Saturday, July 12, 2014

Flirt With Dirt 10K Recap

This race took place a while ago: June 7, 2014 to be exact, so once again I am over a month behind.  Blogging just hasn't been a priority recently, so bear with me.  I actually was fairly convinced I was done with the blogging thing, but then today at a group run I met a lady who, when I said my name, she said "oh, do you write a blog?".  I've never been "recognized" from my blog before, so it kind of motivated me to write again.  (BTW: do you guys follow me on Instagram and Twitter? I post a little bit more regularly there.) The funny thing is, she doesn't even follow my blog, but she has clicked through or recognized me from OTHER bloggers links to me (Runs for Cookies, DetroitRunner, etc.) Anyway, here's this quick recap, and I owe you some from my triathlon and the Third Coast Relay here pretty soon too.  

This race (Flirt with Dirt, Novi) is the 2nd one in Running Fit's "Serious Series", that I am participating in.  Basically, it's just a marketing ploy in which you have to run all three of these races (Trail Marathon, Flirt with Dirt, The Legend) to get a medal.  Ya'll know I'm bling whore, so of course I signed up.  (Here's my recap of the Road Ends 5 miler at the Trail Marathon in April).

From the get-go, I was less impressed with the start scene than I was at Trail Marathon/Road Ends 5 mile race.  It was a much more "urban" park than the setting of the Pinckney race, and much less scenic in my opinion.  It was also a pretty hot day, so that never bodes well for me.

I brought my 10 oz handheld water bottle with me, which makes a HUGE difference in my performance at summer races.  Even with the water on the course, carrying that handheld really helps me out.  But, you know what they say about the best laid plans.... (Actually I have no idea what they say about the best laid plans.  I feel like people always just say "the best laid plans...." and then don't finish the sentence.  But you catch my drift.)  What happened was that it was pretty buggy (mosquitos) so I went over to the RF van and "borrowed" a few sprays of bug spray and apparently left my water bottle laying there when I went to start the race.  I realized it about a quarter mile in, but there was nothing to be done at that point.  D'oh!!

I liked that the start of the race kind of went through some open field and gave us all a chance to settle into an appropriate pace line before we got onto the single track trail.  They also did a 2-wave start to help ease congestion, which I appreciated.  I started at the back of the 1st wave (I think first wave was sub 9:00 pace).  I was really surprised/happy with my power on the hills and overall average pace at the Trail/Road Ends race, so I went out with perhaps a bit more confidence than was warranted.  I felt pretty good at the start and was cruising in the mid 8's pace-wise.  There was a brief time when I actually though I had a shot at 10K PR, which would be crazy to do on a hilly trail, when my current PR is on a flat road.

I did more than my fair share of passing on the trails during the first half of the race, and man did I regret it later!  That's the worst thing about trail races; that it's so hard to pass that when you do, people KNOW it.  You have to do it and do it quick and try not to shove anybody off the trail when you do.  By the last half, all the people I passed came back and passed me.  (#embarrassing  #rookiemistake).  My splits were so terrible it's hilarious.  

That would be an 8:24 first mile and an 11:15 worst mile.  Holy crap.  Runner advice: DO NOT GO OUT TOO FAST.  I know this.  Sometimes I guess you just have to relearn/remind yourself why you should start slow.  Ha.  Map and elevation chart below. 

I didn't win anything at this race.  Obviously.  I had no complaints about the race organization or course really, just not a fun day for me!  I got my ass handed to me.  The shirt was kinda cute-ish, except I don't like red, and it is a bit too big, but we all know sizing on race shirts is completely hit or miss. I wore it on the way in to work one day and a couple of coworkers made some "hey there flirt" comments, since the "with dirt" part is comparatively tiny, lol.  

I will conclude with a post-race selfie.
Obligatory post-race selfie

<photo removed>
Good shot of the course.  This is on a wide section of trail.  
Best news about the official race photos (not shown):  I'm not overstriding in a single one!  Yay for form improvements (that saved my IT band)!!!

(Runner on the right is overstriding, runner on the left is landing much closer to his center of gravity with his front leg and executing a good "pawback" motion with his rear leg)

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