Monday, September 12, 2011

I Did A Green Run 10K Race Report!

One of the last races sponsored by the largest running club in Phoenix is the I Did a Green Run 10K.  It is held in a park / nature area and ran almost exclusively on trails.  I had originally thought that it was called a "Green" run because it was a BYOWB (Bring your own water bottle) race, but it wasn't - so I have NO clue why it was called that. The bibs weren't even green! Regardless, both my wife and I ran it as training for her first half marathon this fall.

I was actually on the fence about running this race.  You see, if you sign up on time, there is no entry fee for members of the club.  I did not sign up early.  So, what was once a free race turned into a $30 family event.  If I am one thing, I am lazy. . . . sweaty. . . . . inappropriate. . . . cheap, so I had a hard time putting down the cash.  Fortunately for me, my wife convinced me and headed to the opposite side of town to strap on a bib and get in a few scenic miles.

I'm trying a new running stretch.  I like to call it the:
"Doggie peeing on the fire hydrant"  It's going to catch the running world by storm.

Obligatory family photo.  
What am I looking at? I think that I might have been looking at something shiny?

Pre-race walking practice is a must.  No one gets a jogging stroller ride for free!  Sorry buddy.

For being a free race, it was actually rather sparsely attended.  Normally the club's races attract 1000+ people with this one probably only clocking 500 or so.  I've heard that the location that it was hosted in was very dusty and was a bit rugged at times, so I am sure that scared off a few of the wussies who were afraid of being attacked by a rattle snake or wild Javalina.

With a moment of silence for the anniversary for September 11th, we were off!  The goal for this race was to count the number of sports bras. . . . 13!!! get in the miles. My wife had 5 miles on her long run schedule and was going to stretch it out to the full 6.2.  We unconsciously developed a 5:1 run/walk cycle around a 14:00 overall pace that allowed us to maintain forward progress while not completely dying in the Arizona heat.

My wife (redish orange in the center) fighting through traffic

As the race started, it was VERY busy.  Most of the course was only wide enough for 3 or 4 people at a time.  I don't think this would have been a huge issue for just runners - but I had the huge jogging stroller that I had to manhandle over the potholes and crevices.  Fortunately for us, most of the people were only running the 5K, so at the 2 mile mark or so the crowd thinned.....a LOT.

Wide open spaces!

When we crossed the halfway point in 40 minutes or so, I think that my wife and I got a pretty good system figured out.  I was the sherpa.  So, when my wife:

  • Thrust her hand in my direction, that meant: "I'd like some water please, dear"
  • Yelled to keep the stroller out of the way, that meant "Could you please give me a bit of room? Thank you!"

We both agreed that if you DID want to hide a body, there'd be some great places here.
I mean, just saying. . . . . .Nevermind.

At the 4.5 mile mark, my wife was getting hot, my son was getting hungry, and I was getting tired.  It is funny how running on trails is so much different than running on roads.  It certainly makes your legs feel more tired than they would normally.  I don't think it helped that there were quite a few washouts and sand pits that you had to jump over or slog through.  I kept saying to my wife that I was really glad that I was not trying to set a PR on that course.  I think that it would have been really hard to do.

Thank goodness the jogging stroller had pump up tires!  
Serious off-roading during portions of the race.

As we finished, and I made a bee line to the huge pan of Oreo cookies, I spotted two sweat your thorns off participants: Karna and Loretta!  We chatted it up about races, running, and how the rent is too damn high how it was too damn hot.  I also chatted it up with Brian who is looking to crank out a killer PR at the St George marathon this fall!

Neither of them wanted their picture taken post race.  Don't worry ladies, no one reads my blog.

Finally, all joking aside, I wanted to make a quick comment about the 10th anniversary of September 11th.  A lot of people seem to focus on the act of terrorism and the massive loss of life.  Both of which certainly need to be kept in our minds.  However, the TRUE stories are of the minutes, hours and days afterwards.  People who put their life on the line to help others.

One individual that has always stuck out to me is Battalion Chief Orio Palmer.  He was a marathon runner who, after taking an elevator up to the 44th floor, ran up to the 78th floor - reporting on the status of the building the entire way up.

The term hero is thrown around a lot.  It is one of those that has a squishy definition that varies to a lot of people.  Regardless of your definition, I think that we can all agree that there were hundreds of heros 10 years ago today in lower manhattan.  THAT, we will never forget.


Nobel4Lit said...

That looks like an awesome free race! And great that the wifey got into the whole racing fun, too! I'm sure the half-marathon will be a blast for her!

Great tribute to the marathon runner, too.

Chad said...

I'm always on the look out for a trail to run. Where is that?

C2Iowa said...

Nice green grass to dirt. Interesting.

Great pics

WannabeRunner said...

Woo hoo, congrats to your wife! Which half marathon is she going to run, PF Changs?

Kate said...

I like what you said about Sept. 11. I've been trying to say something similar and completely failing in getting it out.

What a fun race! And HELLO, a 10K trail race is a totally different PR than a 10K road race! You just get to set a new kind of PR.

Lisa said...

A free race? wow.

An it looks like the terrain where I run.

XLMIC said...

Dude, you weren't supposed to tell where we dumped the.... o, man....

Steve said...

Looks like another great run... Thanks for the quick reflection on 9/11... means a lot coming from you!

track coach and adorable wife said...

Looks like a fun family race! Ok, parts of it, like the heat, seemed to suck, but awesome that you guys got out there together and survived! What a cute little future runner!

Jamoosh said...

I couldn't help but notice "traffic" was a bunch of ladies and an old guy. Man I can't wait to be an old guy!

Amanda - RunToTheFinish said...

fire hydrant pose huh, well i will give it a try if it makes me fast like you

Tracy said...

That looks like a fun race! I need to try running on something other than pavement. I'm also still a little gun shy about officially signing up for a 10K. I'm up to 4.2 miles. (Yes....point two! Every inch counts, right?)