Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Couch to 5K Run #3

When I signed up for The Color Run back in February, I had no intention of it blooming into a new pastime/stress reliever/challenge for me. However, that is exactly what has happened. I have signed myself up for at least 6 more runs this year and plan to blog about each one after I complete it. I still cannot run a full 5k but I'm making progress and the "runners high" that I get after each run is so wonderful.

I have also gotten great insights from running blogs, Facebook groups and friends. At this point, I will listen to almost anything and try it if it sounds like it could be a help. The Red Faced Runners group that started via a blog and blossomed quickly into a Facebook group is a great place for advice and support. I have asked questions to the group and gotten excellent feedback. I also like to see that other people get as red in the face as I do after a run. I don't mind showing off my red face now!

My latest run is another unique one - Storm the Bastille - that is held opening night of Bastille Days in Milwaukee. Yep that's right, it's a night run. It starts at 9 pm in Cathedral Square and weaves east and north before heading south and going through the majority of the Historic Third Ward.

My friend Shauna and I decided to give this night run a try. She is training for the Brewers mini-marathon in September so she is a good go-to for signing up for runs this year. I knew that we wouldn't be running it together as she is a faster runner than me, but its still nice to share the experience with someone.

Batman ready to Storm the Bastille
We got down to Bastille Days around 7:30 and the registration tent and packet pickup area were completely packed with people. We just milled around and started stretching out. There were some people that really got into the night run affect - for instance Batman.

Bastille Days folks
Luckily, Shauna was able to pick up our packets the day before so we avoided the line. The packets included a running number, water bottle, drawstring bag, coupons for Bastille Days and other attractions and a long-sleeved t-shirt. Apparently the long-sleeve has been a staple of this event, which seems odd with the run being held in mid-July in Milwaukee. Sure it's at night but I still didn't want to wear a long-sleeve shirt.

Ready to Storm the Bastille
This race wasn't timed but I still set up my phone to find out my how fast I ran. Runners began congregating at the corner of Jefferson and Wells and so we headed over there after a bit more stretching. We couldn't hear the pre-race announcements at all, which I have seen par for the course for all the races I have been a part of. I hoped nothing was pertinent and prepared myself to take off. Shortly after 9 pm, they counted us down and we began the slow cattle herding stage and then began to jog. With so many people together, we needed to get spaced out a bit before we can start to run and that is what I call the cattle herding part.

I felt great at the beginning of this run. My music mix was a stellar combination of Dave Matthews, The Gufs and Alex Clare so I just zoned and ran. I had a really great first mile even though the sewer covers made me nervous and I had to focus a lot to not twist an ankle on the unevenness of them and the road. That is one thing that I had a hard time with - seeing the road in the dark when there were so many people around to ensure I wouldn't twist an ankle or bump into someone when I took a bad step.

I had already taken my first walking break by the time I got onto Broadway. But Broadway was the long stretch to get us to the Third Ward and I knew that meant a water station was on the way. I was pretty sweaty as I wore a bad shirt that didn't seem to absorb nor wick away sweat. I got to the water station, carefully grabbed a cup, chugged it down and was on my way. In the Third Ward, two restaurants turned on their hoses and sprayed us down a bit. It was really refreshing because there was minimal breeze that night. At the turn around in the Third Ward, I was starting to feel pretty spent, but I could almost see the finish line so I decided to just take in some deep breaths and get it done. It was a bit of an uphill to the finish, but I knew that I could do it. There was a Gatorade-type drink at the edge of the Third Ward and I knew that once I got that in my system, I was going to be good to go. However, as soon as I finished the drink, my running app told me I had completed 3 miles. I knew that the run seemed long but I didn't think it was that long. And I began to dread the remainder of the run because this would be the longest I would have ever run and I was worried how I would fair.

Heading to the finish
I sucked it up and trudged on. I crossed the finish line and headed to the final water station that was a complete chaotic mess. I turned off my Map My Run App and saw that I had actually ran 3.56 miles in 44:06. Apparently I took a few turns wide but there was no way that would equal out to .46 more. Even Shauna ran 3.33 miles. The course was a lot longer than it needed to be. However, running at night was a really fun experience and I would definitely do it again now that I know what to expect.

Red Faced Runner Picture
Lessons that I took away from this:
1. wear proper attire so that you can regulate your temperature properly
2. hydrate more before running
3. get in your groove and zone out right away

US Bank Building leaving Bastille Days
Post run, we wandered around Bastille Days and after plenty of water, I treated myself to a fizzy, citrus cocktail that really hit the spot. I drank more water after and sucked on all the ice cubes. We didn't stay too late because we worked the next day, but the walk back to the car really made me realize that Milwaukee is a really pretty city at night.

1 comment:

  1. Love this post and can't wait to hear about your other races! I'm planning to do The Color Run in Portland this September and I have a feeling the race bug is coming :P

    Found you through #rfr5k on Twitter :)