Misadventures with wine, weights, and running shoes.

Frederick Nut Job - Race Recap

Wednesday, May 7, 2014
The Frederick Running Festival is organized by Corrigan Sports and includes a Kids Fun Run, 5k, 2 Person Relay, and a Half Marathon over the course of two days. For those of us that want the extra bling, there is an option to run the Nut Job which is the 5k on Saturday and the Half on Sunday. Want a little more bling than that? Then sign up for the Nut Job double and add the Baltimore Half Marathon in October - Which I did.

The expo took place on Saturday, before the Kids Fun Run and the 5k. I arrived early, grabbed my bib and made my way over to the main expo area. It was relatively tiny with 50% of it being made up of the shirt distribution area. I made my way around, checking out the few booths there including Wegmans who were giving out samples of nut butters. I now love cashew!

The overall highlight of the expo was running into a long time friend, Fred, President of PlowOn Gum. It was one of those moments of HOLY CRAP what a small and crazy world it is.
Photo courtesy of PlowOn Gum
Shortly after the gang arrived, we found the King Crab mascot and took the opportunity to pose for a picture with him so we could get a free yoga mat. Unfortunately, no one told the woman working the booth about the promotion so she was taken a bit by surprise. We did, however, get our mats and threw them in the car for safe keeping. I need to start keep track because I believe that makes free yoga mat #4 since I started running.
Back at the expo, I got a bad case of HEYLETS and convinced the crew to sign up with pacers - something I had not done yet. Naturally, once at the sign up table, I was a bit reluctant to actually sign up under the 02:10 group. I did it though and then quietly walked away thinking, "WHAT HAVE I DONE!" Ok - maybe it wasn't quiet and it may have been my out loud voice. My actual goal was 02:15 so I figured I would at least get a good head start before I dropped off in pace.

Twilight 5k:

The Twilight 5k was the first leg of the Nut Job and went off at 6pm. It was a nice run with some gentle rolling hills. The weather held off - somewhat. We did get a little rain and a pretty serious headwind. I honestly managed to surprise myself running the race with a comfortable 9:33/M pace. Seriously, I never thought I would say that 9:33 is comfortable, but it was. My goal was to make it a shake out run before the Half the following morning. Done. Finished in 29:40.

I did get slightly annoyed with the fact that I'd have probably had a good PR if I'd have pushed it and then got the reminder from Cindy that pushing it wasn't the plan. **INSERT HEAVY SIGH HERE**

Frederick Half Marathon:

My race morning did not go as planned, entirely. I woke up every hour paranoid that my alarm wouldn't go off. I also woke up with sore knees and ankles. Thank you arthritis. Also, my plan to arrive early was waylaid by a traffic back up leading to the event. GO FIGURE. It felt like I parked in the next town over. As I walked to the staging area I tried to remind myself that this will be a recovery walk later.

We all agreed to meet up before the race and knock out the obligatory pre-race photo. Then we scattered in order to stand in the port-a-potty line of doom. Seriously - it was one of the longest I'd seen. Unfortunately, the wait in line carried us clear through the Star Spangled Banner and we hurried over to find our pacers. Again, I had that moment of WHAT WAS I THINKING but then remembered that I am shooting for 02:15 and this will give me a strong start.
Photo courtesy of Michelle Klein 
When the race started, I didn't hear the fire of a gun or an air horn. People just started moving forward. I started my phone app and like the running lemming I am, followed the masses.

This was my first time running with pacers and I will have to say that it was really a great experience, while it lasted (a little more elaboration on that to follow). Our pacer team was comprised of three incredible women: Sara Damiano, Shalyn Howard, and Faye Weaver. During the five to six miles that I stuck with them, they engaged us in conversation, told us random running facts, and gave shout outs to firemen and random spectators. I really hope I catch these ladies at another race in the future.

Like I said, while it lasted. I lost my pacers - and not the way I expected to.

After mile six, it was not an issue of me keeping up with them. I actually needed to run faster than them and I left them. Funny thing is, I didn't totally realize the distance I had put between them and I until I reached mile marker ten and the race clock reading 01:39. They pacers were no where to be seen. Does a couple of minutes make that much of a difference? Apparently, it does.

Right after I passed the mile marker, my music kept pausing due to a flurry of activity coming in. Then I remembered that I was being tracked. I could only imagine the slew of messages that I was getting, but I was positive most of them included "RUN!!!!!"

The remaining few miles went buy in a blur with the exception of a minor incident involving a disgruntled female runner who was having a bit of a tantrum loaded with expletives about having to run up a hill. This resulted in me calling her a sissy as I passed her by. I felt bad for a brief second until I realized that the woman in her company was giving me a timid little smirk for what I had said. I guess I was't the only one that was sick of her complaining and bringing the runners around her down.

The final stretch of the race was honestly surreal. Setting out to run a 02:15 and seeing 02:09 on the clock was hard to believe. Even more difficult was scanning my bib to find the actual time of 02:08:28 - an over 12 minute PR. I planted myself next to a tent distributing fruit cups and cried.

The shadow of my former self, the inner fat teenager, was surprisingly quiet.

The full crew assembled, we stood for the obligatory group photo and then complained that there was some kind of SNAFU involving the liquor board and the event organizer that prevented the beer tent from opening until 11:00am. Can you say, "disgruntled thirsty runners!" Not that I personally cared, being a rum drinker. I really need to invest in a flask.
Photo courtesy of Michelle Klein 
The race over and no libations for our thirsty group, we all departed. Well, I didn't really. I sat in the car for thirty minutes of, "OH MY GOD, I can't believe I had an over 12 minute PR" with the person that I credit for my latest mile stone, Cindy. The woman is a damn saint for putting up with my crap.

Next on the race calendar, The Marine Corps Historic Half - Hospital Hill is calling my name!

5 comments on "Frederick Nut Job - Race Recap"
  1. You are amazing! Keep it up Tree! You are on FIRE!

    1. Thank you, Amber! Two more races for the month and then my halves are done till October.

  2. SO, SO PROUD OF YOU! What a fantastic race and look how quickly you became one of those "fast runners." Just remember, when we run a race together...greet me at the finish line with a beer....and a burger. Oh and fries.

    1. Sandy, you'll get that and my beer(s) too!

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