The Race That Wasn’t

 

I was supposed to run my 4th consecutive VT Corporate Cup Challenge on Thursday night. As you have already gathered from my Manic Monday training recap, I did not. And I am 100% ok with it.

I have a complicated relationship with this race because, while I get free registration, an early release from work, and free dinner, the race itself has a lot of logistical issues. Usually, we have a pretty high rate of participation in our office, but for some reason, this year just didn’t work out. One by one, people kept dropping out due to injuries, illness, or business conflicts. A determined core of 4 of us were still planning to go as of Thursday morning, but I’d be lying if I said I was excited about it.

When our office manager walked into my office around lunchtime and said, “How bad do you wanna race tonight?” I was IMMEDIATELY ready to throw in the towel. Getting into Montpelier for this race is a HUGE hassle that always stresses me out. The weather was really iffy. And quite frankly, I didn’t want to spend my entire evening out and about, driving an extra 40+ miles.

Instead of racing, our team just went out for a nice dinner and drinks on the company dime. The whole thing is about team-building and spending time together anyway, and it’s a heck of a lot easier to get to know each other over dinner than it is during a race. And then I was home at a totally reasonable hour, which was also wonderful.

It’s kind of funny that May was supposed to be this crazy race-filled month, and now I will only end up running 2 out of the original 4. Considering that the two I’m missing are the two I didn’t have to pay for, I’m certainly not that broken up about it.

What do you do when you’re just not feeling a race? Push through, or bail?

Manic Monday – 05/15/17

Manic Monday

Training For: Craft Brew Race 5k (May 20)

Monday 05/08/17: CrossFit
More back squats, ugh. I finally established a one rep max, though, which is good. And then we did a choose your own adventure comprised of various combinations of pull-ups, push-ups, squats, and running. Woof.

Tuesday 05/09/17: 4 Mile Run
I was going to do 3.1 miles for my 31st birthday, but my boss insisted I leave early, so I managed 4 miles before meeting my friends for dinner. I ended up with perfect negative splits for a nice little progression run.

Wednesday 05/10/17: CrossFit
One rep max on Chest Presses plus 20-15-10-5 Push Presses with progressive load, box jumps with increasing height, and a 200 m run. I finished in 13:39 and was PUMPED.

Thursday 05/11/17: 4 x 400 with W/U and C/D
My company ended up bailing on the Corporate Cup Challenge (more on that tomorrow), so I did some speed work on my lunch break instead.

Friday 05/12/17: Rest
A friend was in town from Colorado just for the weekend, so I skipped CF and we did dinner and drinks.

Saturday 05/13/17: VT Respite House Jiggety Jog 5k Race
You can expect a full recap later in the week, but if you follow me on Instagram you already saw it was a strong race 🙂

Sunday 05/14/17: Rest
I literally sat on my butt all day hanging out with my family for Mother’s Day.

This will be my first week of rehearsals for Dogfight, and due to rehearsals being in Waterbury (30-40 minutes away), I will need to switch up my schedule a bit, which I’m not super psyched about.

I’ve been on a Monday/Wednesday/Friday kick with CF for months now, and I’m reluctant to switch up my days because a) I don’t know if I can handle going to class two days in a row, and b) the only way to avoid going to class two days in a row would be to drive in from Underhill on Saturday mornings, which I don’t think I will do consistently. Ah, life.

How do you feel about changing your schedule? I’m generally not good with change…

Double Race Week!

That’s right, I have two races this week–crazy! While I’m technically “back” after my hiatus, I still haven’t been running that much, maybe twice a week, and the longest I’ve done since November is 4 miles. That’s ok, though, because I’m not really looking for PRs, and the only races I have on the docket are 5ks.

Tomorrow is the VT Corporate Cup Challenge 5k.  This will now be my 4th year running this race (see recaps from 2014, 2015 and 2016). It’s not the most organized of races (not enough potties, terrible parking and traffic, no corrals, no race etiquette), but I get free registration through work, and get to leave work early to get to Montpelier. We also usually do some sort of dinner and drinks thing after, so it’s a nice time in spite of not being the best race ever.

The good news is, the weather is actually looking like it won’t be god-awful hot like it has been the last three years. Right now, temps are forecast to be in the mid-50’s. As long as there’s no rain, it should be a much more comfortable race than in past years.

Then Saturday is the VT Respite House Jiggety Jog 5k, my annual fundraiser race. It’s also my fourth year running this race, and it’s always been my favorite. I’m a little nervous because it’s a new course this year, so I honestly have no idea what to expect. The last two years in a row, this was a PR race for me. With the lack of training on my part, it’s highly unlikely I will PR, but I hope to put in a strong performance nonetheless.

Because these are my first two races this year, and because training hasn’t been strong, my only goal is to finish both races healthy and uninjured. I would be THRILLED if I could pull off sub-30 finishes, but considering my “training” thus far, I’m not holding my breath. Healthy and uninjured is good enough for me.

Have you ever run two (or more) races within a couple of days?

Race Recap: VT Corporate Cup 2016

This is a recap of my personal experience at the VT Corporate Cup Challenge 5k. If you want just the nitty gritty details, check out my review on BibRave.com. Don’t forget to help your fellow runners by reviewing all your races on BibRave!

What/Where/When: VT Corporate Cup Challenge 5k | Montpelier, VT | 5/12/16 @ 6pm
Conditions: Very hot (80’s) and humid

Pre-Race:
I received a free registration through work, and everything was very simple to get registered online. Since this is an evening race, and it was supposed to be the hottest day of the year so far, I really focused on hydrating well at work all day. I left the office at 4 intending to park at the Richmond Park and Ride and have my coworkers pick me up to carpool, but the Park and Ride was a freaking ZOO. Cars everywhere, people everywhere, lots of people obviously trying to carpool for the race. It was horrible. I got frustrated immediately and just left to drive to Montpelier by myself.

As usual, getting into Montpelier was a cluster. Traffic was backed up way onto the ramp off I-89, and I sat in it for about 10 minutes, intending to get at least to the National Life parking lot. Once again though, my frustration got the better of me and I bailed out and parked in the Montpelier Park and Ride, which is about a mile away from the start. I just took it as a nice little warm up jog, and got to the Statehouse lawn at about 5:20.

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So. Many. People.

Bib pick up is super organized, with lines alphabetized by last name, and I waited in line for all of 1 minute to get my bib. You had to go to another tent for your cotton t-shirt, but I just decided to forego it, because the last thing I need is another crappy cotton t-shirt I’m never gonna wear. I met my coworkers on the Statehouse steps for some pre-race pictures, used a porta-potty, and we lined up in the start area at about 5:50. Once again, it’s a mass start, but thankfully, the race is chip-timed, so I didn’t worry about getting too close to the front.

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Nice picture

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Silly picture

On the Course:
As usual, the start is extremely congested, and I spent about the first half mile speeding up, slowing down, and weaving all over the place to avoid groups of people running together, or those who had started at the front and then began walking right away. This is still my biggest complaint about this race; it would REALLY benefit everyone if they had a corral system or wave start or something. Ah well.

In keeping with my goals post, I focused on just taking it easy and enjoying the run. It was super hot, and I hadn’t eaten anything since lunch, so I knew I didn’t have a lot of gas in the tank anyway. I was HYPER aware of my foot the whole time, listening for any pain or discomfort signals, but they never came. Yay!

The spectator support for this race is incredible. It feels like the entire town of Montpelier is out cheering you on. People are sitting on their porches and lawns playing music, cheering, waving, and one guy even had his hose out and was spraying it on the street for people to run through. There was one water stop at about the halfway point, and a 5 piece folk string band right at mile three to help push us to the finish. The last .1 mile starts with a lovely downhill, so I picked up my pace a bit and cruised to the finish in 32:41.

Post-Race:
I got a full-sized bottle of warm water right in the finisher’s chute. I knew from scoping out beforehand that they had their usual bagels and cider for post-race fare, but we had a reservation at Positive Pie down the street, so I wandered over there. I ate poutine (with real duck gravy and VT cheese curds!) and had a beer, then drove home.

Overall:
I was really pleased with my time, and proud of myself for following through on my promise to take it easy and enjoy the race. I still feel like there’s got to be a better way to manage traffic, parking, and the congested start, but since I’m not paying for this race, it’s hard to complain too much. It’s definitely a fun event, just a few logistical issues.

Would you run a race again if it consistently had logistical issues like parking/traffic?