Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Butte to Butte- 10K Race Report - New PR!! Lost to McMillan, but NO tears from me!

First, a few thoughts:
I am so glad to be able to run! So thankful God gives me the opportunity to race when I can- every once in a while. Thank GOD I live in a FREE country, and thank you to those of you who have sacrificed to make it so!

I love the 4th of July.
I love road races.
I LOVE 4th of July road races- even when I don't beat McMillan's calculator!!!
I have excuses, but I don't need them...because I set a new personal record in this race, and it was all about the FUN.

The short version: 42:00 gun time/watch time, 41:49 chip/net time.41:59 at the finish line and on the race sheets.... Help me decide on one, please?
Empty road before the race

It wasn't a marathon, but here's my marathon length report. :)
Race Goals :
  • To have a FUN race with very little self-imposed pressure to reach a certain time. In fact, I chose this race because of the festive atmosphere, (lots of people in costumes). I came in knowing that it's a hard course- quite unlike me. I just wanted to have a relaxed FUN day and see what would happen.
  • Time goals: to PR (beat 44 minutes) would be nice, but not a given. (It never is.). I hadn't raced a 10K since the last one (8/2010)- which was almost a year ago. At best, I thought I might beat McMillan's prediction for me at the distance, but I DIDN'T plan on it, which is why I did a little speed session 36 hours before the race, and lifted weights this last week.
  • I wanted a baseline: for training for a 10K in mid September. I plan to do 10 weeks of training for this one and will race it on another hard course- the Prefontaine Memorial 10K. (I have never ran the Pre course and could use some comparisons by people who have done both!)   Sidenote: Just to clarify things a bit from some comments in my last post...I am shooting for a sub 40 race at some point in time. It'd like it to be this fall or winter, but am under NO delusions that it might occur in July, August or even September of any year!!
  • To keep the course as short as possible without injuring anyone. (running the tangents without hitting objects)

Pre race:
The B2B is a point to point course. So after spending the night snuggled up to the boys at my parents house, getting about 2 hours of sleep, I left the crew and headed to downtown Eugene to catch the shuttle.
I had planned a super-patriotic outfit for the race, but left the red running skirt KIM had mailed to me hanging at home! :(   (This was SO kind of her...It is the most comfortable skirt ever - even in tempo and speed work, and I was bummed! ) .

But, I still had my cape and flag and sparkly star garland!! So I arrived at the drop site entirely un-matching, sports bra hanging out, and turned into super-patriot-woman. The cape came in handy for several other runners, as I will explain later.

Hydration/ fuel & warm up
I got a little scared after I checked in my bag and realized there was no water at the start.
I decided to warm up and run to Safeway to see if there was a fountain. About 20 other people were doing the same thing, so I ran back to the bag check and asked if I could get something out of my bag. THANK GOD they let me. This saved my bacon, big time. I got out some money and went back to the store (passed friends John and Kacy- and lost them!!) for a bottle of water. This was about 20 minutes before the race and I drank about half the bottle.

There were water stations at miles  3, 4, 5, and I had a straw tucked in my watch for those. I ate half a banana and part of a bagel much earlier (6:30 ish), but forgot to take the gel I packed. I never train with them, anyway.
Hydration plan....and CHECK out the new purse!! I got it to match my favorite jacket :)

The race:
There were pace markers for 5,6,7,8,9, 10...minute milers. I lined up about halfway between the 6 and 7. Chatting with other racers, I met Rebecca, who asked what pace I was hoping to run. I said 6:30- rounding things off a bit. She decided she'd like to try to follow me and I was happy to have her do it. A few people commented on the cape and it helped relax things around us. The start was congested and there were a few thousand people. We could see the elites coming to line up at the front- so cool!
There are two different approaches you can take with this course: you can either try to attack the hill, and  cruise on through the second mile, or you can conserve energy and go slowly up the first mile, and save energy for the flat part of the course. I went with BOMBS AWAY. I must add here, that there is a cash prize for the king and queen of the uphill and the downhill- Usually an elite gets that :) . I am not elite, Dad. Thanks for your optimistic 38:XX guess, though :)) (He is not to be beaten in encouraging predictions!)

Mile 1-
 7:30- Couldn't be helped.
Mile 2- Nothing but downhill! I went as full speed as I could muster, having just rushed a mile-long hill. One woman passed me, never to be seen again til the finish. She was one of those older runners you would never guess was so quick!! We were all flying...5:56 for the second mile.
Mile 3- It was still a little downhill, then flattening out a bit. I tried to establish my goal pace for the rest of the course - passed the water station without stopping, and a hose that was misting the racers. Ahhhh... 6:29

Mile 4- struggling now, really feeling the wear on my legs from the whole uphill/downhill charge...listening to the watch beeping and hoping to find my happy place, and struggling to convince my legs to pick up faster.
Passed the water station- not needing it.  6:48

Mile 5- This heads down Pearl street which is straight for a looooooooong ways, business district, some shade trees here and there. Lots of crowd support and people shouting "Go SUPERWOMAN!!"  And a male runner and I fell into about the same pace here. We did no talking, just running. I felt like I was dragging..He'd surge and I'd catch up, I'd find a little extra and he'd catch up. Green Shirt guy probably helped me keep pace better than my watch! There must have been water somewhere here, but I had already decided I could make it to the end without. 6:53

Mile 6 As I approached Skinner's Butte park, I could see the road get shady again and the familiar turn that signals a slight uphill and turn to the left. I was running in front of a pack with Green Shirt guy comfortably to my right. Still trying to cut in at the corners....but looking for that 6 mile flag. When my watch said 6 miles. I read 40 minutes and thought WOO HOO!! But immediately remembered that .2-.3 is still a long way and a maybe few minutes. 6:43

6.2 and some I surged again, and Green Shirt had full view of the cape. As I approached the finish line, I saw the clock ticking closer and closer to 42 and hit the mat at what I thought was 41:59. (Also the time listed on the printouts at race itself). (.27, 1:41  note: I didn't add it all up...) You can see me cross the finish line here: warning! I look terrible, gasping for breath!! Get a good laugh. :) Haha.

Very shortly after crossing the finish line, I was caught up by Rebecca who was thrilled with her new PR.(her net time ended up under 42) .

Evidently, she and few other people were following me as their unofficial pacer. The cape made me an easy target! I was truly excited for her. She had told me that her goal was to be in the top 25 females this year, and we both made it with some room to spare. She also ended up 3rd in her age group and took home a medal. I took 4th in mine :) and thought that was funny!
 (Thanks for the paper clipping, Dad! :) )
We chatted briefly about maybe trying to do it again next year. I hope it happens!!
A few thoughts:
I am truly happy with my execution of this race. I don't know if I could have given more at any point, but I might consider moving up a bit at the start next time. I lost 10-11 seconds of gun time at the start, but also had many people to weave around after passing the mat.

B2B was VERY well organized as far as 10K races go..Shuttles were going one after the other, LOTS of porta-potties, a track to warm up on,  water at the promised places, helpful volunteers, bag check- though NOT secure. And it is a great family activity. I'd definitely do this race again and recommend it to others.

Schwag was there for those who finished in the top 3 of their age groups, and there were cash prizes for the top 3 overall, and the King and Queen of the uphill/downhill. I did miss having watermelon at the finish line this year...there was none to be found- just water, bagels and coconut juice stuff.

I did a 3 mile cool down after the race- very slowly, and on rubbery legs. Afterwards I got the shakes and found a little sugary food right away. My quads are nearly as trashed as they were after each of my marathons today- 2 days later.

As far as getting a baseline 10K to start training from, I think this was perfect. I know my VDOT has dropped a bit (now a 49.32), but that is just fine. After all, I might be stronger at the 5K than the 10K. Since I have never specifically trained for either, I will enjoy seeing out the next 11 weeks. I doubt I will be any faster on the Prefontaine course, unless it is much easier- and I don't think it will be.

The local news interviewed the strange lady in the cape  (Note to self: come prepared with something witty or profound to say next time!). You can see it here, with the rest of their B2B story: KEZI news clip.
I owe a HUGE THANK YOU to my MOM and DAD who watched the boys for me (at the last minute) to do this race. LOVE YOU!! I couldn't have done it, since Jon needed to work over the holiday due to recent events. It is such a privilege to race and makes me consider how challenging it must be for single parents to even find ways to exercise. I am grateful for their help and for my husband's desire to provide for us -and pay for my silly hobby. You both are the BEST.

After the race, my mom and the boys and I went to the Eugene Rose Garden, had a little picnic, and took a little tour. I loved spending time with her and them! Here are some of the photos:
And so summer is now in FULL swing! Happy BBQing!
Also...big congrats to AMANDA and her hubby in their AWESOME un-MARATHON! And another BIG Thanks to thanks to JENN for her awesome shout-out video :)!!


  1. Okay, I haven't gotten past your part about the Prefontaine Memorial. I'll be back with another comment when I finish your whole post.

    I did both of them last year. Granted my opinion is from someone who ran Butte to Butte as her 2nd, and the Pre as her 3d 10K. So, with that ... I would say that the initial Butte to Butte climb is obviously crazier than any at Prefontaine. BUT Prefontaine is non-stop hills. I don't recall any flat surface until you hit the track at the very end.

    I probably don't need to add that I enjoyed the Prefontaine Memorial more. Of course that is probably my bias speaking since I just adore him! I nearly PR'd at Pre, so if I can almost do that without even training for hills, I imagine you'll be awesome!

  2. I'll be back when I can to get an avacado for my 2 year old but seriously...a sub 6 mile in here?! holy smokes girl!!! Way. to. Go! You look cute doing it too!! I'll be back. xo

  3. Loved reading this! Such an awesome job! I have no doubt you will go sub 40 with training, no doubt. Wanna bet?:)

    A 5:56 mile in a 10, wow, I am impressed! Truly so happy for you! Congrats!

  4. Oh I'm back and this was GREAT! Loved it! And loved watching you on t.v!! yay! BEautiful fast you! Amazing. YOu inspire me and I'm super charged to be running a 10k again! are going to smash that 41:59 girl! So loved this!! It helps that I love you too and you wrote a great recap here!!

  5. Way to go! You are so speedy, even without the skirt. It really would have completed your ensemble nicely, oh well.

    It was fun to "watch" you finish and on the TV clip too. What a great day.

  6. Congratulations on your HUGE NEW PR! That's awesome. And of course you look awful in the finish line video. Everyone does. (Except for Annoying Blonde Woman who stands RIGHT IN FRONT of the camera....)

  7. You write be best RR ever!! Totally loved it!

    I love your attitude about the race and how you remain positive - all the time! More people need to take example and not be so hard on themselves (ahem - myself!). Great race, girl...I can't wait to see how your next race goes, you are so freaking fast and rocking out these races!!

    Congratulations. Oh, and yeah - love the new purse to match your Boston jacket :).

  8. Holy speed!! The cape looks awesome on you R!!! I can't believe your splits on a course like that!!! looks like you had a fantastic weekend all around. Also such ingenuity with the straw!! And the purse!! Bostonlicious!

  9. First of all. 41:49 for sure!! I always use chip time. Gun time if you're an elite on the line IMO. Mat to mat for the rest of us!!!

    Super impressive splits Raina! That hill is a monster to start a race. I'm LOVING the 5:56 right afterwords. As you know, I could be going downhill on rollerblades and still not break 6 minutes-ha!!

    Loved the finish video Superwoman!!

    I agree with AM-sub 40 is not a question in your future. As far as the Pre race goes, I'm unfamiliar with the course, it sounds like not the EASIEST of races. I truly do believe this is a GREAT distance for you though. Can't wait to see what you could do here in the next year!!

    I could write pages. I loved the report! Congrats on the HUGE PR on a tough course!!! Thankyou for sharing this, I've been so anxious to read it! Oh-and I love the pics!!!

  10. What a great race! You ARE Superwoman :) Your race outfit is spectacular! Love the write up and so excited to see such speed :) Simply awesome!

  11. love this recap, raina. So fun! thanks for the videos. I found myself cheering you across the finish line in that video. loved your cape! You rocked this race. Congrats!! What a great way to spend the 4th!!

  12. There are a bunch of fast men down here in Arcata/Eureka that frequently go to that Pre 10K. I may have to join them and make the pilgrimage to see Pre's native ground. If I'm doing anything right I should be ready for a sub 40 as well in September....we shall see, we shall see...

  13. Wow, you are fast! Well done! Looks like a really great and enjoyable race. Lovely feedback!

  14. LOVE that cape!!!! Congrats on a really excellent race, what a confidence booster for your 10K training!

  15. Epic Splits!! Super fast woman:)

  16. Great job Raina!! Proud of you! Wish I could have been there to cheer you on.

  17. What an amazing recap and race! Great job! Your splits are out of this world. Congrats on PR :)

  18. Awesome race! That is amazing that you got 42 minutes on that race even with that gigantic hill to start the race over the first mile!

    That cape is seriously awesome, haha The wind resistance might have added a few seconds to your time too!

    I forget what I predicted for your 10K time, I think I remember saying 42 or 41 minutes? I guess I was close, haha

    Your second mile time of 5:56 is amazing!

    If you do a flat 10K, I have no doubt that you get get sub 40!

  19. Okay, I'm back!

    You're so famous! And seriously, that lady at the finish line standing right in front of the camera - she was annoying. But I think you looked great! Congratulations on such a speedy time!!

    I think if you could attack that first hill so fast, the Prefontaine isn't going to phase you at all. Sure, it is rolling hills, but they are Pre's hills! ;)

    Watching those videos makes me want to go crank out another 5K in Eugene. I haven't done one up there since New Year's Eve. I am long over due!

    I just searched and I see I have in my Prefontaine report my Garmin results for the elevation, if you wanted to check it out!

  20. RAina, that is AWESOME!!! you did SO great and I LOVED The video!!!!! you looked like you gave it everything you had! I love that~!!!!


  21. GREAT job on the race and the PR Mrs. Cape lady ;) You did so well and you are always so humble about how blessed you are to race and run so well! I admire you :)

    Nice interview too ;D

  22. Congrats on the PR! Of course you had it in you! Love the festive cape and news clip!

  23. i thought i heard it right! nice job lady speedster!

  24. Wow great job on your 10k. I am so impressed and I am thinking that I need me one of those capes. I LOVE IT! This was a very inspiring re-cap. Sounds like you really gave it your all.. I bet your next one will be under 40.

  25. You are so famous!!! - on the paper...videos of you crossing the finish line! If I start running fast is this what I have to look forward to??!!! :-)

    Great job, Raina! What a fun post. Your cape was AWESOME! I bet you felt like Superwoman with it flying behind you.

  26. What's your secret? 2 hours of sleep? The cape? That's a fast, fast finish!

  27. A great report full of beautiful pictures. You are very fast: congrats for the PR. If you were here you would be the n° 2 (women) and the 1st in your age group!!!!

  28. Awesome awesome race report and congrats on your pace! You are SO fast!! (what's your secret???) =)
    How long do you recover after a race like this?

  29. Anna- Thanks!
    By recovery, at this point in my running I can run the very next day. I ran only easy runs until all the muscle soreness was gone- about 3 days. Some suggest a day of recovery for each mile raced.
    A few years ago when I ran a hard effort 10K to beat 50 minutes for the first time, I couldn't get out of bed the next day...too sore. I had planned to run with a friend (who had also raced with me, but was half my age!) and we met, but I bailed after one mile. Could not move..haha!


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