RACE RECAP: Hoover Dam 5k | Celebrating a Friend & My Favorite Place to Race

hooverdam

Brings back memories of my first sub 2 Half Marathon (2011)

My first, 1st Place Overall Win (2012 – same course, different event)

My last 1st Place Overall Win (2015 – same course, different event)

The 6 Tunnels/Lake Mead/Hoover Dam area is my sentimental place to run and especially race.  This is the place I ran a 5k the day after Ladybug passed away in 2011. While this isn’t the same course, it is the same area and I love being there.

I registered for the race primarily to be with good friend, Jeff Liu as he completed his 50th State with a Marathon.  He actually finished in September, but because of the lack of concern or foresight of that RD, he did not have a qualifying race and had to do Nevada again.  I knew he would be happy with the BBSC events and it would surely qualify for a 50th State Qualifying run.

My brother registered to run the 10k and I opted for the 5k.  Since I have run several 5k’s out there, my mind was on a specific course and never entertained the idea it would be a different course than what I have run in previous years.  Error #1, study the course map before you run.  If I had, I would of not been so confused during the race.  More on that later.

We arrived to Boulder Beach to a very chilly morning.  Jeff, Kirk and I were ready to go.  Kirk and I sent off Jeff onto his quest and got ready for our start. 10k’ers started 5 minutes before us.

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At the 5k gun, I headed towards the familiar hill to take us onto the course, what I didn’t know – we would turn left not right.  I really don’t like the left direction, it’s a pain in the butt steady climb. Not something I want to do within the first 1/10 of a race, when I have not even gotten into my groove.

So, we head into the climb, and I am sitting around 4th of 5th overall. I knew if I could hang onto 4th, I had an AG win for sure.  As I was coming up on the turn around I was closing in on 3rd place racer.  At the turn around I made the decision to gun it.  My strength is in the downhill and the 3rd place would keep up or fall behind.  I passed 3rd place and held onto that for a bit.  She came back and zoomed by me but she didn’t hold onto it. I passed her again and closed in on 2nd place.  I passed 2nd place and this is where it gets weird, very weird.  I know this course and I know the turn to go back to Boulder Beach.  Even though the runners ahead of me kept going, I turned down the wrong road.  Once I discovered that, I had to turn back and onto the course.  My mind went south after that.  Okay, the next turn was Boulder Beach, but when I looked at my Garmin the course was way short.   That was confusing me and I was using way too much energy and brain power to try to figure this out.  Came up on the turn off to Boulder Beach and I was instructed to keep going straight.  Okay, that is when my brain truly checked out, that made no sense!  Where was the turn around?  Was the course long not short?

I started to run and I could feel my brain melt down. At the Mile 2 mile marker….I stopped. I stopped on the course, yes I did.  I said, “this isn’t adding up, we have to be going the wrong way!”  A gal whizzed by me and took 2nd place.  At that moment, I saw the turn around up ahead and ran towards it.  Whoever said that running is all mental is true.  I lost this race because of my brain, not my legs.  In fact, on the decline, I was between a 6:27-7:12 pace.  That shows you how much I screwed up if my overall pace was 8:37 for the race. (see that drop after Mile 2?  That is when I stopped)

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I held onto 3rd OV place for the Women’s 5k.  I didn’t deserve it, I ran a horrible race.  Not my proudest moment and not because my time sucked, but I zoned out and couldn’t regroup.  That is inexcusable for an experienced runner.  Despite my mental disaster of a race, coming into the Finish at Boulder Beach is always a treat for me.  I am taken back to my first sub2 Half Marathon and my two other OV win’s.  With Lake Mead ahead of me, there is something special about this finish location.  

As soon as I crossed the finish line and the announcer said my name, a few people came up to say “hi” and a “congrats” but the one I was most excited about was seeing my previous teammate, Chris Clark.  It was so good to see him, again!

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Shortly after, I received a text from my brother he had finished the 10k and he earned 2nd OV.  The 10ker’s ran to the Hoover Dam parking lot and were shuttled back.  So, all in all it was a good race for the Running Siblings.

The Awards ceremony was fun!  All the podium finishers were happy and the crowd was very celebratory.  I have had many podium finishes, but it is always a treat when all the winners are on the podium. Lately, there is only 1 or 2 of us on that podium.

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My brother and I went up to the Hoover Dam hotel to have a quick meal and then back to the race Finish to wait for Jeff. While I was waiting, I was able to walk around with Ruby, she is owned by the staff at BBSC.  Cuddling with a dog at a race is always a good thing.

Soon enough, here came Jeff into the Finish!  He was an official 50 stater.  What a relief and we could celebrate his quest is finally over with.  Congrats, Jeff!!!

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Despite my mentally horrible race, I am so glad I went.  I find it so peaceful to run out there.  Before, I felt Ladybug.  Now, I feel Ladybug & Honeybear and that is pure heaven to me.

Cheers to all the racers and BBSC!

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Race Day essentials:

Shirt:  Glukos Energy 

Headband:  Boni Bands

Arm sleeves:  Nike

Shorts:  Brooks

Socks:  Running Skirts Compression Socks

Fueling:  No electrolyte replacement needed for my 5k

 

Next up:  Triple Dare Resolution & Revolution runs on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.  It will be my first time to meet these RD’s and I am very excited to get to know them.

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Charlene L. Ragsdale – Las Vegas, NV
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RACE RECAP: Inaugural Disneyland Avengers Half Marathon Weekend | Part 1

I love Disneyland, that’s not a secret, so when another race opened up for DL, I jumped at the chance.  In addition, it was pretty close to my birthday.  I decided I would go to the race and spend some time the park to celebrate my birthday.  That’s been on my Disneyland Bucket list for many years.

As the days drew closer, I needed to juggle my schedule and even considered not going to the weekend, at all.  No race, no park time.  Yet, my husband and brother figured out a way for me to go to the race weekend and get some park time.  Although, I went down kicking – I am glad they held to their guns and insisted I go.

Bro, Mama and I left on Friday as Mama had her 5k on Saturday morning.  After arriving in our hotel, we got ready for the next day. After her race, I planned to visit the park for about 6 hours.  While it was not what I planned nor a full day, I would take any moment I could be in my favorite place in the world.

We got up at 3am and was out the door by 4am.  It was about a mile walk and mama was excited.  She was not nervous like Dumbo Double 5k, she was at piece and we were confident she would do well.

We walked her to the Corrals and then, Bro and I set ourselves in the bleachers to watch the finishers.  Gun time was at 5:30am, she was in the last Corral.

By the time she started, the wheelchair winner was crossing the Finish Line.  We had a general idea when she started by not, exactly.  Based on our calculations and what the announcers said, she was 12 minutes behind the gun time.

At 56 minutes, the gun time clock stopped.  My heart sunk, my first thought was they have swept the course.

Within seconds, she was at the Finish (found out the clock broke).  Based on that clock time, and her crossing time, she finished in the 44-45 minutes range and that is a gigantic PR for her. Although it was not an official timed 5k, it was still a big deal to her (and to us)

 

Mama

#RunningMama

 

After her race cool down, we head over to get some coffee and warm up.  I was started to get antsy to get into the park.  So, they headed off to their day and I headed over to get my park ticket.  I chatted with a few cast members and did some pin trading, too.  I love trading with cast members.

I was meeting my friend, Jacqueline in the park.  Before I met up with her, I decided to purchase a Chip n Dale hat.  I saw this new edition the last time I was in the park and wanted to buy it for a birthday present, to myself.

Jacqueline

My sweet friend, Jacqueline and I

After the hat purchase, I made my way to Small World.  As you know, it is my sentimental favorite ride and I begin every Disney trip to Small World. One exception was in 2013 when we were there during Halloween. The ride is closed to prepare for Halloween.

Hat

(please excuse the squinty eyes)

It was so much fun to be in Small World again.  I feel like a kid and I can feel the joy, as I sing along with the ride.

After Small World, Jacqueline & I spent the rest of the day riding rides & pin trading

Button Carousel Goofy ChipnDale Grotto Oswald Pluto Tikki Room

I headed back to the hotel, early enough to get some rest, roll out and stretch. I had a Half Marathon in the morning & I hoped to do fairly well.  Most importantly, fuel up with my typical meals and ensure I am well hydrated.

Next up…Day 2 of Avengers Half Marathon and what it was like to run in tornado winds.