Sunday, October 10, 2010

Race Report - Domestic Violence Awareness 5K

Race: Domestic Violence Awareness 5K
Location: Minto Brown park, Salem, OR - 10/9/2010
Fee: 20$ on race day, cheaper a week ahead.

I came into Salem Friday afternoon and was able to sneak over to the park with my brother-in-law while my SIL watched the boys for me. Hoped to see the course or find a map of the actual race, since the Internet map was for directions there, not of the course itself.

I couldn't figure out which path the course would take, but got to see the grounds. There were plenty of paved paths- eight miles of them!

Borrowed photo of the race path

It's western Oregon: fields, trees and blackberry bushes, all on a nice flat island in the middle of busy Salem. If I hadn't gotten the tour, I am pretty certain I would have not been able to find it- or would have assumed that I was on the wrong road to get there.

The night before the race I slept on the floor (sofa cushions) in the room with my kids at the SIL/BIL's house (my oldest is a sleepwalker). Got a few hours of sleep and discovered it was still raining since the night before! (uh-oh) SIL worked on getting the boys fed (such a great hostess and wonderful aunt to the boys) while I had a hot shower and ate oatmeal, drank coffee around 7 AM.

When I got to the race, I registered and made a small donation- not enough for a Tshirt, but something. I don't usually race for any causes, but this one has special meaning to me. I pinned on my bib and after a stop at the port-a-pot line, I warmed up.

I was SO nervous. It's weird, but I think I am getting progressively more nervous at the start with every race I do!   :/

I tried to pray; I listened to a song or two during my mile or so + strides. The music didn't help my nerves and I didn't want to miss an announcement, so I took off the ipod and hid it at the pavilion with my long shirt and hat. It was a wet, rainy, warm day.

After the 10K started, I lined up at the front. I still can't believe that's really where I belong in any race!!! I whispered and asked a high school age girl her 5k time (also in front) she said 23 minutes, so I stayed. :)

With the start of the 5K, I took off at a fast pace. I only wear a digital watch and run by feel. I hit what seemed close to my usual tempo pace, or maybe a bit quicker.

We rounded a corner and there were 3 or 4 men ahead of me, then 2 passed me. I was OK with that and expected it. I had been surprised there weren't more men ahead of me, truthfully.

At a half mile, we were offered water (haha!) and everyone sped past. At nearly a mile, there was a white sign for mile 1. My watch said 5:xx and I thought "there is NO way that's right". And I was right. The next sign was for an orange 1, and that was the right one- but I can't remember the time. I want to say 6:30. 

The next two miles were a big blur. Mile 2 went through some trees and the paved path was wet with lots of wet leaves, making me a bit uneasy about slipping. Also, I was in new shoes which still seem to feel a bit slippery and have that new-gloss look on the soles. I didn't want to injure myself and hoped not to go sliding.

The course was pretty flat, rising at first, with a few small short down slopes on the way back. The only surprises (which weren't much), were a few large puddles that had a single track in the mud if you wanted to go around, and a section where shallow mud went across the path (I went through both). It really wasn't bad, just leafy and wet.

As I approached the third mile marker, I was almost fooled again with 10K signs, but picked up the pace which may have slowed a bit. I passed a man only to have him catch me in the last 50 yards to go! I just didn't have the turnover and he had saved too much back, in my view.

I saw the clock and knew to subtract 10 minutes from the 10k start time. It was past 20 minutes, which was my best-day-ever goal. Honestly, I was a little disappointed, but only temporarily. When I crossed, my watch said 20:23 (Official time not yet available), making me either the 5th or 6th finisher overall.

I know I can go faster because I DIDN'T puke.

We received a water and a goodie bag. The organizers were very friendly and helpful. They seemed to be well orchestrated, but this is a new race. New races have their quirks.
The awards were very nice and presented quickly. The plaque is a deep purple (and beautiful- I think), which is the color for domestic violence awareness (I had no idea that's what a purple ribbon means).  I visited with another racer who was living in a DV shelter in another county. She is a new runner and did Hood to Coast as her first race ever! Now she's hooked and wants to run the Portland Marathon next year! :)

I may have earned a gift certificate too, but that is still to be determined. The announcers were unsure who earned the gift certificates and will mail it if I earned one. Nothing was mentioned in the flyer about prizes for winning!
(Photo by Darcey a 10K racer)

I still think I placed so well only because all the faster runners were tapering for Portland or decided not to get rained on!

Toward the end of the awards I started to get very cold and shivery. I had planned to finish my LR right after the race, but didn't since there wasn't much time 'til the ceremony to run much. And I wanted to get back to my SIL & kids so she could go see my nephew's soccer game. So, again, I have yet to do a LR after a race! (I did my LR today, Sunday :) )

If you live in driving distance I highly recommend this race for the course, the organization, the cause and the professional/polite volunteers. There were plenty of apples, granola bars, and very good pastries, instant coffee and apple cider.

If you do race it, get there early as parking is limited. (There were shuttles though.) And, hopefully they will have some dry, secure storage for next year. I'll do it again next year if there is no conflict with my schedule.

Official results: 5/278, 20:23.5


  1. Great race! Nice to have family to help out! BTW, purple is also the color for Alzheimer's disease awareness.

  2. No way!!! First female! Dang you are sooo fast. =) Many congrats to you.

  3. Oh?! I didn't know that, JGF. Good to know! I wonder if they are different shades. Hmmm.
    Thanks Keeley :)

  4. Man. A first-place runner's blog. This joint is too fast for me ...

    Never, ever question the field. You beat everyone who showed up on one day. One day when you're showing the grandkids the award they're not going to be asking whether some faster runner was tapering for a marathon. YOU WON!!!!!!!!!!

    (i am bummed you didn't puke though ...)

  5. Nice job!! A 5k time in the twenty's ... sweet!! I hope to be there soon. Now, as far as your cookie cutter training question goes, what I was referring to was training programs like Runner's World SmartCoach. Training programs where it just spits out a generic one size fits all program for you to follow. Now, don't get me wrong, they are wonderful programs especially for new runners wanting to get more serious but I needed more and I found it through adaptive training. Adaptive training requires a little more work because you literally have to create your schedule and it change it from day to day but the benefits are HUGE!! Once again nice performance in your race. :-]

  6. Very nice. You are wicked fast!! Congrats and well done. Could have puked if you ran faster? I like that one.

  7. Hi!! This is pdx from Runner's World - Running Grammy pointed me over here! Glad you have a blog. I like reading about your (really fast!) running! Are you going to do the Cascades Half in January? I'm thinking about it!

  8. YAY!!! Hi Meg/PDX!
    I am thinking about it... If you are going to do it, I might be even more interested :)) Definitely a possibility.
    I haven't decided if I am going to race during training for the April marathon or not- last half I should have taken off 2 weeks from speedwork afterwards and I didn't, and think I injured my calf as a result. So if I don't do it, I might just have to come and watch, which would be torture! :) Fun torture...

  9. ilikemargarine said what I wanted to say: never question the field!! You because you are awesome (and super fast)!!

  10. Congratulations on a super fast time and overall win!

  11. Congratulations, that's smokin' fast!! So eh, you didn't puke, you'll make sure to do so next time...and look how fast you'll be then!!

  12. Nice race! Congrats on the first place finish! I think I puked enough for the both of us in my race!


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