2013 DRC 3×2 Cross Country Relay Recap

by Kim on August 20, 2013

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This race took place a few weeks ago, but I’m finally getting around to writing the recap.  I actually debated whether or not to write up a recap on this race since it was a relay AND it was just a very small piece of my long run for the day, but in the end, I decided to go ahead and do the recap since it was a race after all.

Race Day Weather
Oh my gosh, was it warm!  I actually started the morning much, much earlier, getting up close to 5:00 AM to begin my long run.  When I checked the weather before I left, it was already 80 degrees… and the sun wasn’t up yet.  Once it was time for the race to start, the temperature was 83°, but felt like 86°.

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There was a light breeze during the race, but without a cloud in the sky, it was HOT, HOT, HOT.  And, I’d already ran 8 miles that morning, so I wasn’t exactly cool to begin with.  In the short stretch from before I started my leg of the race until a little bit after I finished, the temperature had already increased two degrees.  HOT DAY!

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Feelings Going Into The Race
I really didn’t have a lot of thought going into this race.  I was more focused on the bigger picture of running a total of 16 miles for the day, one of the hottest days of the summer, so this little 2-mile leg relay was sort of an after thought.  My co-pace leader, Barbara, signed our team up.  The third person on our team was Kelley, the coach for the 3:50-4:20 pace groups.  Our team name was “Two K’s and a B” (Kelley, Kim, and Barbara).

Meals Before The Race
Not really thinking a whole lot about this race the night before, I totally forgot to take a picture of what I ate for dinner.  Nick had a guy’s night, so I was on my own for dinner, which meant take-out!  I ordered Vermicelli Noodle Plate with Pork from Pho is for Lovers.  Yum, I LOVE Vietnamese!!

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For breakfast, I had my usual; an English muffin with peanut butter and jelly.

IMG_7061 Instead of my Central Market English muffins, I bought some from Trader Joe’s.  They aren’t nearly as good, but they did the trick.  I was also out of homemade nut butter, so I’ve been working on a jar of Smooth Operator that Peanut Butter & Co. sent me.  I still prefer almond butter to peanut butter, but either way, it is an easy source of protein first thing in the morning!

Since I ran 8 miles before the race began, I had a single ShotBlok right before the race started for a few extra calories and a little pick-me-up.

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I guess my camera was more focused on the grass than on my hand!

What I Wore
Nothing too out of the ordinary here.   I wore my C9 white sports bra, as usual.  On top, I had on a C9 grey tank top and on the bottom I wore a pair of blue on blue Nike Tempo shorts.  (By the way, I just went to the Target website to link up my C9 tank top, and there is a ton of cute C9 workout items!!  I’ll have to make a trip to good-ol’ Target once we move!)  For socks, I wore the blue running socks I got from the Nike Women’s Half in DC.  I wore those with my  Brooks Glycerine 11 running shoes.  I also wore my grey Flip Belt, a cheap-o black headband from Target, my Garmin Forerunner 610, and my RoadID bracelet.  While I did carry my Camelbak during my additional miles outside of this race, I plopped it down on the grass for this two-mile stretch.

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The Course

course map

While most Dallas Running Club races are held at Winfrey Point at the lake, this particular race is held at Norbuck Park, just north of the lake.  The course runs around the park, each leg running the same 2-mile loop.  During the first part of the summer, I ran here a lot with the DRC and I assumed the route was the same, but it ended up being ever so slightly different from what I was used to.  The first half of the race runs by sports fields (baseball and maybe soccer).  The trail component on the first half is a little stretch of the word… it’s more like running in a field that has been partially stomped on to create a trail.  Right around the 1-mile mark is the first, smaller climb and at about mile 1.25 is the second, hard climb.  There have been many times I walked up this hill during the runs out here at the beginning of the summer.  We run much harder hills on the pavement with the training program, but for whatever reason (the dirt, the heat, or whatever), this hill just SUCKS!

elevation chart The elevation chart from my Garmin

Overall, there is an elevation change of about 100 feet.  On the back-end, about the last 0.25 to 0.5 mile, there is a nice, steep downhill right to the finish line.  This is always my favorite part for obvious reasons.

The Race Organization
The Dallas Running Club puts this race on every year.  Like most of the DRC races, there is no expo or pre-race day packet pickup.

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Race-day bib pick-up and registration table.

Everything about it is no-frills, which I’m a big fan of.  I don’t really need another race T-shirt!

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This was my first year running in this relay, but from what I understand, every year has a different theme.  This year’s theme was Hawaiian party.  Our timing chip/baton was a lei.  Several teams dressed up for the occasion, including these studly fellows.

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Crowd Support
Being a relay, there was a ton of “crowd support” at the start/finish line… pretty much composed of team members waiting for their teammate to come through and pass the baton.  Other than that, there were a couple of people out cheering runners on as well as the volunteers at the water stop.  Being a DRC race, I didn’t expect a lot of crowd support.

The Race

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I volunteered to run the first leg of the race, that way I could continue to run after my leg was up and get the rest of my miles in for the day.  One of my 4:20 runners is also training for the Chicago Marathon and we met up early to start our 16 miles together.  We ended up staying nearly side-by-side during the entire 2-mile leg and continued on together once we both finished.  I didn’t think about it until after we’d finished, but the first leg is definitely the most congested leg of the race, with all the runners starting together.  Becca, my Chicago Marathon training partner, and I lined up and when the horn blew, we were off.  We were both a bit stiff from already running 8 miles and then stopping for 30 minutes before the race started.  Once we got going, though, we were dodging and weaving our way around the crowd until we found a good stride and a nice clearing from the runners.  We wound our way around Norbuck and came to the dreaded 1.25-mile hill.  I definitely slowed down here, but I was happy to stay running, even though I desperately wanted to walk.  Shortly after making it up the hill, I hit the first and only water stop.  I grabbed a cup and continued on to the back side, downhill stretch.  Here, I picked up my pace and booked it as fast as I could to the finish line.  At first, I couldn’t find Kelley and Barbara, but all of a sudden, Barbara popped out.  I handed her the lei and she was off.  Becca came in right behind me and we took a short water break before heading out to finish the last 6 miles of our run.

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Pace chart

Post Race Food And Vendors
There were plenty of post-race snacks, including bananas and sweet-and-salty trail mix packs.

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There was also an assortment of Gu, but I stuck with the banana immediately after the race and took a trail-mix pack to eat later at my pace leader meeting.

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They also had a bunch of DRC merchandise out for sale.  I really like the blue running tank top and the green T-shirt.  All of my money was in my car, several miles away, so no purchases this day, but I will be back!

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No Pain No Gain
Since I’m writing this post a few weeks after the fact, I can’t really remember any specific issues I had during this race.  I’m sure there was some twinge here or there, but nothing that left me injured, which is the important thing!

Other Random Thoughts
Hmm.  I’m not thinking of anything, other than it was HOT!  But I’ve said that already.

Overall Opinion
This race was a nice change of pace from other DRC races, but I’m not a huge Norbuck fan.  Too much of Norbuck is running through poorly mowed grass.  It’s just not that fun in my mind.  BUT, I did enjoy only doing one loop!  The times I’ve run out here earlier in the summer, I was doing several loops and it is torture!

Race Stats
Bib Number: 5154
Division: Master All Female (Not sure how we wound up in this division… guess that’s what Barbara signed us up under)

Official Chip Time: 58:42
Official Clock Time: 58:53
Official Race Distance: 6 miles; 3 2-mile legs
Official Average Race Pace: 9’47”
Overall Rank: 158 out of 210
Division Rank: 3 out of 6
1st leg (me): 19:56
2nd leg (Barbara): 19:20
3rd leg (Kelley): 19:26

Garmin Time (for my leg): 20:03
Garmin Distance: 2.05 miles
Garmin Average Pace: 9’47″

Garmin Splits
Mile 1: 10’03″
Mile 2: 9’37″
Mile 2.05: 7’38″

And for the other 14 miles for the day
Mile 1: 11’03”
Mile 2: 10’43”
Mile 3: 10’34”
Mile 4: 10’35″
Mile 5: 10’48”
Mile 6: 10’49”
Mile 7: 10’28″
Mile 8: 10’17”

Miles 9-10 were the relay

Mile 11: 10’55”
Mile 12: 11’17”
Mile 13: 10’29”
Mile 14: 12’11”
Mile 15: 11’39”
Mile 16: 10’28”

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