Sunday, July 17, 2011

Dog Days of Summer 5K Race Report

My family has had a house in Wolfeboro, NH since I was 6 years old. So, naturally when I saw this race being held in Wolfeboro, I signed right up. A weekend at the beach and a 10-minute drive to the race start in the morning was definitely an incentive.

The Dog Days of Summer 5K was sponsored by the Lakes Region Humane Society and they are a very lovely group of people! I don’t know if all of the volunteers were from the Humane Society, but everyone was very nice. I saw one guy with a volunteer shirt on taking pictures of people milling around the registration area, and then later taking pictures of the racers. He got a swell one of me nearing the finish line. I can’t wait to see that gem.

The race started at “The Nick”; otherwise know as The Nicholas J. Pernokas Recreation Park. The course went around the track once, through outer perimeter of the parking lot, down the street, ACROSS Route 28, down another street and onto the Cotton Valley Rail Trail. It was an out and back, so it was the exact opposite for the last half of the race. Running on the track was like running on the moon. I need to find me a track to run on it was magical. Maybe it can be a stepping-stone for me to transition to outside running (on pavement).

This was the second time that I’ve done a race on a trail. And it’s the second time that I got tiny rocks in my shoes. During the last race it was on a true trail through the woods, and it was packed dirt. I only got one small rock in my shoe, but it was big enough to rub the entire race and I got a blister from it. This race along the Cotton Valley Rail Trail was on packed gravel. This meant WAY MORE tiny rocks. Luckily I didn’t get any blisters, but it was annoying enough that it made me not want to run as much. And I didn’t want to stop and dump the rocks out because I had already done that before the start of the race, and I knew more rocks would get in, so it was pointless. I also had to pee. The bouncing didn’t help.

My mom and my friend Alyson did the race with me.

We are a colorful bunch
They decided to walk and I was going to do my walk/run thing. Even though the race was on a trail and soft enough that I didn’t have any shin pain (YAY!), I still had trouble running the longer intervals that I can do on the treadmill. It’s like a huge mental block that I can’t see to get over. I got over my 3-minute interval block, why can’t I get over this? I’m determined though. It’s ridiculous and I will do it. I have to! I don’t know of any races that are held on a treadmill. But hot damn, I’d sign up if I found one!!

I finished with a time of 52:02. Not my best time, but I definitely did more walking that I wanted to. I had big plans to go to the beach and spend the day there after the race, so my mantra became The sooner I’m done, the sooner I swim! It made me go faster. I had a faster walk pace than I usually do, so that’s some improvement right there.

I had planned to walk back and finish the race with my mom and Alyson, so after I went to the bathroom and chatted with a few people I knew, I grabbed a couple of cold water bottles and headed back out on the course. I was halfway down to the parking lot when I heard someone yell my name. It was my mom. I was shocked that I hadn’t seen her come in. And I felt bad because I had promised that I was going to go back to meet her and I hadn’t done it. She told me that around the 2-mile marker a race volunteer told her she looked really flushed and offered her a ride back to The Nick. I always tell her to drink more water, but she just doesn’t listen!! She accepted the ride and cooled off in the shade of the pavilion. She said that Alyson was still out on the course and I went back out to walk with her. As I got to the parking lot, Alyson was right there and we walked the final lap around the track to the finish line.

We grabbed some bananas and more water, and then met up with some more people I knew by our cars. Of course, like every 5K gathering, we took pictures.

Yes, I'm using a banana as a phone. Because, that's why.
Then we headed home to spend the rest of the day at the beach. I’m not gonna lie, I definitely fell asleep on the beach and I loved every minute of it. That place is so relaxing and I can’t wait to spend 5 days back at my place in Wolfeboro in a week and a half as I relax and (maybe) do some training before the Chunky Dunk Duathlon on July 30th. Honestly, I only signed up for that one for the t-shirt. It’s gonna be great!

After we got back from the beach, I checked the race results online and realized that they hadn’t recorded them correctly. They had me listed as finishing at 49:45. My Garmin and their display clock at the race said differently. Alyson’s time was off by almost 20 minutes! I e-mailed the guys at 3C Race Productions (because we are on such good terms – they gave me bubbles!!) to let them know about it. I got a response within a few hours thanking me and saying that they had problems with their system and they were working on fixing it. Last I checked they had fixed my time and a few of those that had finished around me (I’m nosy, I keep tabs on people), but Alyson’s was still off by a good 10 minutes. It’s things like this that make me glad I got my Garmin. Even if things go wrong with timing at a race (such as: no chip timing, or equipment failure) I still know how I did.

I believe they are doing the timing for the Chunky Dunk Duathlon as well (since it is advertised on their site), so I’m wondering how they are going to do that without a chip timing system. I guess I’ll find out, eh?

Overall it was a good race. I overheard people complaining about the course, saying there wasn’t enough room and they had a hard time running past or by people, but it wasn’t too bad. I only had one time where a guy was running by me and I went to the side to make room, but he didn’t. He kept running down the middle of the trail. He almost sweat on me, the bastard. Some people never learn manners, and that’s not the race’s fault. I say it was a good job by the Lakes Region Humane Society, and it was for a good cause too!!


  1. Nice! I had one race on part of a local trail, and enjoyed it immensely. (I didn't have any issues with rocks in my shoes on that one, but I did on a long walk I took across town once). I haven't tried a track in ages, but we have two high schools - each about 10 miles away - that have one. I've been thinking of going running on a track.

    I've heard several times that running on a TM and running outside are very different because the motion of the TM supposedly "assists" you. (Doesn't feel that way when *I* run on a TM, go figure!) Something about moving yourself across the ground outside vs just maintaining speed on the TM. That's one reason I try to run outside as much as possible. That may not happen this week, tho, in the heat they're talking about on the news.

    Good job! You beat my 4th of July race (walk) time!

  2. LOL at using the banana as a phone. Things like that explain why I love you. :D

    Wow, there were only 116 finishers at that 5K? That's TINY!

    But congrats on another successful race. :)

  3. Nice race! It's really nice to do small races every now and then!

  4. The Garmin is AWESOME. When I raced the Quincy Half Marathon, they were collecting bib tags (no chip timing) and I know that mine was slightly off because it took forever to unhook my bib tag... so I went with my Garmin time as the official race time.


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