Nate 12K 2017 Recap

by Joanne on July 1, 2017

Thoughts before getting to the real topic of this post:  In all the articles focused on training, they have one thing in common which is to be flexible.  Be able to adjust your schedule and training as events dictate.  Ok but that doesn’t mean we like it.  This summer has hurled a lot of forced adjustments at me since we’ve had thunderstorms cropping up out of no where.  For one, we don’t run in storms. For another, we have a dog that completely freaks out when he hears thunder and someone has to be home with him.  As I sit here writing this post, that’s exactly what happened this morning.  For the second weekend in a row, I got up early, ate a little something, drank my 5Hour Energy to get ready for a long run. For the second weekend in a row, I had to quit early due to stormy weather.  I’ll try again tomorrow but it sure does get me heated when my head is all set to run long and I have to stop and get my thoughts wrapped around doing it another day.  Grrrr!

What did I do today?  I got 60 minutes running in with Zoey. Went into the gym for 40 minutes doing 20 minutes of weights and 20 minutes on the elliptical.  The treadmill would have been nice but that didn’t want to cooperate either. So there is my rant now on to the point of this post.

Nate12K Race
After some trepidation, I finally signed up for one of the first race venues I ever ran.  Years ago only the 5K distance was offered but now there is a very convenient 12K.  This race is held about a month before the Utica Boilermaker 15K race.  A runner could hardly ask for a better preparation distance or race!
Last year I signed up for this same 12K race but sat in the parking lot race morning listening to the thunder and watching lightning strikes.  Another deterrent was the unpredicted cold temperature which I hadn’t dressed for.  Needless to say, my 2016 Nate 12K was a DNS.  Not this year.  2017 race day arrived with no excuses.  The weather was near perfect, a bit on the warm side but certainly better than what could be early June in upstate New York.

The week leading into the race my mood does a sky dive and I’m as cranky as all get out.  I get depressed with my thoughts almost completely focused on race day.  Why?  I can’t answer that.  I’m not an elite athlete with great expectations.  I just want to run well. It might be because I know I’ll be out of my running comfort zone.  I’ll be running at a pace I don’t do on a weekly basis for any extended amount of time.  This is how it goes.  That’s what racing is all about.  Still, I don’t like it.
The start:  There are no corrals, no seeding, simply a request from the announcer for slower runners and/or walkers to line up at the back for their own safety as well as courtesy to faster runners.  However, there are a lot of kids in this race because both the 5K and 12K line up together and run the first 2 miles together.  Kids aren’t the problem but they do seem to enjoy running with their shoes untied and once they notice, look out! They stop dead in their tracks.  Knowing this, we should all take those first couple of miles easy.  However, I was panting.  I kept telling myself to slow down because the effort felt hard for being the first couple of miles into a 7 plus mile run.   Plus, the sun was shining and the temperature was rising.  Water stop one was welcomed.  Water stop two was also welcomed but turned out to be a no go since only one volunteer was working it and she didn’t have any cups in hand with none filled on the table.
The turn onto the canal trail:  Just after 2 miles, 12K runners take the road along the canal.  A hard pack surface but Ted, who had been riding along on his bike, opted not to try it.  At this point, I was thirsty and had lost my cycling hubby so I decided to draft a group of 3 in front of me.  Where was the water?!   We had to wait until exiting the trail and back onto the road.  There were no spectators along the trail which makes it that much more tough.

To the finish:  I passed my “draft team”, still urging myself to slow down to comfort level which I did for about 30 seconds at a time.  I don’t remember a lot of spectators but there were folks sitting on lawn chairs road side at various points.  I heard the finish line announcer and couldn’t get there fast enough. What a great feeling crossing that finish line after running hot and hard!  I took note of how quickly my recovery was.  No heavy breathing. Nothing hurt and legs had recovered in about 5 minutes.  Darn it! Does that mean I could have run harder?!  As it was I finished in 1:01:04 net which is about a 71% age graded stat.  I’m ok with that but had hoped I could come in just under the hour mark.

Thoughts on the race:   Nice venue from road to trail back to road.  The spectator support was average.  Needed more fully stocked water stations.  Since I won my age group, I received a champion shirt.  Unfortunately, they had run out of all small and medium so I took a large which will go to Ted. Will I race it next year?  Probably not.
What about the Boilermaker 15K?  I’ll most likely run hard even though the crowd will dictate a slower start.  We’ll see what race morning brings.


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