Saturday, September 24, 2011

A 4 Mile Race and a 7 Mile Cool-Down

The best thing about running a random distance race? Automatic PR, baby! The Eton 4-Miler is a tiny little race, but at $25 and only 15 minutes from home I was really excited for it. I started with a one mile warm up and then, naturally, posed for a picture:


Don't let the singlet fool you--it was COLD! Even after the race and the awards it was still 55 degrees. It's definitely fall here! My plan for the race was to stick with 8:45 minutes miles, and gun for a 35 minute finish. I promised myself I would stick to the plan and not go out too fast, which is always my problem. I did it! Within 4 minutes of running I found myself near the back of the pack...EVERYONE and their mother had passed me straight away, but I stuck to plan. Here am I after 1/2 mile (the first part was a loop back to the start):


After the first mile I held my speed and a lot of people slowed down. Loved passing people--it doesn't happen to me often! The race was really beautiful, on rolling hills and so peaceful. Towards the end there was no one ahead or behind me a good 200 yards. I almost forgot it was a race!

When I passed the 5k mark I realized I had an unofficial PR by about 35 seconds...that felt great! Finished the whole thing in 34:17, or an 8:34 pace. Hubs was there to document it, of course. Shout out to him for standing in the cold while I ran. What a sweetheart!


There were some incredible runners at this race. A few really stood out to me: a 5 year old girl ran it with just over 10 minute miles. Wow! Also, this little guy put me to shame with his time. He was truly amazing:


Yes, that tiny little boy raced 4 miles in 26 minutes and 4 seconds. Six and a half minute miles. Insane.
On the other end of the race spectrum we have the overall women's winner, who was 62 and runs...(wait for it)....120 MILES PER WEEK. I can't even fathom it. She came in below:


It must have been a walk in the park for her! It really was a fun day, even if the weather was pretty cold standing around afterwards. Since it was such a small town race, I even got some bling! I was 4th woman overall and first in my age group. Sweet! Here is how I posed, completely calm, with the goods:


And then one to let you know how I was really feeling:

I GOT STUFF!

Yesterday I asked for advice about how to run this race but still manage 20 miles for the day. I got a lot of great suggestions, and the didn't listen to any of them because I am stubborn. I ran 1 mile to warm up, 4 mile at the race, and then 7 easy miles at home on the treadmill. I was hoping for more, but my calf hurt and I was just exhausted so I cut myself some slack and considered 12 miles for the day my long run. Lesson learned.

Do you prefer small or large races? Best race you've ever run?
I definitely like small. I am used to running alone so it's just my race and my pace. Plus, as mentioned above...WAY more likely to win stuff. 

What lessons have you learned about running/racing/ANYTHING from the blog world?
I have read so many race recaps where people say they went out too fast, so this race I remembered that and took it slow. Anyone who has ever gone out too fast in a race and blogged about it--thank you!

54 comments:

  1. Nice job!!! I like smaller races too sometimes because it is a confidence builder. I always get so down on myself after a big race and am finishing like 10th female in my age group so winning for my age group in a smaller race is awesome!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Awesome job on following your plan! And congrats on your award! :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Awesome job girl! I always start out too fast too, so this post will be a nice reminder for me in the next race I run. I like small races for the same reason you do, but every once in awhile big races are fun too. My favorite race I have ever done is one of the biggest races there is (Boston), so I guess I can't truly say that I like small races best.

    ReplyDelete
  4. YOU look fabulous! Way to go!!!! Have a great rest of your weekend!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Way to use good pacing to rock that race! Amazing! My dream is to "win stuff". There are things I love about both big and small races, so I can't choose, I do need to find a small one to place someday though! I've learned about the importance of not going out too fast too, but then still done it, and blogged out it! So you're welcome! Congrats! And I think 12 miles including a race like that has you covered. My coach always says racing miles count as more than they really are because you run harder.

    ReplyDelete
  6. WOW, awesome race, congratulations on winning some bling. Well done :-)

    ReplyDelete
  7. You rock!! Awesome time -- and congrats on the win!!! What an awesome weekend so far:)

    ReplyDelete
  8. Nice job! Nice bling! I love small races because I also like to be by myself when I run. I get too stressed with a crowd around me.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Great job on the race! I prefer big races because I like all the motivation of people in front of and behind me.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Congrats on a great race and bringing hime some BLING girl! Way to go!
    (I still haven't done my 20 either... Napped after my race and now I'm worthless!)

    ReplyDelete
  11. 4th overall and first in your age group - SA-WEET! Nice job!!!!

    I'm so totally 100% for BIG races (the bigger the better, but over about 20,000 people might reaching the max I like otherwise you have to wait to start too long!

    I've learned WAY too much about racing from bloggers!!! I think the simplest but most important thing I ever learned was that racing should be fun! And more for me than most of everyone else in the blogosphere - I'm racing simply for that - FUN! I set 3 PR goals for this year, but that's not my norm - my norm is to just have as much fun as possible!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Awesome, Vanessa! You did so great and I CAN'T believe those little kids. Great day of running.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Nice going. And good for you to know when it was time to pack it in on the TM.

    That woman was absolutely awesome. Now I know there is hope for me, too.!

    P.S. congrats on the Starbuck's win today.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Nice race, congratulations on finishing very strong and not waning from your plan to not go out too fast!! Very happy for you! :)

    ReplyDelete
  15. Great job on the age group win! I've never won a plaque before :)

    ReplyDelete
  16. GREAT job Vanessa and a plaque too!!! YAY for the win :) in age group I hope to win something one day. That kid and old women are AMAZING! nice post

    ReplyDelete
  17. goodness, that old lady is rockin! I would love to be that old lady someday

    awesome job on your race!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Nice job! Congrats on all the bling!!

    Bless that woman's heart. 120 mikes a week? It takes some special genetics to be able to run that much and not breakdown your body to bits.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Congratulations Vanessa! Way to go on getting 1st in your age group and 4th woman overall! You are such an inspiration! And to think you ran more after that-AMAZING!

    ReplyDelete
  20. Great job!!! Don't worry at all about not getting your full mileage in, you'll be fine :) Big races have their advantages, but I also love small races…the only time I have ever won anything was at small races!

    ReplyDelete
  21. Yay for tiny races!!! I love getting awards at little races! Congrats on your win!!

    ReplyDelete
  22. Congrats!! I like tiny races where you win stuff. Not too many of those here in Chicagoland :(

    And yay for the 20 mile day!!!

    ReplyDelete
  23. wow congrats, that's so awesome. That kid and the 62 year old are insane! I prefer small races for the most part, for the sole reason of placing often ;) Big races are fun for the energy though. There are definitely pros and cons to both

    ReplyDelete
  24. Great job V! I can't believe that you don't often pass people. You're being modest. You'd pass me...I promise.

    ReplyDelete
  25. I hate large races! Large crowds aren't meant for me and they are just so complicated (and expensive). Plus the small ones encourage more conversation, at least I feel like it. It's generally semi-serious runners who are racing to race. The large ones gather either super-serious runners who intimidate me, or the people who decided a month ago that they are going to run this race and have no idea what that means and end up getting in the way.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Oh, I so want to sign up for tons of small races once I'm stateside again... I'm never going to win anything with hundreds to thousands of people racing, but in a nice little small race? I might almost stand a chance of eeking out a 3rd place age group prize one of these days, which would be awesome!

    ReplyDelete
  27. Hi Vanessa!!

    I also have the problem of starting out too fast with races, and that's something I'm definitely going to work on once I can run again. I like smaller races for the higher chance of winning something, but my favorite race so far was the Disney Princess 1/2 Marathon in Florida, which was crazy huge.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Congrats on a fab 4 miler!!!! Yay for 4th in your age group. I like how you were steady and were passing peeps left and right :)

    ReplyDelete
  29. awesome race and congrats on that finish! Training hard pays off!

    That kid is amazing...holy cow! I had a student that did triathlons at age 7 and he was AWESOME! I mean, really awesome!

    ReplyDelete
  30. congrats on your age group win!!! that's so awesome.

    and great job at getting in some more miles. i know how hard it can be after a fun race to then go slog out some miles on a treadmill!

    ReplyDelete
  31. What an awesome race! Man, I really want to race now haha. I think 4 miles would be perfect for me right now.

    ReplyDelete
  32. WOW!!!!! congrats! you rocked it at the race...4th woman overall and 1st in your age group is purely amazing!!! LOVE IT! so excited for you! i always think i can combine 10ks etc with LRs but I give it my all in the race physically and mentally and end up kinda wearing myself out. So...i usually just have to plan my LR for another day. you did amazing getting in the 12! and then listening to your body to call that good for the day...good work!

    ReplyDelete
  33. You did amazing!

    I always run the smaller races. It is a pain because you have to sign up early but the experience is so much more pleasant.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Great job on the race and listening to your body and just doing 7 miles on the treadmill insted of trying to get the full 20 in. Love the bling!

    ReplyDelete
  35. Listening to your body is KEY! I totally love that message. I only worked out 3 days this week b/c I was feeling so tired. I think resting more and taking a break from working out helped me avoid getting sick. It is so easy to over train ....

    120 miles at 62. That is so motivating and inspiring. I want to be cool at 62. Who am I kidding I'm not even cool now....

    xo
    Sarah
    Get Up & Go

    ReplyDelete
  36. Great race! So glad you did good and working in races and 20 mile runs is really hard to do. One of the reasons I have stopped racing.

    ReplyDelete
  37. Nice job girl! You keep getting better and better :).

    ReplyDelete
  38. I loved reading this for several reasons:
    1 - CONGRATS to you on the PR and the bling!
    2 - Those two little kids are amazing
    3 - A 62 year old woman runs 120 miles a WEEK? Rock on, lady!

    Every part of this race report was total inspiration! Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  39. I would rather run a small race, I hate when races are over loaded with people and it is hard to find a good spot without bumping into people. Great job on your PR!!

    ReplyDelete
  40. sweet bling! looks like a fun race!!

    ReplyDelete
  41. CONGRATS all around!! not only did u get a 4 mile PR, but i def think that knowing u have that unofficial 5k PR is a BIG confidence booster for the next 5k u enter!!! another congrats for putting in the mega-miles overall. :) u're improving so much, i'm so excited for u, and u look so cute after the race too...wow, i wish i could pull that one off. :)

    ReplyDelete
  42. Great job on the race!! I love small races for that reason too. Once I came in 3rd in my age group with a 29:30 5k!

    ReplyDelete
  43. Wow that's awesome! I like smaller races, I'm not a faster runner so I actually might get in the top 3 at a smaller race.

    ReplyDelete
  44. Automatic PR, haha. So true! Congrats on a great race!!

    ReplyDelete
  45. Congrats on sticking to the race plan and getting some extra miles in too! Bonus on the bling!

    ReplyDelete
  46. way to go on the race! That sounds like lots of fun

    ReplyDelete
  47. Congrats on the awesome race and first place award!!! An even bigger congrats on sticking to your plan for the race - a PR is a PR :)

    ReplyDelete
  48. Way to go! It's hard to be consistent with your pace, so congratulations on that! Plus a plaque is nice too :).

    I can't believe that little kid! How cool is that?

    ReplyDelete
  49. wow! congrats on the bling woman! how fun!

    I can't even imagine running 120 miles a week. That's like Kara Goucher status right there!

    ReplyDelete
  50. ohh a 4 mile race sounds like a lot of fun! I love new distances like that. FOllowing up any race with more miles means you can cut the distance a little short because you ran harder ;)

    ReplyDelete