Rocky Balboa 10K

Leave a comment Standard

If I had not signed up for a 10K race this morning, there is no way I would have gotten out of bed by 7am and stepped outside.  But, a little while ago a couple coworkers and friends were talking about doing the inaugural Rocky Balboa 10K run and after seeing the medal I was all for it.  The high was about 30 at the time of the race start, but I was decked in my new Nike gear and in the sun it wasn’t too unbearable.  Waiting was the worst part of the cold.

IMG_8981The race had both a 5K and 10K with the 5K started a little earlier in the morning to help stagger the runners.  Just after 8:15am the 10K started and it was off on an out and back from the Oval in front of the Art Museum.  The crowd was a little heavy at the start of the race, but after about 1.5 miles it began to open up more and more.  I’ve only run in 30 degree weather maybe once for a training run this spring, so I wasn’t sure how I’d handle it.  Luckily, after warming up I couldn’t feel the cold at all!  At one point I even stashed my gloves because they were too hot.  I had been worried if I had layered enough, but my gear kept me warm and dry.

Running felt pretty good for the first half of the race.  According to my Garmin 305, I was average under 8:00/mile for each mile split.  When we got to the turnaround point I was pumped to be pacing so well.  I had lined up with the 8:00 group and was hoping to finish close to (or a little better) my Dogfish Dash 10K time.  Getting close to mile 4 I noticed my legs started to feel a little tired and heavy.  I probably should have skipped doing lower body work on Thursday at the gym even though I kept it lighter.  Oops!  Once I got to mile 5 my legs were definitely not happy with me, but I pushed to keep my pace as close to 8:00 as I could.  This was when I noticed my watch was quite a bit off from the mile markers.  Normally, being off by 0.05-0.1 miles is normal, I see that a lot during the half marathons, but my watch was reading 6.2 miles already at the 6 mile marker.  I know you get a little extra distance from weaving at the start, but I didn’t think I covered nearly an extra quarter mile on West River Drive!

Getting to the finish involved running up that lovely little incline right before the Art Museum.  Runners of the Philadelphia Half/Full and Rock’n’Roll Half know this incline well.  Thankfully, it’s REALLY short.  I busted into a full sprint to the finish when I saw the clock was around 50:35!  I met up with my coworker and we decided to celebrate our finish by running up the Art Museums steps, because duh, Rocky Run!

2014111595092340
2014111595092310I waited a little for some other friends to finish, then my fingers went numb and it was time to book it home.  I was eager to check out my splits compared to the finish time from the race results.  Needless to say, they didn’t match up.  My Garmin had me averaging a 7:51 pace while the race results gave me a 50:28 finish with 8:08 as my pace.  At least five other runners I know said their watches/apps all had between 6.4 and 6.5 miles.  So, conclusion is it was a little longer than 10K, BUT still a kickbutt race for us!

rockybalboa10ksplitsI’m so happy with those splits!  Only one mile was over 8:00 and it was only by a second!  I’m feeling really pumped now for my half marathon next weekend.  And the bling definitely makes up for the wonky race distance…

IMG_20141115_142839I’m ready to kick more ass on the 23rd.  And I learned a valuable lesson: no weighted squats or kettle bell swings during race week.  ;)  For being the first year of this race, it was put together very well and I’ll be returning again next year if it’s back!  I just hope it’s a wee bit warmer!

Dogfish Dash 10K 2014

Comments 2 Standard

Time for another race recap!  The final race of September was my all-time favorite 5K/10K combo, the Dogfish Dash!  The race always sells out in record time and I stalk my computer the morning of registration to be sure I get in.  This was my fifth time running the 10K and I was really looking forward to it.  With my training over the last couple months and my performance at the Rock’n’Roll Philadelphia races, I was eager to see how I’d perform with this 10K.  For those unfamiliar, the course takes you through the cute town of Milton, Delaware with the start and finish lines at the brewery.  The post race party is one of the best boasting live music, fun people, food, and of course, Dogfish Head beer!  To change things up from previous years, runners would be able to get their first beer just after the finish in their own special line, with a cool pint of the 60 Minute IPA served in a commemorative pint glass!  It’s pretty much a no brainer why I run this race.

Sunday morning my mom and I rode up to Milton and met up with a few of my college buddies who were down to do the race as well.  We got ourselves situated in the start area and wished each other luck before it was time to be running.  The weather was cool, but sunny.  Thankfully, there was zero humidity unlike the previous Sunday.  I eased into my first mile feeling great, as was obvious by the pics from out of the starting area.

dfdash0
I rocked the Mooninites tank again as I PRed with it the previous weekend and honestly, I just love the damn thing.  The first few miles were pretty shady and included the one fricken hill in the whole town.  This course is not flat.  I took the hill like a champ and then the 10K runners split off from the 5K, I stayed under 24 minutes for the 5K portion and may have even gone faster than my race the past weekend by a few seconds.  We winded back around the loop and then it was off to the route that takes you on the road past a big field.  It’s always sunny when I run this race and here is where I usually slow a little as there isn’t any trees or shady spots.  I made sure to stay close to 8:00 miles here and paced with a couple runners.  I took water at every station I could and in general felt very strong.  We got to the hill once more and I pushed up it as best I could.  You can tell from the splits where this was.

As I rounded the bend to head back to the brewery, the crowd cheers were loud and I was able to pick out my mom to say hi as I took off for the finish.  I knew I was making a good time and found the energy to sprint for the finish.  Again, all smiles.

dfdash5
dfdash4I crossed the finish in 49:25, 8th in my age group!  I felt completely elated, and hot (beer please?)!  I wanted to break under 50 minutes for the 10K distance and managed to do it by 35 seconds!  And setting a second PR in a week felt amazing.

dfd2014splitsThe final time from my Garmin was a little off, but overall the splits were right about where the mile markers were.  I ran fairly strong this whole race and the work I’ve been putting in on my running and strength training is paying off in huge way!

After getting water, I waited with the other runners to grab our first beer in the fancy pint glass!  I found my friends and my mom and we spent the afternoon enjoying the post race festival, did a little shopping in the store, and took some photos to commemorate the event.  I was especially happy to have my mom there to cheer me on.  I don’t get to head home as often as I’d like so having her there meant so much to me.



Another great event put on by the amazing people at Dogfish Head.  If you can get out to this race, I highly recommend it.  The atmosphere is incredible, Sam actually runs the 5K (my friends all finished around the same time he did!) and you get great beer!  Plus, cost-wise it’s always under $50 and for the experience and the things you get, it’s more than worth it.  I cannot wait to come back next year for their 10th anniversary and take a stab at my 6th time running the 10K!

Dogfish Dash 2011

Comments 34 Standard

This weekend held my absolute favorite road race, the 2011 Dogfish Dash 5K/10K!  I ran it last year as my first 10K and returned to take on the 10K distance again.  The race is held in the town of Milton where the brewery is located and the proceeds benefit the Delaware chapter of the Nature Conservancy.  The race this year was increased to 1750 runners and it is now the biggest 5K/10K combo race in Delaware!

I loaded up the car yesterday and once we crossed state lines into Delaware, I cracked open a “road beer” (this is legal in DE for passengers).  Don’t worry, I was discreet!  Festina Peche in a Phillies koozie.

We got down to Rehoboth a little after 6pm and I checked in and got my race stuff.  Scott went over and bought a wrist band for the after party as non-racers can pay $10 to enjoy the brews.  I ducked into the brewpub to see how long the wait was and as expected it was at least 2.5 hours (the wait was much less earlier in the day).  No biggie, though, and we went next door to Finbar’s and got a seat at a bar table after about five to six minutes.  While waiting for a table to clear, we ordered an Evolution Jaques Au Lantern.  It has a major kick of spices without really any sweetness, we liked this change of pace from the usual pumpkin beers.  It was delicious!

I played it safe with dinner and ordered a chicken sandwich with red peppers and brie and paired that with a simple side salad with ranch dressing.  Happy to report the meal was a success for my tummy and I had NO heartburn this time around!

****

Sunday we got up around 6:30am and partook in the free breakfast at the hotel.  I got a mini western omelet and a bagel with PB.

It really hit the spot.  I also had a small glass of apple juice, took a lemon sublime Gu, and had a small cup of coffee (caffeine really helps offset muscle fatigue and soreness for me).  We got to the race about 15 min before gun time and found parking with ease.

The weather was cloudy, a little warm, and the only precipitation we got was a little mist that went away quickly.  I found my spot behind the starting line and waited for the announcements.  Sam Calagione was there this year and spoke to the runners before doing the countdown and blowing the whistle to start!  I’m not going to lie, I’d probably get a little star struck if I met him.  ;)

 

At 8:00 am we were off and running through the town!  Miles 1-2 felt pretty good, but I could tell it was majorly humid and making it hard to get good breathing down.  I made sure to grab water at the first stop.  Energy felt pretty good.  At mile 3 I took a brief walk at the water station nearby to catch my breath.  Humidity was killing me!  Mile 4 was more pushing.  I forgot the small but still tough inclines Milton had, but my Garmin showed I was still making great time!  Mile 5 came and I was so happy we were nearly done.  I could almost taste the Punkin Ale waiting for me.  I walked one or two more times before the end then came in for the home stretch to the finish!

Smile!  You’re almost there!  :)

Phew!  I remember at one point during the race thinking, “You JUST ran a half, this should not feel hard!”  But, no matter how much energy you have, if you’re not getting good amount of oxygen in your system you’re going to feel it.  Instead of pre-packaged bottled water they handed us a cool reusable one already filled.  My official chip time was 55:32!  A new PR!  That’s twice in one week!  I felt pretty awesome although majorly out of breath!

dfhsplits2011

Not too bad on the splits.  You can see how the humidity really started to affect my times.  But, still majorly happy with it!  Once I cooled down we got in line to grab our first beer and of course went with the fan favorite Punkin Ale.

Cheers to beer!  Ignore my post-race tomato face.  ;)

As you can see in the background, there were major amounts of people at the after party.  They had a tent area with the sponsors and a live band, (Reedo and the Front Porch Offering) so we checked that out.

 

Prizes for the winners.  Sadly, I knew I wasn’t placing in the 20-29 age group.  Maybe one day I’ll place in one of the races I do.  After checking out the tent, we got back in line for another beer and never ended up getting one.  The setup looked pretty much the same size as last year, but they majorly increased the runners (which meant guest increase).  After about 20 min of the huge line going nowhere, we decided to hit the store instead.  I picked up a cute tee and got Scott a fitted cap.  We also took pics of the coolest treehouse ever.

We were a little bummed about not getting another beer.  The lines were just too much.  Luckily, DFH is a company full of great people who appreciate their fans to the nth degree.  I received this reply on Twitter.

dfhtweet

I just cannot say enough good things about this brewery and the people who work there.  I’m so happy our 10 year reunion is being held at the brewpub a couple months from now.  :D

We got home just in time to watch the Eagles make a total collapse.  Ugh.  We’re going to forget about that now.  Here’s the stuff I got from the race (like that distraction?).  We got a sweet crewneck tee.

The 19 oz reusable water bottle (that folds!).

A couple magazines.  One I may have to purchase a subscription.  Pretty sure you can guess which one.

We also got a couple writing utensils and a really awesome poster of the Chicory Stout artwork.  I’ll be getting that framed soon!  I’m so glad I was able to come back to this race and cannot wait for the next one.  Yes, the beer lines weren’t great, but the organizers have shown they are going to look into that for next year.  You can be sure I’ll be running it, lines or not!  Many, many thanks to the AMAZING people of Dogfish Head for planning such a great race!