Saturday, June 23, 2012

Solstice Run : Race Report

I think it's pretty safe to say that this was the most fun I've ever had at a race.  Here's the bare minimum recap:
  1. super cool outfits
  2. lots of friends
  3. an easy start
  4. a fast/strong finish
  5. Somehow I didn't notice the heat or the hills??
  6. 1:44:00, which is technically a 10 mile PR by a smidge (I've only done that distance once before, 2 years ago, when I was still just starting out.  I've gotten a lot faster since then). 
Okay, now on to the play by play. 
Irina, Me, Katie (, and Jessica.  
Katie (of RunsForCookies fame), and I discovered that we were both running this, and were both planning on treating it as a training run.  She told me that she and her friend Jessica were going to be wearing costumes, and that I could join them if I wanted.  I was a little leery of costumes at first (I tend to be a bit of a stick-in-the-mud) and I figured being dressed like that, there would be no way I'd avoid photos (I hate race photos, and attention in general).  Obviously I ultimately decided to do it (and pulled Irina into it), but I was right on the photos and attention (more on that later).  I'm glad I did it though, we had so much fun!
We even convinced Jeff (hubs) to wear a lei for the whole 10 miles! 
 You know me, and you know I hate hills and heat (and whine about it too much), and this was a June race on a pretty hilly course.  Though it wasn't nearly as hot as it could have been; I think it was high 60s or low 70s.  Anyway, we were going at such a comfy pace that I didn't even feel hot or care about the hills at all!  It was such a fun run.  We just chatted and jogged it out, and of course got lots of comments on our outfits as we went.

 Around mile 7 I was feeling really good and had the urge to pick up the pace the last 3 miles, so I sped up. We averaged about 10:55 for the first 7, so some math tells me I averaged about 9:12 the last 3, but really it was probably more like 10:00 for two and 8:00 for the last one (definitely at least sub 9:00).  I was really cruising at the end.  It felt so good!  Especially because I was passing EVERYBODY, including the 5K-ers that we were merging in with, and the spectators were awesome, cheering things like : "wow, way to go 10-miler!!". It's been a long time since I've had a strong finish like that.  It was really fun, and definitely worth the the slower overall finish time than I would have had if I had "raced" the whole thing, or gone for a time goal or something.  Nevermind the fact that the hills and heat would have made me miserable if I had actually been running hard the whole 10.  Obviously I didn't wear my Garmin, otherwise I would have accurate splits to show you.  Oh, and I didn't bring music either!  This is my first race ever without music OR my Garmin!  (I've done either/or, but never free of both).  Looking back, I should have worn  the Garmin so I could see the splits at the end.  Really there would be no harm, since I didn't have a time goal I wouldn't have to contend with the psychological issues I have when I race with it.

Lessons learned:

  • It IS worth it to start slow.  Sometimes when I race I feel like I shouldn't start *too* slow because I'll be tired at the end no matter what, especially on warm days, and won't be able to make it up.  I wasn't tired at all at the end today, so that myth is busted.  Plus the feeling of a strong finish is way better than the feeling of fizzling out and shuffling through the finish (Martian, anybody?!?)
  • Garmin: yes for slow races, no for "fast" races. 
  • Time goals are overrated.  I'm banning time goals for all future races.  No goal= no disappointment :)  (I'll train hard and hope for improvement, but there are too many variables like weather, illness, terrain etc that can throw a wrench into any time goal and ruin a race that could be perfectly good if I didn't have the wrong expectation)  

 On to the FINISH PARTY!!
I loved the finish in the park.  We got medals, shirts AND hats! And there were hula dancers, and a band (at the start AND the finish).  Alan, the Kona race director, saw me in my Hawaiian getup at the finish and asked me to dance in front of the hula dancers!!  In my head, I was like umm, hell no.  Then I was like okay, wait a second, I have three other girls in the same getup, and we'll do it together.  So I grabbed them (minus one! I won't name names) and we did our shitty runner hula in front of the hula dancers' stage.  I believe got some photos, so I'll upload them if he did and if he lets me.  I can't believe I actually did that.  I don't dance.  Not even at weddings.  Seriously I don't even remember the last time I danced in front of anybody. It wasn't like it was "real" dancing though.  I was just goofing off and trying to look ridiculous.  I guess I can thank the costume for my guts.  That wasn't the first time we were drug into race activities due to our outfits.  At the start a videographer asked us to yell "Welcome to the Solstice Run" and shake our hula booties, so that's probably going to end up on the internet somewhere eventually.  And one dude actually had his friend take his picture as he posed with us.  We were like mascots or something :P  So yeah, like I said, I was right about the outfits garnering us extra attention, but I was more okay with it than I expected I would be.

I have to tell you more about this picture on the right.  I wanted to model the hat and the shirt.  I hate taking pictures for my blog, especially ones of just me, because I never know how to pose.  My instinct is always to go for the double thumbs up, but I'm pretty sure that move is patented by, so I had to figure out something else.  I decided to go for the fake running pose, but that didn't really work, and this is what I ended up with.  I'm pretty happy with it.  If you want, you can check out the out-takes (courtesy of Irina).  As for the shirt and hat, I'm actually not probably going to wear either of them.  I would have rather had a really nice white runner/tech hat for summer running (and no shirt), or a non-white shirt in a women's cut (and no hat).  Kona uses the same shirt and design for basically all their races, so I have this one, the Solstice 2011 one, and the Shamrock 2012 one that are all very similar (white base, design front, colored armpit/side stripes), and I don't wear any of them.

Another reason this race was awesome was that EVERYBODY was there.  I saw a ton of people  from the Running Fit 501 club (Annie, Sam, Coach Gina, Jeremy, David P., Tom, Sonia, some people whose names I can't remember, and maybe more that I'm forgetting) before, during, and after the race, and they had a picnic/party near the finish line after the race.  I saw Melissa & Liz at the start, and got to run with Katie and Jessica (obviously).  It was neat to feel like I have so many running friends! I didn't see anybody from my A2Runners Wednesday meetup group, but I'm not sure if any of them  ran it.

Jeff and Irina say it's time for dinner, so I guess I'll end this now.  I'll add photos and videos, if I get more later, to subsequent blog posts.

We'll be at Amer's on State St if you need us.  Probably hitting up the ice cream bar after dinner.  :)
Don't mind Jeff's shirt.  We stole him from doing yardwork for a photo-op.   We look like stairs! (Tall to short. ) 


  1. It was fun for me too because you didn't even complain about how hot it was!

  2. Congratulations to my awesome girls!

  3. Great job Ty! This is awesome and such a relaxed change for you for race day!! Congrats and looks like it was so much fun :)


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