Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Run for the Buds (DE) Race Recap

As much as my body hates me afterward, I really do enjoy double headers! This weekend I was knocking off DE and NJ (DENJ) with my constant travel buddy Kim, and the long awaited meeting of Alma. Prior to this race, Delaware was one of those states I was about as excited to go to as Iowa or Nebraska. All I kept thinking about was Wayne's World when they're doing the traveling to cool places montage video and then they get to Delaware (I may or may not have quoted it several times when we were in transit from Philly to DE)
To my unexpected surprise, Delaware actually broke into my top 5 most scenic / perfect weather races... not to mention I had a blast. Who knew? Our race was in Wilmington, so I highly recommend flying into Philly and making the 45 minute drive into DE to save some $$ on your flight.

State #34

This race actually raised money for the Down Syndrome Association of Delaware. They had a 'bud run' where all those who had down syndrome were paired up with a a bud to make sure they completed their race (5k or shorter) and everyone got medals. It was neat to actually see how much support the community had for those living or affected with down syndrome, and the turnout was much bigger than I originally thought. 
Me, AlmaKim

Despite the frigid cold temps early in the morning (high 30s), once in the sun it was actually PERFECT fall running temps by the time race started - 9am. Kim's cousin, Steve, made the commute from VA early in the morning to come cheer us on and be our personal photographer for the day. As an added bonus, that meant we could hold on to our long sleeves as long as humanly possible (I love running practically naked, but I'm a wuss when it comes to standing around)

Kim and Alma had decided they were going to run together, which left me solo with my music (I actually have a hard time racing with people so this was fine by me) I had very little expectations of myself for this race. This would be my first time running a longish distance in my new shoes, as well as the first time really pushing myself due to knee issues in 1.5 months. The night before we were looking at the year prior's results and it looked like there was a possibility that all 3 of us could place in our age groups if we ran descent (they did it by 20s, 30s, 40s etc). Spoiler alert we each placed 9th or 10th in our respective age group. 

The first 5k of the race was an out and back that (pretty uneventful)we also ran with those who were doing the 5k--- they got to go back to finish line, we got to be diverted to another path which actually took us on MANY out and backs throughout the rest of the race. Normally this would annoy me, however this time it was nice because 
A.) it allowed for plenty of opportunities to see Kim and Alma / get some action shots of myself for a change

 B.) The scenery so beautiful - plenty of paths alongside water, changing leaves, and some trails thrown in the mix

Despite the fact that the weather was pristine and the scenery was pleasant- the race wasn't all sunshine and unicorns.. infact not even half way through I was hating life. Apparently when you take time off you lose a little something call stamina. Common sense right?? Tell that to my legs- they wanted to go fast but my lungs just couldn't keep. First 3 miles were 7:40, 7:50, 8:00 and the pattern kept going up and up and up.

About halfway through I could feel my heart beating rapidly through my chest that I was forced to take several mini breathers. Normally I would shrug this off as just being "out of shape"- but the truth is I still somewhat ran at least 1x week and did bootcamp, so it's not like I've been lazy in the last month. The last thing I want is another episode of me passing out on the run again- although waking up in someone's arms rescuing me isn't so bad ;)

This pattern of me running until I could no longer breathe pretty much continued the rest of the race. At mile 10 we were so lucky enough to pass by the finish line only to  have to do the out and back 5k again--- I was hot, there was no more shade, and for whatever reason my right quad / hip was tightening up (hindsight is I think I'm so worried about my knee I was compensating)

By the time I was nearing the finish line there was no one in front or behind me within reachable distance, so my finish line experience was pretty uneventful. I grabbed my water and goodie bag, stretched, and munched while waiting for Kim and Alma to finish
water, apple, mini oranges, pretzel, pb and j sandwich... minus the apple I ate it all! 

Alma and Kim (being an airplane) rounding out to the finish

unfortunately I caught them after they stopped holding hands. 

My official time was 1:54:04- although its not a bad time, its frustrating because it is the SAME EXACT time I ran in Iowa when I gave up miles 2-8 then turned it on again the last 5 miles. There was no "turning it on" during this race... just a slow progression of increased time. 

Despite not feeling the best, there were a lot of perks with this race:
  • Start time of 9am- it was incredibly cold in the morning so it was nice to have it be manageable by the time the race went off. I wouldn't have been upset if it started at 8am... but 7am in Delaware might be a bit much
  • Scenery- so much to look at- great for photos
  • Powerade gels at every station--- I was able to try (and love) their double latte. I may have kept some to power me through day 2. 
  • Volunteers were amazing. We spoke to one of the main race officials for a few minutes before the race- she even took our photo since she was impressed we came all that way for a race
  • 5 minutes after you finished you could go over to one of the laptops and type in your bib number to see your official time and placing 
  • Bling (picture doesn't do it justice)

  • Weather was PERFECT low 50s- last 2 miles I was hot, but considering how much I heat up when I run, I'll take it. 
  • Great backdrop for photos (3 diff poses for diff cameras)
Kim showing 15, Alma doing hang 10, me showing 34

The famous celebrity pose 

Definitely my favorite... definitely. 

So Delaware was proof that you can not run that great, but still enjoy yourself. The company and my surroundings made up for the fact that I thought my lungs were going to explode. 

If you are racing the states, there really aren't too many options to run for Delaware. I know a real popular one is in December, but who wants to run on the East Coast in December. I HIGHLY recommend the Run for the Buds if you're wanting to do a half here. 

Next up Day 2 of double header- NJ


  1. I love Delaware. Totally agree with you that this is the race to do. Congrats on getting your post up before me! Good blogger!

    Our pics turned out great. We need a personal photographer in every state.

  2. Definitely a pretty course! Was there a marathon option?

    Medal looks nice.

  3. Great job! Sorry you didn't feel so great:( Sounds like a nice race though and I love all the fun pics:)

  4. Delaware is so tiny that I'm surprised they don't have a marathon that runs in one side of it and out the other. I do like that tower thingy though. And at least you got a goodie back after it was all over, I didn't get jack squat after mine on Sunday. Had to walk over a half mile to get a sandwich but nothing at the finish line. Parched.

    Maybe it'll take you a few races but you'll be back to your old self!

  5. Despite your struggles, it sounds like an AWESOME race!! Congrats on another strong, healthy finish!!!

  6. Congrats to you both!! I grew up not far from DE and we occasionally went to some of their beaches... it's not too bad. Glad you saw a side of it you could appreciate. :)
    That breathing thing is weird... hope you can figure it out!

  7. it looks like a great race-and so fun you were with kim and alma. i hear ya on the running stamina. the 1/2 the other weekend sucked for me because of that too. you still did great! can’t wait to read about the next one!

  8. Excellent recap! Can I just copy yours? :)

  9. Ha! I did the EXACT thing with Wayne's World with a blog post for Delaware when I ran the marathon this past spring. LOVE IT!

  10. After my weekend of the Runner's World Hat Trick in PA I want to run a double header! Love the celebrity pose :)