2014 Boots n Daisy Dukes 5k

Date: June 1, 2014
Location: Independence, MO

(Belated race report)

This was my second year running Boots and Daisy Dukes 5k. (2013 here.) … and they discontinued the race in 2015! When I asked KC Running Company, they said that they were going to be helping out the Deanna Rose Children’s Farmstead with their race instead. I am actually bummed about that. I really liked this course. And even thought I grumbled last year about the country music, I bought an awesome outfit for the 2015 race (which they didn’t have. Boar’s Nest t-shirt, Ink N Burn Daisy Duke-style running shorts and tube socks. Epicness.)

But back to 2014. I felt pretty good going into this race. It was HOT out, which is a given in Midwestern summers. But my legs were feeling strong and I felt I could do well on the hills. I know I say I hate hills, but I always seem to do a lot of passing on them. (So I guess other people hate them even more?) Train the hills = Passing people at races. Check.

Again the course would wind around Bass Pro Shops Waterfall Park. I actually enjoy this course, as far as road courses go. It is really scenic with little waterfalls, ponds and gardens. There are some nice hills. There is a fair amount of shading on some of the course. They don’t include a course map on the website, but it is the same for all the races held there. I’ve included a map from my Garmin.

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My Garmin Course Map

They had the cowboy boot contest again. I really cannot fathom how some people “run” in cowboy boots. Just wouldn’t happen for me. If I didn’t destroy my legs, I would busy my butt falling. I think the boots thing only appeals to fun runners since they are the only ones who would risk their legs like that. Also ,they tend to line up at the front, go out in a sprint, and then are walking in a block. (Which makes it more difficult to get a good tempo going on the course.)

Nothing out of the ordinary happened at this race. After 2.5 miles, I was really wishing I brought a handheld since it was so hot. I grabbed a cup at the aid station and tried to drink while I was running and ended up choking on the water. I had to stop for a moment to walk and catch my breath. After I decided I was not dying, I ran again and headed into the homestretch to finish.

After I crossed the finish, I visited the portapotty. A girl came up to me and thanked me for helping her finish. She said she was just concentrating on keeping up with the girl in the white skirt. (That was so sweet of her!) Glad I could help, random stranger!

Time: 27:37
7th place AG

2014 Chiefs Finish on the 50

Date: May 10, 2014
Location: Arrowhead Stadium, KCMO
Another belated race report.

My sons were really excited about this race. I had some reservations. First, the race time started at 9:00. I knew it would be toasty. Second, the race was entirely run in the stadium parking lot on blacktop. Again, toasty. The race was to finish on the football field and the boys were pretty excited about that. There were also to be players working the aid stations and taking pictures with fans. Also cool.

My two sons and I met up with my friend Vicki and her son before the race. We took a few pictures with the Chiefs mascot and headed to the starting line. The start seemed rather unorganized and had a pretty big delay. Bowie, Dane and I took off a bit faster than Vicki and her son. (Her son was a newbie runner. Note: he had more fun than we did). We made our way through the parking lot, and I have to say that there was really nothing remarkable to note. It was blacktop. And a stadium parking lot. We stopped at the aid stations for water because it was blazing hot, and there were no Chiefs players. (But thank you, volunteers!)

We did get to run on the field for our finish and got our medals which were neat. The race was not timed (the first finisher won a prize based on who crossed the line first).

Afterward we could tour the stadium and locker rooms. We did look around the displays abut did not go to the locker room because the line was ridiculously long.

Vicki reported back later than when she and her son stopped at the an aid station, there was a Chiefs player there. So the early bird didn’t get the worm, in this case. Very neat that Nate got a picture with a player. (I think they also did the locker room tour and said it was still packed).

So on the upside, if you have a young sports fan who just wants a fun run and likes football, this is a nice race. If you care at all about timing or scenery, notsomuch.

2016 Scout Strong Challenge

Date: May 14, 2016

Location: Kansas Speedway, KCK

After Bowie’s strong showing at the Skyline Shuffle, I wanted to sign him up for a road 5K to see where he was at. I also thought he might like getting a finisher’s medal, since trail races around here do not tend to award them. I started researching options and found the Scout Strong Challenge Half and 5K. I ran the Scout Strong Challenge half marathon in its inaugural year. The course was different this year – but I knew it was a fun race. I also checked out the previous year’s results and saw Bowie had a good chance of placing, so I signed us both up for the 5K.

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ceremonial race outfit

This year, the race started and finished at the Kansas Speedway, the NASCAR track. Right away, the event parking was super convenient. There were attendants directing traffic, and we parked in a lot right by the track. We hit the port-a-potty with no line at all and walked less than a block to get to the track entrance.

The race started on on the paved road course in the infield. (The area inside the big oval track). I was not sure how Bowie would do pacing himself. (At Skyline Shuffle, I put him behind some fast friends and told him to follow them). I had talked to him about not going out too fast — but how is a 9 year old going to “feel” that? I decided to run my butt off to get him started. I am no where in the shape to do much running in the morning. In fact, most of my morning runs have been a horrible, slow sweaty disaster. But I thought even if I could get a quarter mile at his pace, he could take over from there. Based on his Skyline Shuffle time, I felt I would shoot for a sub-9:00 pace and have him pick it up himself when he hit miles 2 and 3.

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pre-race

Surprisingly, I was able to truck along for 3/4 of a mile before I felt like I needed to slow down. I told Bowie that I was cutting him loose and he needed to go chase people down. He picked up the pace a little bit and I followed along behind him, making sure he turned left for 5K instead of right for the half course that left the stadium.

I was able to keep running at a decent pace. Obviously, not the pace I was running last year before I got sick, but I was running surprisingly strong. I took 2 small walk breaks to catch my breath when I felt I was pushing too hard.

The race finished with a full loop of the oval track, which was pretty cool. In the homestretch, I kept looking down at my Garmin and thought it would be a really good showing for me to go sub-30:00. With as fatigued as I have been lately, that would be really awesome. I kicked a bit at the end and squeaked in with 29:54.

I grabbed my medal and found Bowie waiting with our “crew” (who gave us a ride to the race). Bowie wasn’t sure of his finish time. He said that he felt like he didn’t run his fastest because he was hungry. (I will work on his pre-race nutrition. I guess he needs a bigger breakfast). I was pretty confident he placed, as I was keeping an eye on the other kids in the race.

We made it to the media center building and looked up our times. Bowie ran 27:19 (8:48 pace) and took 2nd place in his age group. (52nd male and 61st overall). For fun, I looked up mine and was amazed to see I got 4th age group, 17th female and 88th overall. Not too shabby for a good-sized race! There were a lot of snacks offered, but we just grabbed mini muffins and water.

The awards ceremony was supposed to start at 8:30 and we waited and waited. (My oldest was graduating and we really needed to hurry back!) Finally, someone told us the awards would be outside in a few minutes. So we all went outside into the cold to wait while they laid the medals out on the table. Seriously. This took 15 minutes and we were all getting crabby because we were cold. A woman beside me finally spoke up and asked if we could just grab our medals and leave! (Yay for her!) They started handing out medals so we needed to wait for them to get through female awards before Bowie got his medal.

Thankfully, we were parked right by the area the awards were in, so we got back to the car and on the road quickly. I had just enough time to get home, rinse off and change my clothes, before heading to Emery’s high school graduation. (Congrats, Emery! I cannot believe the years have flown by so quickly!!!!  This is just crazy!)

I actually camped out most the day after that. We had lunch in town and then I settled in for a nap. At dark, I decided I wanted to take my new cyclocross bike for a spin, so I put the headlight on the bike did a little tour of Baldwin in the cold. I am really excited to take the bike out on the trails and gravel roads!

I have to order pedals yet, so we just the platforms from my old cross bike on. I also have pink bar wrap to replace the black, as well as a few other pink touches to add. So far I am really pleased with the bike. And how about those fancy dual brakes??

2016 Skyline Shuffle

Date: May 7, 2016
Location: Lawrence, KS – Clinton Lake

It was a toasty morning on race day. We made it to Clinton Lake, Campground 3 a bit early and talked with a few friendly Trail Hawks before the race. At race time, I put Bowie in line behind my friends, Nicole and Trudi, and got in line a bit behind him.

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Photo courtesy of Gary Henry

I didn’t stay with Bowie long – he was running strong! I find grass the most difficult to run on. It is lumpy and soft. I am always cautious about twisting an ankle or losing my footing. Add in the hills, and this was a challenging course! (Details here.)

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Photo courtesy of Gary Henry

I made it halfway through the course before I needed to start taking walk breaks. A combination of morning + heat + hills just was a lot for me. I didn’t want to blow my adrenals out on a 5K!

When I made the final decent of Bunker Hill, I asked a course marshall if Bowie had come through OK, and he reported that Bowie had gone through looking strong. I turned on to the home stretch and just held on. Bowie and Tatum joined me in the finishing chute! Actually, Tatum stopped in front of me to give me a hug and I told him to keep running. He turned around and ran so fast, he passed right by me!

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Photo courtesy of Gary Henry

It turns out that Bowie blew the course prediction I had made for him. I guessed 33:00, and he ran 28:34!!! Holy smokes! A PR for Bowie on a tough course. And he has only been running off and on for a couple months. Go Bowie! He came in 13th out of 60 runners. There was only one other child runner out there.

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Photo courtesy of Gary Henry

I did slightly faster than the time I predicted for myself so that was nice. I have a long way to go before I am back to really racing — but I had such a good time and was there to support Bowie.

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Photo courtesy of Gary Henry

While we waited for the awards ceremony, we got to talk to so many friendly runners. Tatum asked when he was going to get a number so he could race, and an awesome woman gave him her number. He had a blast running back through the chute!

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Gary “Story Hawk” was about, snapping pictures before and during the race. (Thank you, Gary, for the awesome pictures!)

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I had a long bike ride on my plan (the 5K was just a bonus), so late that night, Steven and I hit the trails for an evening ride. I am not a fan of rides requiring headlamps — too many bugs! I had not ridden since last year so my butt was also not happy about the ride. We ended up going from Ottawa to Princeton and back. While I am (not so) patiently awaiting a new cyclocross bike, I road my “Comfy Cruiser.” I’m afraid even the cushy seat didn’t save my butt! Ouch.

Have you gotten back out on your bike yet?

 

 

2015 Cinco de Mayo 5-Que

Date: 5/2/2015
Location: KCMO

The Cinco De Mayo 5K is a relatively new 5K, running through the Southwest Boulevard neighborhood. It was a really cool race in that it felt like the whole community came out to be involved. The race started and finished at the community center. After the race, there was a street carnival with vendors and lots of bounce houses for the kids. Seriously. At least 5 different giant bounce houses. It was really cool.

While waiting for race start, the boys played in the nearby park. We headed toward the start line and took pictures in front of some incredible murals. I was tired (I was sick but didn’t know it yet) and ate some salted caramel GU and assorted carbs before the race.

I headed over to the starting line and lined up at the front. (Right behind a girl who looked like she ran high school track, doing all sorts of calisthenics. Kind of weird).

The course wound around a sort of industrial warehouse type area, and residential area… so that was interesting. Many of the houses in the area had been renovated with a super modern style, which was really cool. I love architecture, especially modern, so I made it a point to go back and check out those houses after the race.

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Course map from my Strava

 

The course itself was a small loop that dropped us on Southwest Blvd then back. It was pretty flat with just a couple small hills.

I made my perpetual mistake of going out a little too fast and paid for it in the last mile. Compounded with all the fatigue I had been feeling, I had to stop and walk a little – which is the thing I hate doing worse than anything in a race. (Other than maybe pooping my pants. Which I haven’t done. Yet). I mustered up some energy and ended the race with a small kick.

My boys hit the street carnival while we waited for the awards ceremony. I can’t say enough about how neat this community is and all the fun the boys had playing. At the awards ceremony, I learned I had gotten 2nd AG, where I was given a hat, bandana with chili peppers on it, a small bottle of Tabasco sauce and a little bag of cosmetics, as well as a medal. How is that for swag?

 

 

2016 St Paddy’s 5K

Date: March 5, 2016
Location: Lawrence River Levee Trail

I could not seem to stay asleep Friday night. I woke up a few times on Saturday morning and knew by looking out my dark window that it was nowhere near time to wake up. But I was nervous. And it wasn’t the happy-excited I used to have before races.

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Ceremonial laying out of the outfit the night before

 

Last year, I ran the St. Patrick’s Day race on fumes. I hadn’t eaten or slept in a week so I had no idea how I would do. I knew that end of February, I was in fantastic shape. Then, March 1, my world imploded and I was not coping well.

Last year, I ran the St. Patrick’s race balls-out, guns a-blazing. I listened to an aggressive playlist and mostly just thought about running over the top of people I didn’t like. My lungs burned and kept my arms pumping so that my legs would match.

Last year, I took second place in my age group, with a 27:03. I knew with good sleep, and running a paved road, my time could be so much faster. I never had the opportunity to see how much faster because I got sick before I could run another 5K.

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Amazing teammate Lisa sent me a lucky blue button for my shoe!

 

Saturday, I drug myself out of bed. I got dressed and focused on how my outfit didn’t fit as well as it did last year. I had gone up a size in shorts and my skirt and top were fitting tighter. I ate a banana and made myself a cup of tea. I should have had a second cup, but I didn’t have time.

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Hoping for super powers from my tea

 

We stopped at Panera so that I could get my customary bagel and cream cheese. I managed to eat half of it, but my stomach felt terrible so I gave the rest to little Tatum.

We parked at the lot across from Johnny’s Tavern and made our way over to the race. I used the restroom and noticed I was still hungry so I ate half an orange. I still felt hungry. I was dreading the run. I knew it would be soul-crushing when I would get passed. I wanted to go home and sleep.

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Starting line – ready for some dirt!

 

The 10K started before the 5K. When they called the 5K, I headed over to the line and tried to find a good spot. I wanted to be ahead of the walkers, so I lined up somewhat toward the front. When the race started, I found myself still having to weave around walkers and slow jog-walkers. This was unfortunate since the trail was so narrow, I had to run off into the grass to get around. I probably burned up some energy with all that jockeying around at the starting line.

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So, cheating. This is toward the end.

 

I set in at 9:00 pace and it felt OK. It felt reasonably hard, and I knew that running levee trail would be slower than a road race, obviously. The problem came at about a mile in. a nasty twinge that I had noticed the day before. A twinge in my right shin that made my leg buckle under me. I had this happen at work on Friday and ignored it. I stayed on my feet and decided to just slow down a little. Maybe that would help. But it didn’t. It twinged and hurt and I really started thinking about the odds of being able to push past that much pain for 2 more miles.

I slowed down and dropped off onto the grass. I tried stretching my calf out on the edge of the trail but it didn’t seem to bring any relief. I tried to walk it out, but it brought on horrible shin splints that made my clench my teeth. I would start to run again and tough it out as long as I could until the twinge would make my leg buckle again.

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This one, too.

 

We reached the turn-around point and I continued to run. I thought I could just tough my way thru it. Once I hit 2 miles, I knew I was fooling myself. I t wasn’t going to happen. I looked at my watch and knew that there really wasn’t a point to torturing myself, so I started taking walk breaks. Just doing anything I could to finish the race and not cry.

I spotted my children right before the finish line and managed to wave as I jogged by. My son Emery had made some pretty epic signs for me and seeing their little faces and hearing them cheer genuinely made me smile.

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Home stretch

 

After the race, I helped the boys make plates of pancakes, sausage and fruit. Once I made it back to my car, we wrapped my right leg with Arctic Ease wrap and I headed home to rest.

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I didn’t teach him to eat like that.

 

Running a race 4 minutes slower than the previous year was a painful reminder that I am still not well. But… I did get up and race. I am still fighting, and that is something I can hold my head up about. It was a stake in the sand. I did it. Onward from here.

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Emery looks excited to be with his mom.

 

Saturday afternoon, I took Emery to the democratic caucus to support Bernie Sanders. It was an amazing time but wow, sitting for hours on the hard bleachers did nothing for my back. Bernie won our district 78% to 22%. Yay! J

2015 St. Patricks 5K

March 7, 2015

Lawrence, KS

St. Patrick’s Day 10K and 5K

 

We are coming up on my first race in MONTHS and MONTHS! I thought I would go back and catch up on some race reviews as I am repeating many of these events this year.

So. First up, Lawrence, KS’s St. Patrick’s 5K. I guess this would be my 2nd year running this race in 2015. They had a 10K as well as a 5K, but I thought I would be more competitive in the 5K. I also had come off a week of living hell, which would eventually take me out and render me a zombie for nearly a year. But I digress…

This race is on the river levee starting behind Johnny’s Tavern. The year before, I believe we started at a grade school and snaked our way to the levee and ran out and back toward the river trail head. This year, we stayed on the levee entirely, running the opposite direction. It was the same course as the now-discontinued Valentine-themed Sweetheart 5K.

I remember running this race on zero sleep or nutrition. I really just wanted to burn my legs out, go as fast as I could, and survive. I created a Spotify playlist with some angry, aggressive songs and tried lining up toward the front of the pack. The levee is a very narrow trail and there isn’t a lot of room for passing. You have to get all your passing done early, because it is an out-and-back. When the super speedy people hit the turn-around, opportunities to pass decrease even more.

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Shamrock boobs make you faster. Fact.

 

I was shooting to stay around 8:45 pace but I do think I went out a little too fast. (Which is typical for me.) I didn’t stop for a drink at the turn-around aid station since I haven’t perfected the whole “drinking from a paper cup while running” skill. On the way back, I just concentrated on holding on. I told myself, even if you have a slow down a bit, DO NOT WALK. DO NOT GIVE UP. So I kept pushing. I saw my family at the very end and continued to push up the little hill to the finish. Seeing their little faces and their homemade signs gave me a little boost.

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Best cheer squad ever. Except Dane being lazy and sitting down.

 

After the race, we stayed around for the awards ceremony. This race has a really nice breakfast spread with both Irish and American breakfasts… I made a plate which mostly I just shared with my boys. I am not that interested in eating after running my butt off. If you do like eating after a race – definitely make yourself a plate. My boys tell me the food is very good.

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I was quite surprised at the award ceremony to have placed! The woman who got first in my AG actually took first overall… so that bumped me up to 2nd place AG. This was also a PR for me, which I was proud of since it was on the levee trail and not paved road. Had I had good nutrition and sleep that week, I am sure I would have performed a little better, but I certainly was happy with a 27:03.

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Post-race briefing with Trudi. And Tatum’s hat is pretty awesome.