I’m not sure what it is about the Delmar Dash that always brings snow with it. The date seems to be always changing — it used to be in March, and I know some of my slower times were due to snow and ice on the road. Thankfully there was no snow on the ground this year, but there was snow and sleet on Friday night.
The upside is it’s a flat and fast 5 miles. This year I noticed that there were quite a few nice/slight downhills in the race.
Packet Pickup is in the gym of the school the race finishes at. It’s always easy. The race shirt was again short sleeved and ran large but I prefer larger to too small. It’s was also a nice burgundy color this year.
There are massages before the race, as well as after, although getting both seemed a bit greedy to me so I just stuck with my dynamic warmup. No warmup mile; I knew a 5 mile race would be challenging enough considering my lack of training.
I didn’t bump into Darlene @ Myfirst5k until just before the race.
My Race Plan
There was no goal, other than to finish feeling decent. I knew it would not feel easy. Heck, most weeks in the last month I barely ran 5 miles total!
So how’d that work for me?
- Mile 1: 10:26. Actually faster than last year. I don’t regret it; I knew I’d be running out of steam later in the race. I started near the beginning, as it’s gun time, and I knew most of the runners would be passing me, which they did. Chasing runners helps me to run faster, and in this case I think that was fine.
- Mile 2: 10:59. Not too shabby with a walk break around mile 1.5 for water.
- Mile 3: 10:48. So the first 5k went pretty well and then . . .
- Mile 4: 11:33. . . . Every year I slow down this mile, but I took two walk breaks for water, so that I wouldn’t have to walk my last mile (and I didn’t). However, this is exactly where I lost a potential PR. Oh well, I never really expected one anyway.
- Mile 5: 11:03. The longest I’ve run in the last month was 3 miles. No joke. Most runs were maybe 1.5 or 2 miles. At least it was faster than mile 4! The sun had also come out, and yes, I was just a little overdressed; always so hard to figure out those transitional runs between seasons.
- Last .04: 10:04. Usually I can sprint way faster than this to the finish. Definitely a lack of endurance due to a lack of training.
55:16 — Official Time
11:04 Average Pace
(my Garmin shows 10:58 for average pace due to the slightly long course)
I actually feel I did much better than I had a right to — I knew I was way undertrained going into this race, but I also knew I could do it. My one concern was whether or not it would set me back in my recovery from the lingering whatever I’ve got; I probably feel about 90% right now.
I chose to run the race except with three walk breaks to drink some water — I am a thirsty runner, even though I was very well hydrated pre-race. I was roughly 30 seconds off of my PR. kind of wish I’d pushed just a little harder those last 2 miles after I saw that! I mostly ran by feel. So still having a speedy race (for me) was the cherry on top.
Now would I have chased down that PR using run/walk? We’ll never know. Run/walk intervals have helped me enormously, and I’m not saying I won’t revert back to them at some point. The point of using them from the start, rather than starting when you’re tired, is that they actually will help delay the onset of fatigue. They work great for fueling and taking photos, too.
So what’s up next for me? Dunno!
The weather & dressing
This was probably the best weather I have ever had for this race, and I’ve run it six times. Mid 40s. Little wind. Partly cloudy to start, although the sun did peak out around mile 3.
I went with my Pocketopia Capris, Wonder Wool Long Sleeve top, and Toasty Vest from Skirt Sports. I eventually regretted the vest — I unzipped it almost all the way, but I felt too warm. I know it would have taken me a couple of miles to warm up in just the Wonder Wool Long Sleeve but you finish right in front of the school where you store your stuff so it would have been fine (I just would have been majorly cold at the beginning of the race). I don’t really think it made a difference to my time.
I wore my blister running shoes from Savannah (read about that race here), as they will now be known. No blister. Not shocking, it was just 5 miles and really nice weather. The shoes are probably coming to the end of their life.
Was the race well run?
Always well run, and this year was no difference. Parking fills up early, so get there early unless you want to hunt for parking. The free massages are always a nice touch. The course is well marked, and there’s ample support on the course. The AG awards were cranberry colored pint glasses — I would’ve loved one, but this races brings out speedy runners: I would have to shave 20 minutes off my finish time — no exaggeration! — to earn one. Never gonna happen!