Tag Archive: Race Report

Market Square Day 10k

Today I ran the Market Square Day (MSD) 10k in Portsmouth, NH. Much like last week, I didn’t have any big expectations for this race. I’ve only run two other 10Ks. I ran MSD last year. Last year, I had hoped to break 60 minutes and came in with 1 hour, 2 minutes and 3 seconds. My second 10k was the Saunders 10k last August. I managed to break the one hour mark with 57:48.

So, I didn’t care about a PR, would have liked to come in under 60 minutes, but wouldn’t be upset no matter what.

I liked this race a lot last year because there were a lot of spectators. The race starts in downtown Portsmouth at the start of a street fair/festival type thing (that’s the official term). The course makes a quick loop around the downtown area and heads into nearby neighborhoods. The neighborhoods are the best part. People stand in their front yards cheering. Last year many many people had music playing loudly for the runners. Motivating music like Eye of the Tiger from Rocky and the theme from Chariots of Fire. This year the number of spectators seemed to be down from last year, and there were definitely fewer musical interludes. There were plenty of people holding out hoses to spray down hot runners, which was great because it WAS hot, despite a 9 AM start.

There are a few hills, which I of course swore at as I ran up them, but the course isn’t too bad elevation-wise.

I did discover yet another running motivational tip, and that is what I dub “pre-blogging”. Many athletes visualize winning races or olympic medals and they feel that helps them perform better in competitive events. I found thinking about what I would blog after the race to be my visualization. I wanted to write that I had a PR. I wanted to write that I had a great race. I wanted to write that I once again conquered hills and heat and running in general. Guess what? It worked. I finished in 57:15 (official time). A PR by more than 30 seconds!

There won’t be any race reports for a little while. My next race isn’t scheduled until the Saunders 10k in August. Don’t worry though, I’m sure I’ll post plenty of regular running post between now and then.

A post-race note: if you find yourself in a race of some sort, and you’d like to be running faster than those around you, UNLESS YOU ARE TRYING TO COME IN FIRST, don’t be an a$$hole and dodge in and out of people reckelssly just to get ahead of someone by 10 feet. (And if you have any chance of coming in first, don’t start at the back of the freakin pack.)

I p0wned the Smuttynose 5K!

Okay, maybe not by elite runner standards, but by MY standards I kicked that race’s a$$.

So for a little backstory…my PR (personal record) for a 5k was 27:46 from a 5k in May. This was a GREAT time for me. I started running in September of 2007. My first 5k in November of that year was 34:40. Seven minute improvement in one and a half years isn’t too bad in my book. I will never forget the 5k that I ran last year when I was THRILLED to have broken the 30-minute mark. When I first started running that had seemed impossible.

Now, I had ZERO expectations for today. I already had a PR in May. I am running a 10k next weekend. So, I figured I would just run this race and see. This course is VERY hilly. According to Big Red, 602 foot elevation increase and 556 foot decrease. Also, today was HOT. 77 degrees F with not a lot of shade on the course. You can see why my expectations for today were so low.

According to my Garmin, I ran the first mile in 8:46. WHAT?! That is crazy-fast for me. It’s the hills. As I’ve blogged about before, I get mad. I don’t slow down, and that is what worked for me here. At every hill, I just pushed myself faster. On one of the rare flat parts, I had to remind myself to pick it up a bit.

Unofficial finish time (in other words, my watch and not the official race chip time, which hasn’t been posted yet) was 27:12! A 30-second PR over my last best time. WOW! That was exciting. Now top that all off with the fact that this was the Smuttynose 5k, so guess what was being served after the race? Free Smuttynose beer! W00t!

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Does it get any better? Oh wait, it does! They had a live band and free pizza, chili and wings. I had a great time hanging out in the sun, drinking a beer (or two) and eating some pizza.

So while I didn’t come in first or anything like that, I did completely kill my time from last year in this race (29:28, it was even hotter last year) and got a PR!!

Redhook Brewery 5k Race Report

Yesterday I ran the Redhook Brewery Memorial 5k. I ran this race last year and it was HOT. The course feels like a gradual uphill for the first mile and a half. There is no shade to be had at all on this course. Last year the son was blazing and it was hot. Did I mention it was hot last year? Last year I ran a disappointing 30:25. Disappointing because I had hoped to break the 30 minute mark. I had at a race a couple of weeks before, but the heat just killed me.

Luckily this year, it was cooler and overcast. Big Red also made a full recovery from my prior post and was there to keep me on track. This race is pretty packed, 1958 runners this year. The first 1/4 mile or so was PACKED. A lot of weaving through people and being passed. This race allows both strollers and iPods, which was an interesting combo. I saw a lot of guys pushing strollers and coming up behind people yelling “Stroller on your left” and the runner not hearing because they were wearing headphones.

Speaking of strollers, no matter how much better I do than in years past, I STILL get passed by women pushing double-strollers up hill. Very degrading.

Anyway, so mile 1, I managed an 8:52 pace, which was pretty good for me, especially since I had to fight the crowd a bit. I slowed down on mile 2 with a 9:13 pace. Mile 3 I picked it back up for 9:01. Total for the 5k: 28:31. Not a PR, but definitely better than my time last year! Almost two minutes better!!

And even more exciting to me was that my run was MUCH better than my prior run. Heading out in a few minutes for a run. Next race is June 13th, Market Square Day 10k (I think – I haven’t signed up yet!).

Margaritas Mexican Fiesta 5K

As mentioned in my last post, I got a last minute entry into the Margaritas Mexican Fiesta 5K. Basically, my mother-in-law registered for the race and then, the night before decided not to run and gave me her number. (To be clear, she has breathing issues, she didn’t just cop out). So that is how I happened to be registered for a race that I didn’t know about until the night before. I was registered as a woman 50 to 59 years old. (To be clear again, I am NOT 59).

This was the first running of the Margaritas Mexican Fiesta 5K. It seemed like it would be fun. Margaritas is a local Mexican restuarant. The race was sponsored by the restaurant and Corona. Free beer and mexican food after the race – who could ask for anything more?

I got there WAY too early. There were only 450 people registered for the race, with plenty of parking. Oh well. I saw a friend that I hadn’t seen since the Great Bay Half Marathon, so we chatted a bit before the start.

Before the race started, I hadn’t yet decided if I was going to try and run fast, or just take it easy. I haven’t exactly been training. I only ran twice this week. My next race wasn’t scheduled until the end of May. The race started and a huge group of people started doing some goofy take on Army chants. You know where one guy says something, and the other people echo want he said. Only they were REALLY annoying. I decided I would try and run fast, if only to get past them. Which of course proved difficult since they were running side-by-side, at least 10 people across. Did I mention the fact that the race was small? As a result, they didn’t close off any of the roads, and we ran in the bicycle lane most of the way, so only room for one to two runners side-by-side.

Once I got going fast enough to pass them, I figured, what the heck? I’ll keep going. It was pretty much a slow gradual rise to the halfway point and then a couple of quick downhills to get back to the starting point. I completed the first mile in 8:56, which is pretty fast for me. The second mile I slowed down to 9:12. I got annoyed with myself (and this woman who ran so close to me, I thought she was drafting) that I stepped it up for the last mile and ran it in 8:27.

So I finished the 5K in 27:50 according to the clock time (no chip time this race). A PR for me! Yippee! I placed 210/433. Again, for me, not too bad.

A personal record AND a free Corona and Mexican food. Could this day get any better? :)

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