When I ran the Mustache Dache back in November, a friend that just happened to also be running it asked who wanted to run the Rogue 10K with him in January. I said “ME!” I then went home to register for it and discovered there was a 30K option. Forget the 10K, I wanted do the 30K! So I registered for it and prepared myself for the challenge. Technically, this was just a long training run for the Austin Marathon…with perks. HA! I had discussed how I wanted to run this race with my “serious” runner friend and we agreed that I should do the first 3 miles at long run pace, then bump it to marathon goal pace (10:15-ish) until mile 14 or 15, then drop the hammer and bring it home. I was excited to do that.
There was no expo for this race, just a very quick, uneventful grab my shirt and bib and done. The shirt is very nice. It’s a lime green long sleeved tech shirt. It doesn’t specify that I ran the 30K over the 10K. It just says “Rogue Distance Festival” on the front and then the standard sponsors on the back. I got the ladies fit and it has a v-neck over a regular rounded t-shirt neckline. I got the large and, honestly, I could have probably gotten a medium!
I went to bed a little tiny bit early and was able to wake up shortly after 5am without issue. I had forgotten to go to the bagel shop to pick up my bagel and coffee before they closed, so I was going to have to stop on the way to the race. I got dressed in the outfit I had picked out the night before.
However, I walked out the front door and the wind cut straight through the thinner white pullover I was wearing, even though I had another long sleeved white tech shirt underneath it. I went back in and got the full zip fleece lined running jacket in blue and then pulled my INKnBURN Samurai Run or Die shirt over the top and I was on my way.
I got to the high school where the race was starting from and sat in the car and got all my stuff together and ready to go. Then I headed inside and used the restroom really quick before rushing off to the startline because I took a little too long in the car. I did score a free Hüma gel as I was afraid that the 3 gels I brought weren’t going to be enough and I’d need a 4th (spoiler alert: I didn’t end up needing a 4th gel, so I left it in the console in my car as an “emergency gel”), so I was very thankful for that. There were also Dunkin Donuts munchkins, so I grabbed 2 chocolate ones and THEN I was out the door!
I got to the startline and BARELY had time to do my leg swings, calf raises and calf stretches. I was wearing a compression sleeve on my right calf because of the horrible cramp I had gotten after running a super hilly semi-long run in zero drop shoes the week before and I’m trying to make sure I don’t strain or tear the muscle. They played the national anthem as I did my warm up. Thankfully, I had turned on my Garmin while waiting in line for the restroom and had turned on my FitBit to find GPS right when I walked out the door of the school to head to the startline.
We were off! At mile 2 we were all thrown for a serious loop when the mile marker for the 5th mile appeared on the side of the road. The lady next to me and I both checked our Garmins in unison and looked at each other. She said that the 10K ran part of the same course as us so that was probably the marker for the 10K. I accepted that. Until at mile 3 there was the mile 6 marker. What the heck? This continued through mile 15, where the mile 18 marker was located. They sent out an email to all 30K participants that evening and explained what happened. The lead cyclist turned right when he was supposed to go straight so the course directors had to scramble and beat the lead runners and throw together that 3 point whatever out-and-back bit right before the end. And apparently, my Garmin was dead-on for the mileage as they said the modified course was actually about .5 mile longer than the original course, which was 18.76 miles.
I was a little upset that we had somehow gotten robbed of 3 miles. But then, a very tiny part of me was kind of happy. Why? I had stepped a little wrong when I got out of my car at the bagel shop and there had been a quick pain in the outside of my left foot. But I’ve done that so many times and nothing ever came of it and it just hurt really quick and then was gone. Well, around mile 13, it started to hurt a little right where I had stepped wrong on my left foot. By mile 15 the pain was pretty noticeable. There went the plan to drop the hammer and bring it home for the last 3 point whatever miles at a 9:45 or faster pace. Up until that point I had kept to the plan and all my miles but the first 3 were at 10:17 or faster.
At first I didn’t realize that the pain in my foot was from how I had stepped wrong. The pain seemed to be at the front of the underside of my heel…so I was thinking it was a plantar fasciitis type pain. I was thinking, what the heck? I have never had any issues with my feet other than the muscles being tight after running a marathon and then I put some compression sleeves on my feet and they’re fine. Or I’ll get blisters. Blisters hurt, but I can run for miles with a blister. This pain was different and it kind of freaked me out a little bit. So I walked. Walking made it a little better.
The last 3 point whatever miles were an out-and-back bit. That was torture. I was getting frustrated and discouraged as we kept going and going. I finally took my first walk break at mile 17.2 per my Garmin. I walked for about a ½ mile and then the turnaround appeared in all its glory! Finally! I walked to the turnaround, stretched my foot a little then started running again. I did good with the slow running for about a mile and then I walked again. Once I got to the final stretch before the finish I started running again and ran it all the way to the finish line. I finished with a 10:40 average pace overall. Not bad considering the last 3 point whatever miles were all well over 12:00 minutes each. That final bit I ran was at a 9:45 pace, so I’m happy I ended it at a good pace, even if I wasn’t able to do that pace for the final 3 point whatever miles like I’d originally planned to do.
Overall, this was a great event. The aid stations were a little far spaced and there weren’t as many of them as I think there should have been. They did have gels at the aid station near the 10 mile mark. The race went mostly through residential neighborhoods, so there wasn’t a need for a huge amount of barricades or off duty police officers to guard major intersections. As a result of that, and the fact that the only swag I got was my long sleeved tech shirt, and there were only 2…maybe 3…total port-a-potties on the course (and none at the start/finish area as we used the school facilities), I really think the registration fee should have been less than it was. Now, to be fair, I did not go back into the school post-race and they may very well have had a whole post-race-expo thing going on. So maybe the registration fee was totally justified and I just don’t know because when I crossed the finish line and got my medal (which is very attractive, by the way) I was so done and just wanted to go home.
I was 16th out of 25 in my age group, and 81st overall female out of 482. Not too shabby! Just goes to show you that my age group (35-39) is a populous one seeing as how I was back of the middle of the pack in my age group but was top 20% out of all females. My official time was 3:25:41. My Garmin was only 4 seconds off that…most likely because I waited until I was completely passed the guy taking photos at the finish line before I stopped it.
I will be running this race again next year as part of the Austin Runner’s Club Distance Challenge (of which I’m already registered for 2 of the 6 races for the 2016-2017 season). Hopefully I’ll feel like sticking around post-race next year!
They did have free downloadable photos for all participants!