Stockadeathon was my last big race of 2017. I didn’t ask Rachel @ Runningonhappy for a plan, although I did think about it, because yes, I was gunning for a PR again. And while Darlene was running 13.1 in Vegas with other blogger friends, I still had some friends to hang out with and bumped into a few other friends, as well.
Packet pickup is always easy. I signed up very late, so no tshirt — they did suggest you might be able to get a relay tshirt. This is the first year they offered the option to run the race as a relay team — and as far as I could tell, while it seemed to be well organized, I don’t think many people chose to do it.
I went early, as I had several errands to run and also had a haircut later in the day and had to drop the dogs off at the pet sitter before that. While I could have definitely used a rest, it was a very busy day.
The reason I had to drop the dogs off? Mr. Judy was out of town. There’s just no way I could feed them before I had to leave, at least without making race morning stressful, and on top of that, there’s also no way they could spend that many hours at home without a potty break.
Well, maybe they could, but I didn’t want to find out or be stressed out about that, either. In addition, it was Bandit’s first overnight with our local pet sitter — a test run for a weekend away coming up.
My Race Plan
Much like the Great Pumpkin Challenge (read about that here), I didn’t look up my previous results, but guesstimated what would be a PR and formulated a plan based on that. And it was a simple plan: try to hold about an 11:15 pace the first 10k, then try to chip away at that pace the last 5k.
I ran a half at almost that pace, after all, and this was about 3.5 miles less (the race runs a bit long).
So how’d that work for me?
- Mile 1: 11:02. You start on a downhill. I do love a downhill, and yeah, I took it a little too fast — but I wasn’t even aware of it; I missed that mile notification.
- Mile 2: 11:27. Most of mile 2 is a long, gradual hill. I chose not to reread my recap this time.
- Mile 3: 11:25. You’re still going up.
- Mile 4: 11:26. I won’t lie; I was getting just a little discouraged here being that far off my “plan”. I just reminded myself that what comes up (you’re still climbing in mile 4), must come down — because there’s an awesome downhill finish.
- Mile 5: 11:01. Relatively flat.
- Mile 6: 11:19. Running around the lake in Central Park. Still relatively flat. I always enjoy the scenery in the park. I’d watched “McFarland, USA” the night before, and much like the scene in the state championships, while you’re running flat you can see the faster runners climbing . . . and climbing . . . and climbing.
- Mile 7: 11:15. A decent hill at mile 7.5. Interestingly, it’s not as steep as the hill in mile 3, but at mile 7, it feels steeper.
- Mile 8: 11:20. Through the cemetery and mostly downhill.
- Mile 9: 10:59. Finally reaping the reward of all those uphills — downhill for the win!
- Last .43: 9:25. Yes, this race runs long. This is the only split that I didn’t beat last year’s pace.
2015: 1:51:32 (an automatic PR — new distance)
2016: 1:49:31 (a most surprising 2 minute PR)
2017: 1:45:09 (crushed it for another PR!)
New this year — or at least I don’t remember seeing it before — results for each 5k segment:
1st 5K: 35:43
2nd 5k: 35:16
3rd 5k: 34:11 (gotta love a downhill finish)
Yes, I have an uncanny ability to run negative splits. Even when I’m not trying to. Not that I always do, but often even on easy runs, I do. Ask me to run steady? Almost never happens. And yes, still BOTP — 1343 out of 1482 runners.
The weather & dressing
Even colder than last year’s race and I dressed warmer. At the beginning I thought I’d overdressed, but it worked out perfectly for me.
I wore my North Face Thermoball (allows me to regulate my temperature by zipping and unzipping as necessary. I also wore my Skirtsports Wonder Wool Tee and Wonder Wool Skirt, which is great for that in-between weather when it’s cold, but not super cold.
Was the race well run?
A resounding yes. I have only one complaint about this race: 3 water stops for a 15k is not enough. I wore my hydration vest, so it wasn’t a problem for me, but I know if I’d relied on the water stops my race would have been a different story. Not to mention, the water that sloshed out at the stops was literally freezing on the road, which was a first for me for this race, and I was able to avoid that by carrying my own water.
There is quite a variety of food post race, too: bagels, bananas, cider donuts, soup, pizza, candy, cookies. And plenty for the BOTPers like me. This year they moved the after party from Proctors to the Y, where the gear check is (and I used it this year), and I think that was a really good move.
What I learned
An egg bagel the size of my head with cream cheese and lox makes a perfectly good race morning breakfast. Breakfast of champions?
I’m really glad I chose to carry my own water. Obviously I know I didn’t need to, having done the race twice before with just a little extra water, but it’s actually nice to avoid the water stations (especially this year with the water freezing on the road!) and to be able to drink a little bit each mile.
With my Garmin around my Thermoball I couldn’t feel the vibration for my intervals as well. I actually ended up running a lot more than usual — did that help or hinder? Would I have been faster with my normal walking breaks, or did more running net me my PR? We’ll never know.
- Extremely well organized race.
- Hot food inside post race, and enough for all.
- Real bathrooms, but very long lines, which means you really need to get there early.
- Although a hilly course, most (but not all) of the hills are frontloaded into the first half of the race.
- A nice downhill finish.
- New this year was a station to check your results — but again, long lines.
- Running with friends. Running into friends you haven’t seen in a while.
Of course no race is perfect. The downsides:
- The course runs a little long.
- Challenging course (some might view that as a positive).
- Not enough water stops.
- Although parts of the course are very pretty, much of it just isn’t that interesting to me.
- I actually had a hard time figuring out which side of the street was the finisher’s chute. I don’t remember that happening in previous years. I probably lost just a few seconds kind of going back and forth between the two sides of the street.