Trot for Hunger 5K 2015

Once again, R and I did the SOME Trot for Hunger 5K. Some thoughts:

  • It was much warmer this year than last year. I wore a light jacket, long-sleeved shirt, long pants, wool socks, and a hat. I took off the hat not even halfway through the run.
  • We situated ourselves closer to the start this year, at the pace marker more appropriate to where we’ve been averaging on our practice runs. This worked out better for us. Last year, we were farther away at a slower pace marker because I wasn’t sure that I could sustain my faster pace at the time. Last year, we ended up having to constantly dodge walkers and strollers. This year, we did much less of that.
  • It also helped that we were familiar with the course.
  • Last year, I was a lot more cautious– I went much slower in the beginning, even for me. This year, I started out at a decent clip.
  • I felt like I kept a constant pace throughout, which my Strava data corroborated. My breathing felt pretty relaxed. I felt fairly relaxed overall.
  • I beat last year’s net time by almost 4 1/2 minutes! Still well below the average for this race, but this was a new PR for me.
  • Next year, I hope to be faster, even if only by a little.

Great Pumpkin Run 2015

(No connection to the Great Pumpkin Ride)

The Great Pumpkin Run was held in Frederick, MD. I had signed up with a bunch of friends on a team. Skies were overcast, but it was not too chilly. I didn’t realize it was a trail run until too late. I had been training on pavement, so I was not prepared for the challenges with the terrain. I did wear two ankle braces, because my ankles are notoriously weak on uneven surfaces.

The first mile was mostly rocks. This was decidedly my least favorite part of the run. The rocks hurt to run on, and it was tiring to negotiate running on the path. I felt like I was expending a lot of energy for little progress, and felt pretty discouraged. When we passed the 1-mile mark, I groaned aloud. If this was how I was going to feel throughout the run, it was going to be very slow going. Luckily, the terrain changed.

The second mile was in an open field with some muddy patches. The field gave way to a wooded area, where there were Halloween displays of dismembered people and scary looking animals.

The last leg was on gravel with the last tenth of a mile through a corn maze. It was much easier running on gravel. The corn maze was blocked out so that runners didn’t have to figure out the maze, but the path was narrowed so that there was only room for maybe two people to run side by side. I could hear people cheering, but I couldn’t see them until the very end of the maze, which was the finish line. R apparently was pushed by another runner to get to the finish, and I had heard later that that was not an uncommon occurrence. Not cool.

As expected, again, I was by far the slowest member on the team. I was feeling really grouchy at the finish, but physically, I felt pretty good. Also as expected, I did not PR [edited 11/25: uh, according to my stats, I actually did?!], but my time was much better than I thought I had done. According to Strava, I had kept a fairly even pace throughout, improving as went through the race. My official chip time was faster than my Strava time, which I thought was unusual, but I’ll take it. We received free cider and a pumpkin for our efforts, and our team went out for a celebratory lunch at a brewpub afterwards.

Well, another 5K under my belt. I have one more race before the end of the year.

Great Pumpkin Ride 2015

Warrenton Branch Greenway.

I loved this ride from last year, and originally signed up for the 48-mile ride. I had also unwittingly signed up to work that evening. argh. I wanted to do both, so I opted to do the 30-mile ride instead so that I could have time to go home, change, and go to work.

At first, I was having some doubts as to whether this was a good idea. Was it worth it to drive all the way to Warrenton, VA for a 30-mile ride? I needn’t have worried. The answer was yes.

The Fauquier Trails Coalition’s Great Pumpkin Ride remains, hands down, as one of the best rides of the region. The ride is well organized: the autumnal countryside route is beautiful, there are police on hand to direct riders at some of the trickier intersections, the volunteers are fantastic, and the riders are friendly. Oh, and of course, the food at the rest stops is awesome.

Pumpkin pie and other baked goods.

As last year, one of the rest stops was at Old Bust Head Brewery, where they were giving out free samples of their beers and a coupon for the taproom. They were also at the finish line with more beer for purchase. I really did like the two samples for this year, their Oktoberfest and Old Jail pumpkin-peach brown ale.

For the 30-mile ride, that was the only rest stop, so I made sure to stock up on food. Alas, there were no pretzels.

I was feeling a little stiff throughout the ride, but I managed to make it in fine time, so I skipped the festivities at the end and hit the road, stopping at my favorite Red Truck Bakery for a snack before heading home.

I made it to work at a reasonable time. I hope to be less rushed and do the ride again next year.

My very small Flickr set is here.

September 2015 Stats

For the month of September, I biked 124.47 miles in 19 days. I also ran 3 times for 5.41 miles.

I was going to do a bike ride this month, but I got sick. I had two rides scheduled for October, but one was cancelled. Let’s hope I can do the other one.