I hadn’t originally planned on running the Berbee Derby. Its hard logistically to take the family because its always cold and there are a lot of people and parking is difficult. Throw in the fact that I have bad luck with Thanksgiving races (two of the three previous Berbees I’d signed up for, I didn’t run because of injury), and I was content to make the Haunted Hustle my last race of the year.
But then I got pneumonia and I couldn’t run that goal race. I debated for awhile about the Berbee Derby. Everything ended up working out so well, I felt like I had to. Our big family Thanksgiving was planned for Saturday. I found out the race only cost $35 and that price was good all the way up until race day. Doug and I decided I could run this race if I wanted to, but he and the kids would stay home. I was still leery just because of my history, but I knew I’d do it this year.
I didn’t have expectations and I didn’t even sign up until two days before! My last month’s running has been very light between the pneumonia and Peyton’s bad sleep. But I ran 5 miles last Sunday outside, so I figured I could cover 10K. I also thought I could just turn and take the 5K if I felt terrible.
So I put on my layers this morning and headed out. I got to the race nice and early and ended up parking in the neighborhood across from the start, which really worked well when I was leaving. I went and hung out with Team in Training friends and stayed warm inside until the start. It was fun seeing old friends I hadn’t seen in a long time!
The hardest part dealing with the cold I expected would be the time I was standing outside waiting to start. And that was hard because I was in the slowest 10K wave. My top was cold but my legs stayed pretty good. I got choked up during the National Anthem as I anticipated finally reaching my goal, then did my best to move to keep warm, but not to use all my energy!
Finally we started! The first mile felt great. I was running faster than normal and feeling fine. The whole course was rolling hills and the start was a bit down, then up and back down. I did like the wave start because I never felt crowded. The only sort of “crowding” was right at the beginning, but that happens all the time. I wanted to run faster initially but it was good that it was a bit more crowded so I held myself back and settled in nicely.
I was wearing two pairs of gloves and took the outer pair off pretty quick. Unfortunately they both fell out of my pockets at the first water stop. A volunteer saw one and then I realized the other fell out. I looked back and saw it at the beginning of the water stop, so I went back to get it, losing some time.
After the water stop, I was feeling pretty winded. I knew I’d have to walk some but wanted to get through mile 2 first. Well, I don’t know if I slowed myself down or just that it got flat enough, that I didn’t need to stop. I ended up making it almost half way before I had to stop and walk. And once I started running again, I still felt good. For about the first 4 miles, I could feel the yuckiness in my lungs but my legs felt fine. After my initial walk break I ran the next mile. I was trying to run a mile after each walk break, but that didn’t really happen once the hills and my fatigue got to me.
Much like the first time I ran this race in 2010, it was the tale of two halves, well, not quite half. The first 4 miles and then the last 2. My splits the first four miles: 11.28, 12.07, 12.41, 12.25. The last two miles: 13.29 and 13.35 and then another 4 and a half minutes or so to finish. While I knew that the huge hill I remembered from 2010 wasn’t on the course, what I’d managed to forget was that there was not one, but TWO huge hills at the end! Add to that the fact that my breathing was getting tougher and I was cold… I got pretty miserable by the end.
But I finished! I never even though about taking the 5K turn (partly because the turn was sooner than I expected and since the 5K started about 12 minutes after I did, I would have been one of the first, which would have been weird!). I knew from the start that even if I walked the whole way, I had 10K in me today.
Goal reached! A month later than planned, but it counts.
And not only did I finish, I finished a bit better than I expected. I had my crazy goal of 1:15, but I didn’t really expect to meet that. I ended up finishing in 1:20:17, chip time. Not bad for having pneumonia a month ago! My pace was 12:39, which was about the same or a bit faster than I usually run. I know I could have finished better if it hadn’t been so cold and if I hadn’t had all those hills and if I hadn’t dropped my gloves. But I’m not complaining!
My only real complaint about this race is the fact that by the time I finished there was no more hot chocolate and there were only bananas. I HATE races that don’t have enough food for the slower runners. I did finish very close to the last for the 10K, but when I finished there were still a lot of 5K walkers coming in. So many people never got any food! This race grows every year, you’d think they could get more food. I mean really, us slower runners having been on our feet longer need the food more than the faster folks!
But overall I do like the Berbee Derby in spite of the hills. And now my record is 50%! I’ve signed up for four and ran two!