data that Strava gives you to compare apples to apples. Especially if you are a data junkie, like I am. Anyway, outstanding performance!

  3. Excellent race and I'm so impressed that you have so much speed so soon after having a baby!

  4. Wow, this is great! Fun when it gets down to mere seconds that you are away from a goal. Hope your other race went well too! Speed has not been my friend lately, but who knows, with some good Fall temperatures, maybe something special could happen!

  5. Do you have any tips/resources for being successful as a self coached runner? It seems like everyone has a coach (which is awesome!) but for someone who is self coached who is still serious about reaching their goals, what is the best way to improve? Thanks :)

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