Monday, September 13, 2010

Race Report: Buffalo Stampede 10 Miler

Well kids, I accomplished what I set out to do - run the race in the 1:20 range.  And really, there isn't too much more to this story.  I finished in 1:20:24 - 8:02/mi pace.  I'm sure you can just feel the enthusiasm that is pouring out from me.   It's not that I'm not proud of what I did - I am.  Any time you go out and finish a race, that is an accomplishment that should be recognized.  Any time you finish a race with your goal time met - that is an accomplishment that should really be recognized.  But I am more disappointed with how the race unfolded for me.  I learned a lot yesterday, and that is why I love to run.  I learn something new about myself, about the sport, about humanity in general every time I run or race. 

My pre-race fueling (something I wanted to really work on) was spot on yesterday - well, for the most part.  My tummy was not queasy at all, which is usually the thing I battle before every race.  My biggest problem yesterday was that I wasn't able to "go" before hand.   Turns out, my lovely sister-in-law, unbeknownst to her, slipped us all decaf that morning on accident and well, decaf doesn't quite get things moving as well as the full strength stuff.  I really didn't worry about it too much, there wasn't much I could do by the time the race started.  And that is one of the things that I have learned as a runner that has played out into my life when I'm not running: focus on the things you can control.  When I realized I wasn't going to be able to go before hand, I just switched to being mentally prepared for the task at hand. 

The race was held in Sacramento in a cute little residential area called Carmichael.  The course is all residential streets and is flat and pretty fast.  I could feel the change in small elevation at times, but really this is a PR course for anyone.  Very few turns and flat as a pancake.  After my 1 mile warm-up, the start went off with very little fan fair and I instantly found myself trying to keep up with the fasties.  Not the smartest move when all I really wanted to do was use this race as a gage to hold 8:00 miles - which I'm hoping will be my MP come Long Beach. 
mile 1 - 7:42 (slow down! no need to go all crazy here!)
mile 2 - 7:56 (much better, now just hold on to this!)
mile 3 - 8:10 (uh, pick-it up!)

Mile three is where I started feeling the affects of that decaf coffee.  I had to go - and I had to go bad!  But with this course being pretty much all residential, there were very few honey buckets.  In fact, there was only 1 it turns out and I had passed it at mile 2!  Ugh!  With my head down I proceeded to just attempt to keep my pace at my goal time.  My knee though, had other ideas.  My left knee has been still a problem lately.  It usually warms up around mile 1 or 1.5 - and this morning it didn't want to cooperate.  Around mile 3.5 or so, I had shooting pains that made me just want to walk.  Trying to plow through those few miles were hard - I could feel my pace slowing and I had no kick or push off to speak of.  All I could think of was why the heck now?  I had been running 10 milers a lot lately and not had this many problems!
mile 4 - 8:32 (wtf? I NEVER run this slow in my training runs!)
mile 5 - 9:01 (omg! there goes the goal time!)

Mile five was a repeat of mile four - just intense shooting pain.  This was close to the turn around and some really low moments for me.  I was passed by a man pushing a baby jogger, dressed as a female clown.  Yes - you read that right - he was wearing a woman's running skirt, woman's wig and pink hat, dressed with clown paint on, PUSHING a baby jogger.  Oh, and did I mention he was carrying on a conversation with the baby no prob the WHOLE TIME?  Yeah, that was a very low moment.  I was also passed by a TON OF WOMEN at this point.  Even though I had held on to my pace for a while, loosing it here allowed for a lot of them to pass me.  The thoughts going through my head during this time were NOT pretty.  I was thinking, "I'm done racing!  I don't want to race ever again!  I'm NOT running Tahoe and I'm sure as hell NOT running Long Beach! Not even the half! I want this to be over NOW! Just walk - you'll feel better.  No, you can't walk, you can still can come in around 1:24.  Just keep going."
You get the picture.  It was ugly.  And I don't think I have felt that low during a run/race in I can't even remember.  But I also knew I could do this and I was going to be damned if I let a goal time slip away on such an easy, fast course.  So I picked up my feet and pushed on.
mile 6 - 8:18 (much better, now just push a little bit harder!)
mile 7 - 8:01 (exactly!  right where you need to be!)

At mile 7 I knew that if I picked up the pace I could still come in around 1:20 but that it was going to take some work.  Speedwork here I come!  I literally put my head down and started running as fast as I could without puking.  Great race strategy, right?  I started passing the peeps who had passed me before.  I took my Garmin off and started ticking off the tenth of miles left.  I just wanted to be done and my pace showed.
mile 8 - 7:55 (oh, come on, you can do better than that!)
mile 9 - 7:30 (that's better, now don't puke!)

Doing math and running is never smart - it usually leaves us with longer than necessary long runs or paces much to fast to hold.  Yeah, that is where I was - attempting to calculate how friggin' fast I would have to run that last mile to save face with my goal time. 
mile 10 - 7:01 (wow, that speedwork at the track is working!)

I ran in as fast as I could picking off tons of peeps to finish in 1:20:24 - just 24 seconds off my goal time - I'll take it.   As I'm sure you can see - consistency was not the name of the game yesterday.  I had paces all over the place.  Not smart running - and NOT SMART RUNNING or pacing for a marathon.  I learned though, that I need to pay attention to this knee.  My endurance is there, my speed is there, but I need to get this knee under control or disaster will be looming with every race or worse, every run.  I also learned - make sure you're drinking REAL coffee - not that decaf crap.  I carried my small 10 oz. handheld yesterday and it was perfect.  It didn't bother me at all and I think that I will buy another so that I can switch out during my marathon's with my family.  It was nice to drink on my schedule and it wasn't annoying at all - a huge plus.
Overall stats:
Garmin: 10.17 miles - 1:20:23 - 7:59/mi pace
Official: 10.00 miles - 1:20:24 - 8:02/mi pace
AG - 11/41 - (30-39) *if I had been in the 20-29AG I would have come in 4th - the fasties are in my AG now!
Overall - 136/335 - there were some fast peeps out there!  And yes, the guy/clown pushing the baby stroller came in about a minute before me :(
Coming into the finish

Yes, another one where I'm turning my Garmin off! Argh!

24 seconds? Are you kidding me?
The race director also offered a "kids race" of sorts.  I thought it would be more organized than it was so I invited my little nephew William, aka Buggs, to come out and run.  He is always super excited about my medals and they were offering one for all the kiddos.  The cool thing is, he got his medal and was super stoked.  The un-cool thing is, they really didn't have an organized "race."  They just had the kids run around at random the high school track.  In reality, he didn't care - he raced and got a medal.  I even joined him on his two lap journey - stopping once to tie his shoes :)  I'm hoping he will be the next runner in the family!

Running in with Auntie!
Final push!
High five at the finish!  It was warm out!
Getting his first running medal!
A proud (and hot!) Buggs!
My new little runner and his dad
A very, very proud Auntie!

So, I may have not met all my race goals but I did learn a lot - which is all I can ask for.  Running is a journey - not a destination and I proved that to myself yesterday.  I learned my pre-race fueling is working, I learned that I can pull shit out of my ass when I need to and I learned that I am stronger than the voices in my head.  I'm not 100% sure still about Long Beach - and I'm okay with that.  My knee and my running future are more important than any race or BQ.  After the race, we headed out for my favorite breakfast in Sacramento at Tower Cafe - it helped me drown the 24 seconds :)

This week is a cut back week!  Whoo hoo!  Couldn't be more thrilled.  I'll still incorporate my speed work and long run, but my mid-week runs will be a bit shorter.  I also made an appointment to see the doctor this week for my knee and hopefully it will give me insight into what I need to do to fix the situation.  I finished last week with 55 miles, just where I predicted.  I'm thinking I will be closer to 45 this week - that sounds just heavenly ;)

My power was out all morning and early afternoon, so I'm finally off to catch up with all of you!  Have a great rest of your Monday peeps!
Happy Running and Happy Monday!



7:01 last mile? you are so freaking speedy! I still think with all the rough moments you did great! I'm sure Long Beach will go well. You are a strong and confident runner and that will come through!

Marlene said...

WOW Katie, way to turn it on for the last few miles! Tough to do after such a low patch in the middle. A lot of this reminds me of my race last weekend... I just couldn't hold it together. It's hard to bounce back so good for you! Congrats on still meeting that goal time! (CLOSE ENOUGH!)

You rock!!

Ewa said...

I loved how you overcame the tough moments in the middle. Good going.
You are so ready for Tahoe and Long Beach.
It still escapes me why would anyone bother drinking decaf. :)

Jill said...

Way to go, Chica!! I am very happy (and proud!!) that you fought, and won, that internal tug of war you had going on deep inside mid-way, that takes more guts to win that than most have. You're not done racing...I won't let you. One day we should talk paces and HRs and stuff like that if you want, I think it would help you a lot...but you're doing great and I know you're going to have a total blast in Tahoe and do great! I just know it!!

I was thinking about you at your race and cheering loudly for you - hope you heard me :). I miss getting texts about your races after....but I knew it was good!!

Love ya!!

ajh said...

You did an awesome job!

Middle Name Marie said...

That was a good last mile! Sorry about the decaf--now you know! haha

Heather said...

You really did an awesome job pulling yourself out of the pain and mental agony of the middle of the race and finishing strong, super impressive. Hope the doctor can give you some answers about your knee!

Teamarcia said...

It takes a very strong runner, mentally and physically to pull off paces like that at the end, and all the way thru for that matter so don't be too hard on yourself. You did awesome!
And you're the coolest auntie ever!

L.B. said...

A crappy race (by your standards) and you still kicked ass.

For selfish reasons I hope you still do Long Beach. If nothing else, you can downgrade to the half and pace my slow ass to the finish line :) Although, I can't do a 7:01 mile so you'll just have to keep that in mind.

In all seriousness, you will make the best decision for your racing future. I have no doubt about that. And I'll support you whatever you decide to do.

Layla said...

OK, I had to laugh at this line: "I learned that I can pull shit out of my ass when I need to." With non-decaf, perhaps! LOL! My sister races at the college level and can't have any caffeine at all due to NCAA restrictions, so now I wonder what they do instead.

Anyway, great way to finish the race and meet your goal! Talk about a negative split!

RBR said...

Such a beast! Great job on the race and the introspection.

Miss you. girl. I hope you are well. We need to catch up soon.

Jo Lynn said...

You are SO fast, Katie, you should be proud of yourself.
And very competitive. ;)

Kristen said...

Awesome job pushing through those tough moments! You did what you had to do and you met your goal! I am going to think of this next time I am out there and want to quit.

I hope you can get your knee taken care of - your 110% right that it is more important than any race.

I can't belive that Tower Cafe is actually one place I had never been but I have always heard such rave reviews.

Your nephew is too cute with his medal.

Morgan said...

Its races like this that remind you that you are stronger than you think and will help you dig deep in Long Beach. In the meantime keep an eye on that knee!!! Congrats on a 1:20 Finish!!! That is awesome!!!

Denise said...

this race shows just how strong you are and what you're capable of pushing through. you did amazing out there and what you learned will help so much come the marathon.

and by the way, who even owns decaf? what's the point of it??

PunkRockRunner said...

Note to self, buy the extra bold Starbucks with two, no three, added shots of espresso for Katie at least 60-minutes before each race (and then point her in the direction of the potty).

I was writing my race report for my 10K Saturday and was planning on including my miles splits but, thanks to this report, I’ll be keeping them a secret. I’ve come to realize that the only thing we have in common at these events is our good taste in racing hats.

You’re one speedy runner.

All the best,


Katie said...

"I learned that I can pull shit out of my ass when I need to." HAHAHA!! I don't know if this is a good thing to learn!!! You made an awesome turnaround on this race and I love it! Also the pics of your nephew are awesome, what a cutie!

Jess said...

Congrats on meeting your goal -- despite some difficulties -- and conrgats to your nephew!

Just think, you didn't poop yourself, so that should be added to the list of successes as well!

Tara said...

Congratulations Katie! You did awesome, especially having to push through some pain. You learned some good lessons out there and that's what counts; you're going to rock your marathon(s). :)

B.o.B. said...

Some races are like that. And having to poo while racing is the worst. Trust me, I'm very familiar with this particular ailment. LOL! (Those are the PC's. Poopy cramps.)

I still think you did great! And you learned something.

MCM Mama said...

That sucks about the knee, but way to pull it out in the end!

I accidentally gave us decaf the other day and whoa, nelly did we both have headaches! Thankfully, my "system" is quite happy to go even without the caffeine LOL.

Mel -Tall Mom on the Run said...

Wow did you find your speed at the end.. OK I feel bad for the kid in the jogger, GULP and WTF.. Way to push through.. I wonder what is up with your knee.. I generally take some Aleve before long runs, not sure if that is the best but it helps with my knee pain caused by inflammation..

Love the kiddo pictures..

J said...

I totally relate to what you were feeling at Mile 5. When I was being passed in my race I kept thinking, I am never running a half marathon AGAIN! never! lol but the point is that you finished and pushed through and ran a pretty great race despite everything else.

Oh and I totally agree, nothing beats regular coffee!

Anonymous said...

dang girl way to finish off strong or should I say fast! Pacing is so hard and I feel like I am always all over the place. Hopefully, you can get the knee thing figured out soon...being injured is never any fun!

Spike said...


I cant seem to find your email, so I could reply to your comment. If you can, send me an email at runningspikeblog(at)gmail(dot)com.

Angela and David said...

Awesome job of "pulling your head out of your ass"!

Jamoosh said...

Perseverence rocks. Hence, you rock!

zbsports said...

Congratulation, you are doing good, nice run there. I love the post so cool, it detailed every moment of the run. Nice!!!

Anonymous said...

Nice brief and this mail helped me alot in my college assignement. Thanks you for your information.