Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Dolphin Dash 5k

After nine years and seventy races, I had finally figured out the appropriate way to prepare for a race.  My optimal pre-race routine includes

  • lots of water for a few days before the race
  • a well rounded dinner two nights before, a lighter meal the night before the race
  • 2 beers consumed the night before the race before 8pm
  • a lot of water after said beers
  • regular sleeping hours (ie 9:45)
I've also perfected my race day morning:

  • one small cup of coffee- must be finished an hour before official start time
  • bagel, poptarts, or waffle & a banana for breakfast 
  • 6ish oz of water

This past year, I finally discovered the benefits of warming up before a race. Particularly for 5k and 10ks if I am hoping to squeeze out a faster than comfortable pace. Through some trial and error, I've learned that it takes my body about 2 miles to get into the groove.

Before I ran the Dolphin Dash 5k in Syracuse this past weekend I only followed one of my pre-race routine.  Unfortunately for me, the only thing I stuck to was my 2 mile warm up, which was way too long of a warm up for someone who had taken off 2 weeks of running.  But lets not get to ahead of ourselves. 

I drove out to Syracuse on Friday afternoon and met a college roommate & her husband for dinner at The Distillery.  I settled on a cucumber mojito and a steak salad. (almost fits the bill for an appropriate dinner) After we made our way up the hill to an Alumni event. Its hard to believe that it was 10 years since we graduated and 5 years since some of us turned up for the first reunion.  I still had big dreams of a solid race, so I stuck to two beers, but instead of being done drinking at 8pm, I was just starting. When the second one was finished, I dreamed of water, but didn't make any effort to get any from the bar.  It was a great night seeing classmates. With facebook, most of us had a general idea of what people have been up to for the past few years, but facebook can't replace the fun of retelling favorite college stories.  



I floated around and said hi to a bunch of people but mostly hung with my 2 former roommates and their husbands. I was tired and totally ready for bed, but didn't want to be the first one to bail. We all ended up leaving around 11:30. I tried to make up for lost time with water - but I knew the damage was done.

I laid in my bunk bed ( I stayed in campus housing for the weekend) and kept my feet in the air for as long as I could.  They ached from wearing useless sandals since 8am that morning. By 12:30 I fell asleep.  

I slept well, and could have slept longer but woke up at 7.  I continued to lay in bed and drink water for an hour realizing that I had no coffee. Since the race was on campus, I was highly unmotivated to drive to get coffee. It was roughly the same time that I realized that I didn't have any food for breakfast.  There would be a continental breakfast in the dorm at 9, but I had it in my thick head that I should still go for a 2 mile warm up.  I did have one chew granola bar that was given to us by Le Moyne and for some reason I assumed it would be sufficient.  

The walk down to the athletic center was quick,  I hadn't realized that the fields had been upgraded.  The old practice field had turned into a beautiful stadium.  (Seems appropriate since our Lacrosse team won the National Championship just the other week for the 5th time) I was so early that it was quick for me to get my t-shirt and bib before stashing my gear under the table to go out for a jog.

I ended up running towards my old field hockey fields and discovered that there are a network of trails that I never new existed.  It was SO nice running in there.  My legs felt very dead but that is often the case for me and I was really hopeful that I'd be able to shake them out in time.



 After my run I made my way to ditch my phone and mill about.  I ran into two of my former co-workers from my summer camp days both of which are also avid runners who Instagram.

Kristin and I are also on Nike+ together and she had noticed my low may miles and was relieved to see that I wasn't injured!

We chatted a bit before heading outside for some announcements.  The race director explained the course (which was helpful since I didn't realize that we'd have to loop past the finish) before the alma mater and national anthem were sung.  One of the Jesuits gave a prayer.

I am not particularly religious person ( completely different post for a different sort of blog) but the scripture he read did stick with me.

Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us - Hebrew 12:1
After, there was some confusion about where the race started and which direction we'd be running.  Since it was a small group it was sorted out fairly quick.  It wasn't intentional but I ended up being with my friends Kristin and Kim in the front of the pack when the horn went off.  On good days, I have gone all out and just attempt to hold on, but Saturday wasn't one of those days.  It felt like that first 400m felt lik_e the last of a marathon. I knew I was going too fast and tried to pull it in without killing my ability continue moving forward.  It was a struggle. the K's took off and were completely out of sight by the time we returned to the start before making our way up the hill to the main campus.

I couldn't get my lungs and legs to work together and it was a struggle to get up to campus.  I was frustrated with myself, even though I knew I had very successfully stacked everything against me for this race.  It was hot, I was tired and dehydrated. After the water stop, I just wanted to ANY pace to feel comfortable.

Kristin had won first place for the women. Her sister Kim had come in 3rd for women over all! It was really exciting for them both and the trophy was awesome. This event is considered part of the the alumni weekend so more people hung around than I've generally seen at small races.  Almost all of the age placers and over all winners were Le Moyne Alumns (the event is open to anyone).  After the awards, I was eager for some food so I made my way back to Dablon for the breakfast and much needed coffee.


So while this was not my slowest 5k ever ( others have either been trail or with friends/family)  this was my slowest 5k that I had intended to 'race'.

I was annoyed with how the race felt,  but I still very much enjoyed the run.  It was through the campus (which I've mentioned before was where I became a runner) I was there for a gorgeous weekend with my classmates for our 10 year reunion. And despite it all, I know how lucky I am that my body allows for me to run.  

Overall, it was an event that I will likely do again (maybe even before my next reunion)  it was cheap ($27 including fees) and included a t-shirt & a pint glass ! 

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