On Sunday, I’m toeing the line at the Davis Stampede for the fourth time (I’ve also been a spectator for UltraIronHubs, which is how I’m squeezing a fifth year into this post). I have to be honest, this is not my favorite race, but I’m still getting excited about starting off my 2015 racing year! Here’s a little retrospective of my times at this race:
I was still a pretty new runner with just a handful of races under my belt and only one previous half marathon, but I had high hopes and big dreams for crossing this finish line under two hours. A few days before the race, I started getting sick and the night before the race was terribly stormy. This bad combination led to a sleepless night of coughing and worrying, which led to a really craptacular race.
|Pre-race selfie. You can see on my face that this is not going to be my day. Also? You can see from my smooth forehead that this was seven years ago. Sigh.|
I was overdressed (the day dawned sunny and gorgeous, though still chilly) and miserable. I struggled from the get-go, but felt something in my ankle go ker-plooie a little before Mile 5. I was a walking and crying mess at the finish line, recording a Personal Worst by 20 minutes. I over-dramatically went to the ER later that afternoon, certain that I had a broken ankle and pneumonia, but it was a sprain and a particularly congested cold. Though I seem to recall that I milked that agony for several days.
|I didn’t actually come in last place, though the barren streets would lead you to believe that I did.|
Determined to get faster, I set the Davis Stampede 2009 as my 5K goal race and started doing speedwork, aiming for a sub-25. If you read my post from a few weeks ago, you already know how that turned out for me. Hint: not good.
|OMG, Big Boy and Little Boy were so tiny!|
|The thing I remember most about this outfit was that the tights were not actually tight at all. By the time I got to this final corner, they were all saggy in the crotch and driving me bananas!|
Once again, I was painfully overdressed for a remarkably lovely but cold day, which is something I seemed to do a lot back then. Now I would rather freeze. I remember going into the race feeling really good and confident, but regretting my outfit choice almost immediately. I also remember that there was a full-on hairpin turn about halfway through the course that really pissed me off. I mean, there’s no way to keep your speed while you’re running around a cone. I crossed the finish line at 25:00.43 and was so disappointed! Yeah, it was a 20-second PR, but it was still short of my goal time.
I’m a slow learner, I admit it. But eventually, I do (mostly) figure things out. My third year at the Stampede was definitely the charm. I had three and a half years of running experience and a year’s worth of speed and tempo work. I had run quite a few races in 2009, including some triathlon. I was fit. I was ready. And I wore a tank top.
|“It starts with a ONE!!”|
I ran an 8 minute PR that day, not just squeaking in under two hours, but cruising in at 1:53:05, faster than my wildest dreams. It was a really, really good day. So good, in fact, that I didn’t run another half marathon again until last year, because I knew I couldn’t beat that time! So what makes me think that this year is time to aim for a half PR? No clue.
After several years of spectating for me, UIH decided to tackle the Stampede in 2011. And I, thankfully, recorded my thoughts for all posterity by blogging about it!
|Speeding to the finish!|
|Still one of my favorite photos of him, but really, aren’t they all? I’m a lucky girl being married to this guy!|
And that brings us to now. After skipping the last few years in favor of the far more badass Jed Smith 50K, which is usually held the same weekend or nearabouts, I’m back at the Stampede. This year’s medals look much, much better than previous ones and I feel good about them having enough port-o-potties. The weather is sketchy at best, but since I’m not even remotely aiming for a PR this weekend, that’s not a huge concern. I do have some goals, though:
- Don’t drown. It’s pretty rainy here today and supposed to be wet all weekend, so I think this is just prudent.
- Dress appropriately. No tights, no baggy long-sleeved shirts. Even if it’s cold, it’s never really cold when you’re me.
- Have fun. This covers a lot of ground and leaves me wide open for attaining the goal. Time is definitely not of the essence on Sunday, so I’m planning on enjoying my music and crossing the finish line with a smile on my face.