The Lost Dutchman Races 2013 Race Report

Well, apologies for taking a few days off from blogging. It’s been a busy week. As it happens, in addition to planning my Spring Break volunteer trip to Honduras and attempting to finish my dissertation, I also have three job interviews in the span of three weeks. I’m fully aware that having a lot of people interested in me is nothing to complain about, but it’s sure creating havoc with my schedule.

I’ve been signed up for the Lost Dutchman 10K since December. Last year I went to the event with my friend, who was running the half marathon, and we made an overnight trip of it and had a great time. (Report.) This year, though, I decided to make it a day trip. I’m already spending too much time away from home in the coming month. In fact I spent this past Thursday and Friday in Florida, came home and slept most of Saturday, then set my alarm for 4:45AM to wake up this morning and drive. Um, fun.

Whimsical western taxidermy fun

Whimsical western taxidermy fun

I have to say this for the Lost Dutchman, though: For being a locally organized, relatively large event (5 races, with hundreds of competitors in each) the organization is better than many other races I’ve run. I got to the race parking area 35 minutes before start time, and I was able to catch the shuttle, use the bathroom, pick up my packet, check my gear bag, take some pictures, and get to the starting line with time to spare! The only glitch was that they didn’t have a tech tee in my size, but I was able to give them my address and they promised to send me one in the mail. Class act. The race area also featured some silly photo ops and kid friendly activities, including Mary the burro.

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But you all probably want to know about the race, huh? Well, last week you may recall that I set a 10K PR on a training run and was doubting my ability to do it again today. But guess what? My week-old PR fell in a spectacular way this morning.

Mile 1–9:22

Mile 2–9:20

Mile 3–9:02

Mile 4–9:06

Mile 5–8:55

Mile 6–8:50

Mile 6.2–8:40*

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2013 10K Medal

In all, I finished just under 56:30, earning me a new PR and a 10th place finish in my age group. I’m really pleased and amazed at this performance, especially on a somewhat hilly course. I’m sure it helps that I’ve been doing so many longer runs these past few months, but today I also didn’t try to police my pace. In a half marathon if I saw a time under 9 minutes/mile I’d probably freak out and force myself to go slower, but I had enough confidence in my ability to finish a 10K that I just kept pushing. Maybe I should think more about adopting this mentality in all my races.

After the race I got some tasty food and was able to watch some really fast marathon finishers. If you’re a runner (or walker) and you ever happen to be in Apache Junction in February, definitely do the Lost Dutchman. The event supports local causes, has a great community feel, and builds awesome memories. I hope this Lost Dutchman won’t be the last for me.

 

The Second PR of 2013

Lost Dutchman 10K Medal 2012

Lost Dutchman 10K Medal 2012

Yeah, that happened in a totally unexpected way. I set a 10K PR on my long run yesterday. I started off feeling good and thinking about the Lost Dutchman 10K, which I’m running this upcoming weekend. I’ve been hoping to finish this race in under 1 hour, which I’ve managed to do on training runs several times before. However, the Lost Dutchman is pretty hilly (despite their claims that it is flat, it’s rolling all the way) and I’ve been kind of lazy about training in the past month. Anyway, I ran my first mile yesterday in 9:42 and just decided to keep pushing. I ended up hitting the 10K mark at 58:38, a new PR by just over 30 seconds. Then I immediately had to stop and remember how to breathe, then I ran about three more miles. Win.

Just a little sore today. Let’s hope I manage something similar next Sunday.

(By the way, I totally love the Lost Dutchman and I might shake someone down to get a full marathon medal… or at least to get a picture of one.)

Tombstone

OK, still busy catching up on work, running, and prepping for next week’s trip to California. 2013 has been nonstop so far! But here’s a brief overview of my visit to Tombstone earlier this week with my friend. Overall, Tombstone is a fun place to visit for a day trip if you are interested in getting a Western experience or if you are familiar with the Old West legends. This was my second time there, and a four-year break between visits was about right. The biggest issue that I have with Tombstone is that it can get expensive in a hurry… It’s free to walk around, but every museum (of which there are several) will charge between $3-$10 to get in, and it’s not always worth it. The restaurants are slightly overpriced and underwhelming, too. On this visit, we went to Helldorado Town, which offered a package deal on a trolley ride and comedy mock gun battle. That was worth the price of admission ($10), and the courthouse museum (run by the AZ Parks Service) is a comprehensive orientation for about $5. I recommend skipping the shabby and overpriced museum at the Birdcage Theater ($10) and the “authentic” (but not really authentic) OK Corral gunfight ($10), unless you are really into the history (in which case, though, you’d realize that the gun battle didn’t really take place at the OK Corral itself).

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2012 in Review: Running

So, as promised, here is my last year-in-review post. I saved running for last because I wanted to add to my yearly miles total with a last-minute run today, but also because I’m so proud of my accomplishments in this area. Eating right and losing weight is something to be proud of, too, but running is work. And even though I’ve been a runner for many years now, I still consider myself not much of an athlete, and I think of being fit and competitive as something I have to put a lot of effort into. So, here are the numbers and highlights:

1. By the Miles

2012 Total Miles: 757

December Total Miles: 100.3

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December was my first ever 100+ mile month of running. Part of that is due to training for the Tinkerbell Half Marathon next month, but part of it is because I had a lot of time off and didn’t do as much cross training as usual while the gym was closed for the holidays. I’ll start to taper over the next couple of weeks, so January 2013 will be a lighter month. Nonetheless I hope to add to my overall yearly mileage in 2013. I’d like to continue averaging 20-25 miles/week, and to avoid some of the injuries that bothered me this past year.

2. By the clock

This year was the first time that I regularly kept track of my speed in training. Especially with 10Ks and half marathons, my goal in the past was always just to train and finish. This year, I got more ambitious and thanks to my purchase of a Garmin Forerunner 210 in the spring and some careful data collection from March onward, I got some great results.

Fastest Mile: 8:39 (Nov. 15, training run)

Fastest 5K: 27:59 (Sept. 25, training run)

Fastest 10K: 59:25 (Nov. 4, training run)

Fastest Half Marathon: 2:14:XX (Oct. 6, Arizona Half Marathon)

Each of these is an all-time personal best for me, and note that each of these times have come in the last few months. I’m getting faster. I started 2012 running 10:30-11:00 miles. I am now consistently running 9:00-9:30 miles, except on my longest runs. In 2013, watch out. I may become almost competitive. LOL.

3. In pictures

I got some great medals, great schwag, and a few cool pictures of myself.

Race medal

Temecula Half Marathon/5K Medal

Lost Dutchman 10K Medal

Lost Dutchman 10K Medal

Fast and the Furriest 10K

Fast and the Furriest 10K

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Thanksgiving Cross Country Classic 5K

Thanksgiving Cross Country Classic 5K

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Safe to say 2012 was my best running year ever… But I have a lot planned for next year, too. Thanks again to my blog friends and followers for your motivation, encouragement, and attention this year!

Northern Arizona and Utah

Just over a week ago, while my father was visiting, we took a road trip to the Grand Canyon and the Arizona-Utah state line. I’ve waited years to see the Grand Canyon and it was wonderful to be able to see it with my dad and my dog, who came along for the ride.

A few helpful notes: Since my dad is a senior citizen we got in for a mere $10. He also got the national parks pass for that amount, which will get him into national parks for the rest of his life. Also, dogs are welcome in the park but I can imagine it being impractical if we were there in the tourist high season. Dogs are only allowed on the rim trail (not into the canyon), and while the rim trail offers more than enough for the first-time visitor to see it can get crowded near major vistas and high-traffic areas.

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We spent a few hours at the canyon hiking and taking pictures. We also took a scenic drive along the rim that included several vistas. Without a doubt, I can say this is one of the few places in the world I’ve visited that I wish everyone could see. It is unbelievable. If I had been on my own, I would be off on the trails and down into the canyon. Maybe another time.

My dad had arranged to stay the night in Page, AZ. Frankly, I’m not sure why because that is quite far away. There are many hotels near the canyon… but driving to Page did allow us to see some of the Navajo reservation and to enjoy Navajo blue corn mush with our breakfast buffet.

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Just outside of Page is Horseshoe Bend, which is a beautiful sight. This site is much-photographed, but I was not aware that it was over 100 miles away from the Grand Canyon. The river sure gets around. (Joke.)

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We got all the way to the Utah state line and just over it. I walked my dog into Utah and he almost immediately got a pricker in his paw. That’s when we realized Utah is not the place for us.

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This road into Utah is an adventure that will have to wait for another day.

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Random Running Thoughts

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I promised to get back to posting about running soon so here it is. November was lighter on miles than the last few months, coming in at just under 70, but considering that I twisted my ankletwice, that I had an unexpected visitor for the last two weeks of the month, and that I made a whirlwind road trip (pictures forthcoming!), it wasn’t bad overall. I got in some hiking miles too while the weather was good, and it’s still sunny and in the 70s here in Tucson for a few more days. Yeah, be jealous.

I’ve already exceeded my milage goal for the year so anything I do in December is a bonus, but ultimately I would like to maintain 20 miles/week on average this month with no further injuries. I need to get serious about training for the Tinkerbell 1/2 Marathon in January, though the 9-miler I did this past Sunday was a big confidence booster. Maybe one more race before the year is out? Who knows. It’s also time to start considering 2013 goals. Is it time to start training for a full marathon? Should I sign up for a spring half with my friends instead? Or do I need to spend less time thinking about running and more time working on my dissertation? (Spoiler alert: Yes.)

…All this and more, plus pictures of Northern Arizona coming soon!