Decided to run a cross-country series called Mud in Your Eye. It's a three race series with three different distances, which takes place in three different cities about every 2-3 weeks. The first is a 5K...today...at Mount Trashmore in Virginia Beach, the second a 6K on 09Feb at Bell's Mill Park in Chesapeake and the third a 8K on 23Feb at Virginia Wesleyan College in Norfolk. A fun series that I had wanted to do last year but was unable to. This year, I hadn't really planned on doing it since I had the Strider's series and the Norfolk Half on tap before the Shamrock marathon in March...but...I had never done a cross-country race and had heard that this was a fun series...so...at the last minute...I signed up.
So, today's race is in Mount Trashmore...the same place where many of the other shorter races are run. But since this is a cross country race, the course is different in that instead of going around the hills and surrounding lakes on nice paved roads, you run up, across and down the hills on grass and dirt paths...some places there were no paths...you just followed white arrows painted on the grass. There was a small stretch of paved path around the back of the hills but other wise you were running on the grass and ground with some muddy areas because of the rain.
Checking the weather through the week called for cold temps and rain showers later in the morning...I was hoping it wouldn't start till after the race...turning into snow by evening...not a combination that I like. I can run in cold and I can run in rain and even snow is nice, but...running in cold rain is not for me but...I had already registered and I was going to survive. I normally just run in a shirt and shorts...socks and shoes also of course. But to make myself more comfy I decided to wear my double layered long sleeved UA cold gear. It had kept me warm during last year's cold Shamrock marathon.
My expectations...I didn't know what to expect time wise since I have not run this type of race before. I didn't expect a 5K PR and decided that if I could get near 20 or under, it would be a good day.
Got down to the park, got my bib and chip and as I was back in my truck putting it on, the rain started coming down. Just a drop or two at first but it turned into a steady drizzle in a short time. After about a half hour, I was resigned to running in this cold drizzle, the rain slowed down to a few stray drops. I needed to warm up and started running the road that goes behind the small hill and fellow blogger Steve coming the other way greets me. I run up the small hill and traverse it and back down and start the long climb up the big hill. I was on the lookout for a port-a-potty or restroom and spied a restroom down the hill on the lake side and ran down to it. I went inside and it was very warm inside...it was heated...must have been 70-75 degrees inside...quite a difference from the 30-40's outside. There was no long lines and only one other person using the urinal so I went into the handicap stall, lifted the lid and as I started going...I had this weird sensation come over me and I started feeling dizzy. I grabbed onto the handicap rail with one hand to steady myself and the next thing I know is that I awake with one arm still wrapped around the grab rail and the rest of my body dangling over the toilet. I must have fainted for a few seconds. It was really weird...I have no idea what happened...it must have been a vasal vagal response where the body kind of shuts down...you faint...from an external stimuli. The only thing I think could have caused it may have been coming in from the cold to warm after running up and down the hill. I hadn't been sick or felt sick and I had eaten a good breakfast. I didn't feel sick or weak after the episode but the side of my head felt a little sore, probably from hitting it on something on the way down, but I felt fine otherwise. I was trying to decide whether to do the race or not but decided to continue my warm-up and see how it felt. I went outside and started running slowly and everything felt fine, so I picked up the pace and ran up the steep side of the big hill to the top...I know, probably not a wise thing to do after fainting...and ran across and back down the other side towards the start line. And everything felt okay, so I decided to run. I would take it easy and increase pace gradually.
We lined up on the pavement facing across the open ground near the big hill and when it was time to start at 8:00, the starter tried to toot his air horn but nothing came out so he just yelled GO, and the race was on. The whole line of runners rushed out into the open ground dodging mud puddles and trying to find firm footing to run on. We all merge into a long line as we make the first turn and start a steady climb up the large hill. I started out at a slower pace but half way up the hill, I feel exhausted. I see Steve about 50 meters ahead but I have no energy to pull myself up to him so I keep my pace. We finally make the top of the hill and traverse it along the top going around a vent shaft and doubling back the other way and back down. As soon as we reach the bottom, its up the small hill, traversing the length of it. The first mile comes in at 6:31...slower than what I expected...and then we go down a steep decline till we reach the bottom and we make a 180 around the stairs that are built into the hill and we go back up the steep side of the small hill to the top again. We run the length again coming down and taking us finally to the blacktopped road that goes around the small hill. It feels sooo good to be running on a smooth surface and I increase my pace. After going around the hill and near the lake, we get off the road and run again on the grass and ground near the lake headed to the front of the park. Mile two comes in at 13:17...not good...I have slowed some more. Near the front we again go up the big hill about half way where there is a berm-like ridge that we run across the face of the big hill and at the stairs we again make the steep climb to the top of the big hill. We run again around the vent pipe and start our final decent and back towards the starting area looping around the back and mile three comes in at 20:18. The last 10th I think about sprinting it in but only manage to increase my pace a bit and cross the finish line in 20:56. The race was fun but very exhausting.
After finishing and returning my chip, I head back up the big hill to see if I can find one of the ladies who goes to my gym who is also running. I find her and we run to the finish.
On the drive home, I feel that I need to workout some more today since it's supposed to be my long day. With the warm-up, race and running the last part a second time probably only got me about 5 miles and I need a few more miles, so I drive to the gym and get on the treadmill for 70 minutes. Then the cycle for 30 minutes and finished up with 10 minutes on the stairstepper, go home and get a nice hot shower while my daughter makes me a grilled cheese sandwich...Yummy!
There were 12 finishers in the Male 50 to 54 age group and 321 total finishers.
Overall finish place was 43 of 321
Age group finish place was 3 of 12
Time: 20:56 for an overall pace of 6:45 per mile
Training this week was interrupted on Wed because of a Dental appointment that went way over and I was unable to do get to the gym for my run and workout. So...to keep up my goal of exercising at least 30 minutes each day, I did core and strength exercises at home...situps, crunches, pushups, side straddle hops and various other callisthenic exercises and then finished with some weights. The next day I had the best feeling training run that I can remember. It felt so effortless and it seemed like I could go forever. I ended up increasing the pace .5 mph every 10 minutes until I finished with a minute at 11 mph. What a difference it makes when the legs get a complete day of rest...that taper stuff must really work!
This week's totals:
Mon: 7.5 miles run, 20 min elliptical, 20 min stairstepper
Tue: 60:30 min elliptical, 60:30 min cycle, 10 min stairstepper
Wed: 35 min of core strength...had a late Dental appointment
Thu: 9.1 miles run, 31:30 min cycle, 11 min stairstepper
Fri: 32 min elliptical, 31 min cycle, 22 min treadmill, 12 min stairstepper
Sat: 5K race, 14 total miles, 30 min cycle, 10 min stairstepper
Sun: 61 min elliptical, 61 min cycle, 16 min stairstepper
Next up, Strider Distance Series 25K on Saturday, 26 Jan...the second of three runs.