Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Race Report: Sioux Falls Skedaddle Half Marathon

The forecast leading up to race day was a little alarming. And then it snowed the Saturday before. Since I wasn't full out racing the half, I was a little up in the air about what I should wear, trying to opt on the warmer side than normal. The windchill was 28, so I opted for a long sleeve and lighter 7/8 capris. Melissa and I met downtown at 6:30 a.m. and I was shocked at how good my stomach was feeling. It probably has something to do with no nerves due to a workout vs. a race but if I could have a stomach like this on all race mornings, I'd be really happy.

We hit up the portapotties, I did my band work, we dropped our bags, and headed out for a warm up at 7 a.m. We did a mile and strides and then it was time to line up for the race. I was thrilled to not be going back into the portapotty line!

I said goodbye to Melissa around the 9 pace, and made my way to the 10 pace. My workout for the morning was 4 miles warm up ~10 pace, 3 mile at 9:00 pace, 1 mile recovery, 2 miles at 8:45 pace, 1 mile recovery, and 2.1 miles at 8:30 pace. By my calculations, this had me around 2:03:20. That'd be a pretty good workout day!

The gun went off, and I kept my ear buds out, hoping to absorb some of the energy of those around me and really be able to see and hear the spectators.

I had to watch my Garmin pretty closely during those warm up miles. My body was ready to go! Which is interesting, because most of my long runs are 10:15 wish pace, so it was nice that 10 felt as easy as it did.

The first 3.5 miles we were running on streets that I've never run on before, which was pretty interesting and cool. It's crazy to think how many miles I've logged in Sioux Falls and to discover routes I haven't been on. I was shocked and thrilled by how many spectators were out lining up on the course to cheer us on. We got to have a behind the scenes tour of the zoo on another route I've never run on, as we made our way to the bike trail. I took my first GU at mile 3.

1. 9:57
2. 9:53
3. 9:47
4. 9:48

My legs were really itching to go, so I was happy when my watch beeped mile 4 and I was off! It was a little challenging as there was some congestion as we made our way to the narrower bike path, but I wasn't concerned about easing in to the workout pace as necessary. I was feeling so good and strong. I kind of felt like an asshole flying by people, but it also gave me some extra oomph, so sorry.... I think. There were some portions in this stretch that I was slightly puzzled by running into the wind. I knew the forecast was calling for wind out of the south and east, and I was 99.999% sure I was running north. But then I remembered we were on the stretch of the bike trail that is an anomaly in which you run into the wind no matter which direction you go, sometimes even on a still day. It's.... a thing.

5. 9:08
6. 9:05
7. 8:59

My first recovery mile, I really struggled to slow down. I felt like I was recovering, but I was also nervous that I was going to really regret not hitting closer to my goal of 10:30 on the recovery mile.

8. 9:29 (aka not a 10:30, derp)

I caught up to some friends during the next set of harder miles and the wind got UFF DA, hard. My effort was significantly harder than the previous set of faster miles, but my pace didn't indicate that. One of the things I've been working on in my meditation practice with my running is distraction; recognizing when you're distracted in your meditation practice and gently bringing your mind back to the breath, and then translating that to the run. Mentally, it's really hard to keep your mind "on" for a whole race. I really tried to focus on this and reign in my brain whenever it would zone out and my pace would slip. Definitely still a work in progress.

9. 9:05
10. 9:13

I was counting down the tenths of a mile to hit mile 11 for a little break, committed to enjoying that recovery mile this go around. Except that into the wind, it felt even less recovery based. And It was during this part that I started leap frogging with some people that I had passed, who were now passing me back as I slowed up. I knew this would be a challenge, but I was kind of excited to practice checking my ego, and doing my thing as planned without worrying about anyone passing me, or feeling weird for essentially putting on the breaks with 3 miles to go, when the final 5k is usually when I try to turn on the rocket ship gears! I still didn't slow it down to the 10:30 as previously planned, but I did a little better than the first go around.

11. 9:49

The final 2.1 miles I was ready to rock and go all out. I ran by the Trail Sisters water station and it was so fun to see so many familiar faces. Side note: I didn't have any family on the race route for Skedaddle; Kyle was out of town, and I forgot to invite my in-laws, so I didn't have anyone I was expecting to see out on the race route. But the number of times I had friends, running buddies, 605 co-workers, etc. cheering for me was INSANE. I felt like I had a 13.1 mile cheering section. Seriously. My heart is beyond full for this running community.

The last 2 miles is a route that we typically run on the Wednesday night group run, so I took advantage of the downhill of the switchbacks, knowing we'd have to climb out of the Falls and that'd make my "goal" pace more challenging. Honestly, I hadn't looked at the new race route, and wasn't 100% sure how we were going to get out of the Falls, so that was a fun surprise once it was visible in front of me. Ha. Around 12.5 my left calf, which had been cranky in a weird, new spot on Thursday's run, but was fine on Thursday, fully seized up and brought me to a halt. I quickly hobbled over to the side of the road to attempt to stretch it on the curb, and apologized profusely to the guy I caught off in the process. SORRY DUDE, for reals! My brain was deprived of oxygen and clearly wasn't thinking.

Unfortunately the curb didn't do anything to loosen it up, it was LOCKED. Luckily I only had about a half mile to go, so I kind of limped along, attempting some high knees as the toe off of my left foot seemed to be what hurt the most. I had checked my watch a couple of times the final 5k and realized I should be close to 2:03-2:04 if I was able to hold a 9 pace, which pre-calf cramp I thought should be a lock even into the wind, but totally shut down any sort of pushing the pace after the calf cramped up. I am SO THANKFUL that this happened with about 5 minutes of running left. I honestly don't know what I would've done if it happened any earlier. I may have posted a DNF it hurt so bad.

12. 9:00
13. 9:41

Since I did poor research on the race route, I wasn't actually sure where the finish would be, so at the 13 mile mark I wasn't sure if the race was going to be really long or where I was headed. I turned a corner, and it was basically RIGHT THERE. So I kicked it up just a little into the finishing stretch.

don't ask why I ran the remaining 3 strides with my finger on my Garmin.

.12 :58 8:15 pace

I finished 13.12 miles in 2:04:01 (according to the official results, 2:03:59 according to my Garmin [insert eye roll here]) for a pace of 9:26. I really wish I had looked at my watch a little and done some finishing math to kick it in 2 seconds faster. :P I guess that's the down side to not fully racing. Derp.

I saw Melissa who ran a PR!!


And Chris who also ran a really strong half post-LA Marathon. And snagged a 3rd place AG award.

And then I attempted to stretch my calf on the curb some more and then just resigned to limping around to grab our bags, photos, brunch and beverages. Luckily for me, Melissa went the extra mile to help me out because I was moving so slowly.

It was such a phenomenally put on race, and I'll definitely be back. I hope that next spring we have a normal winter and they're able to use their original race route, because I think it would be a lot of fun.  It's so cool to have a race like this in Sioux Falls, and I'm proud to be employed by 605 Running Co. who did a LOT of work to make this race a reality.


On the calf cramp front: I brought my salt pills, but thought the weather was cool enough to skip them. I'm hoping that was the cause of it, and fingers crossed that it'll loosen and be just fine after some extra TLC.

Wind? What wind??

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