Monday, March 5, 2012

Armadillo Dash 5K Recap!

I am beyond thrilled to be able to write an actual race recap for one that I ran - don't get me's been great watching Jeff run his half marathons, but I have really missed being a participant as well.  No more, as it's official - I'm back!

Before I get to the race recap, I also have to note that this weekend marked the two-year "meet-iversary" of when I met Kelly in person!  She came here to do the Dash in 2010 - here's a flashback picture of the night we met:
And a shot after Saturday night's dinner:
Funny - my pose never changes, and Kelly really likes red (so says Captain Obvious)

As usual, it was a fun dinner with Kelly and Chuck - we carbo-loaded with pasta, but didn't stay out too late as we had a very early morning wake up call for the race.

So, about that race.  A couple things have changed since I ran it in 2010 - and the most critical one is that Jeff - my pit crew, my photographer - is now a there aren't a ton of pictures of ME before, during and after the race.  I know!!!  So rude.  However, Jenny and I hammed it up for the photographers on the course, so once those go online I'll snag a few for posterity.  Anyway...Jeff was up at 4:00 am to get ready, while I slept in until 4:45.  We were at the park, which is literally a mile away from my house (I Google mapped it and the thing suggested I walk there, no joke), at 5:40 am.  For a 7:00 am race start.  But with a road closure for the race leaving only one entrance to the park, we knew (from experience in 2010) that traffic would get backed up like crazy, and didn't want to stress about that, so we went early.

We met up with some of our running club peeps, and took a slightly blurry picture (blame the bleary-eyed photographer - me):
 Posed for a couple more shots:
Jeff carries my old purple water bottle - it was too heavy for me, so I got a smaller one, but he thinks the purple gives him good luck.  Or else he's thrifty.
Yes I flashed the camera...sort of!  I had to show our new running club shirts - "will run for ice cream!" is our theme this season since the Blue Bell 10K is our goal race.  Bright orange so we can be seen - and it sure made it easy to spot each other in the crowd!

And then I put the camera away so we could head toward the start line.  Which was a little stressful for me, as my running buddy hadn't arrived!  Jenny was texting me - they were stuck in traffic getting to the park.  A friend of hers had her bib and shoe tag, so she sent her to find me (not too hard - didja SEE our shirts?) and hand over the goods.  Finally Jenny got close enough to the park that she could jump out of the car (her husband was driving) and run in, probably at least 3/4 of a mile, to find me.  I tagged her shoe while she pinned on her bib and then we hustled over to the start line...where we waited.  And waited.  And waited some more.  The race was delayed about 20 minutes for the half marathoners to start, and we didn't end up starting for another 10 - 15 minutes after that.  CRAZY.  As it's a chip-timed race, they should start it on time...the people who were there early had shed their outerwear and were shivering, waiting for the start.  It was 41 degrees - fine when you're running, but not fine to stand around in.  Also, they stressed over and over, from their web site, Facebook page, and packet pick up, to get there early because of the traffic.  So it shouldn't have been a surprise to anyone at that point.  //rant over

Kelly had her cell phone so we got a couple of pictures while we were waiting:
Nope...we're not cold here.  Not at all! ;)
Team Jelly - back in action!

My plan for the race, after doing practically all of my running up to this point in intervals, was to just run until I needed to walk, walk fast, and then run some more.  Jenny was on board with this, so off we went.  Oh, my secondary plan was to finish in 40 minutes.  More on that in a minute.  We ran for a half mile and then walked a bit...ran, but walked when we came to the first "hill" - I reasoned, we're gonna be walking at some points anyway, why not walk the hills?  So that's what we did.  There were a lot of people in this 5K - many walkers and young kids, which gave us several opportunities to dodge and weave to get by them.   I was feeling pretty good, ankle-wise - sure, it twinged, but nothing horrible - but my cardio was lacking, and I was huffing and puffing!

Just after the 2 mile mark, we walked, and decided that once we reached a certain sign in the distance, we'd run the rest of the way in.  I glanced at Ricky Bobby (my Garmin), when we started running - we were at 2.3 miles.  We figured we had 3 or 4 minutes left, and reminded ourselves of what Brad, our trainer, used to say - "you can do anything for XX minutes" (usually that was burpees, and I respectfully disagree, but whatever...that saying stuck with us!).  When we finished the race, Ricky Bobby read 3.17, so we ran for close to a mile without stopping!  Although, when we were probably 100 feet from the finish line, I was SO READY to walk.  Thankfully, Jenny pushed me along and we crossed the finish line as runners! 

And our finish time?  Officially 40:13!!!  Ricky Bobby said 40:17, but I think I started him just before I crossed the starting mat.
Average pace was 12:44...two years ago, while I was in better shape and more conditioned, I ran this race in 38:10 and my average pace was 12:14!  I'm pretty pleased, all things considered!

Kelly and Chuck came in a few minutes later - we all got water and Gatorade, and then walked over to my car for our traditional after-race passing around of the Motrin.  Found an armadillo wandering around and got a picture with it - it wouldn't be the Armadillo Dash without a mascot, right?
Then we headed over to the finish line to wait for Jeff to finish his race.  He was wanting to PR (set a personal record) of running under 10 minute miles, which meant he needed to come in before 2:10.  We could spot his bright orange shirt a mile away (ok, maybe it was half a mile...).  He had three minutes to spare according to the clock, however I didn't know how far back he was when the race started.  We were hollering for him but he didn't hear us at all - I could tell that he was spent.  This was the most exhausted I've seen him at a finish - and for good reason - he PR'd with a finish time of 2:08:24 - HE DID IT!!!

 Tired, but happy!
We are a two-racer family now.  And I have a touch of medal envy...
Such a Texas medal!  Love it.


  1. so so so so so so glad to see this!!!

  2. yay!!! What a wonderful race!! And congrats to Jeff for a PR!

  3. Awesome re-cap, I'm glad you are back to your beloved running!

  4. WOW! So proud of you both! Man, I hate that I am missing all this!!

  5. What a great report, I loved every word of it Shelley.

    Girl I'm so happy for you that you are back at running races and what an awesome time. Congrats to Jeff to, awesome time.
    And you had so much fun with Kelly, Chuck and Jenny.

    Love, love, love this!

  6. A great race all the way around! SO HAPPY FOR BOTH OF YOU. You know from experience that to be a better, faster runner you have to run. I predict that if you stay injury free this next year, you'll set a PR at the 2013 Dash... maybe with me running it too?

  7. Holy shit - Jeff got a great time! And I am so happy that Team Jelly is reunited! Glad you had such a great time with Kelly and Chuck too - I can't believe its been 2 years already since you met!

    Happy Monday!!

  8. CONGRATULATIONS SHELLEY! You look SO HAPPY in the pictures : )

  9. Smiling with you both!! Awesome. You should be very please with your performance.

  10. I am SO happy for you. You did it, you stuck out that ankle mess and YOU DID IT. This and knitting....seriously girl, you are a WINNER!!!!

  11. I am jumping up and down happy for you!! So happy! (for Jeff, too). :D

  12. I am so happy for you! And I love seeing you and Jenny together again.

    Tell Jeff I' honored to have sat across from a man who can run THAT far THAT fast! I think your pace time is seriously good too.

    Great race review. I love reading these. So much more fun than actually BEING IN the race LOL.

  13. That was so much fun!!!!!! Love it.

    Good job ont he run! And I have some serious medal envy too. They were so cute.

    Can't wait for the next race together. :)

  14. Yeah for both of you! Um, looks like half a medal, but extra points for creativity.

  15. LOVE the recap Shelley!!! So happy for you, and for Jeff and his PR!!!! Hope you have a great week!!!!!

  16. Great news that you're back on the race circuit. Wow. Those are some BRIGHT shirts! Good for Jeff!

  17. Yay! Well done! Love the shirts!

  18. I like reading your blog so much I gave you an award :)

  19. Congratulations!! What an accomplishment. Truly inspirational!

  20. This is amazing! I am in awe of your accomplishment! :D

  21. You guys are amazing, what a great recap! I hate when races start late, grrr.

  22. Look at you, running again! I knew you'd be back! Congratulations!!


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