Today I ran the Left Over 4 Miler race back in my home town, this race fit perfectly in my marathon training (I was scheduled for 4 this Sat anyways). Before we get down how the race actually went let me explain how this unique race works.
The Left Over Run essentially is as it’s name implies, the bibs, t-shirts, medals, and age group awards were all left over from previous races that were put on. As a runner you don’t know what you are going to get! Even the mile markers were left over from a previous race (Gulf Coast Half)
I ended up with a Cobia 5k shirt, Cobia 5k bib, Gulf Coast Half-Marathon medal (initially I had a tri medal but this guy asked if I would switch with him as he already had that medal) and a Crawfish 5k age group award ( more on that in a bit!).
I thought that this idea was really unique and a great way for organizers to “offload” some of their surplus without wasting it.
Starting with packet pickup, I’ve determined 2 things, either I shouldn’t be allowed to pick up my packet (most of the local ones I’ve had to get someone else to grab it for me as I was out of town, but now that I’ve moved back its a different story), OR these packet pickups shouldn’t be at the local running store (granted I could have done race day pickup). I went in with the sole intention of ONLY getting my bib and t-shirt. What did I walk out with? A new pair of shoes and a pair of Donna Jo fitwear shorts (which I absolutely love might I add), and I had to stop myself from getting more gear. Now I was going to be on the hunt for a new pair of shoes soon as I’m ramping into marathon training and my old pair definitely weren’t going to last the rest of the season, however with some recent medical expenses it wasn’t really the best time to be purchasing a pair. That being said I’m excited to rotating these babies into my training!
Flash forward to this morning: I got up fed the pup, ate a banana, strapped on my gear and drove over to the beach for the run. 99.9% of the time I never wear the race day shirt to the actual race but given the uniqueness of the race I felt it appropriate. I decided to run the race sans music partially because I just wanted to try and enjoy the race and partially because somehow my latest pump me up running music (Andy Mineo, Lecrae, KB, & Trip Lee currently) somehow was removed from my phone between my house and the beach (how in the world???).
Since I was only scheduled for 4 miles I thought that I would push myself, run hard and up my intervals so that when I cut back to my normal pace/intervals for longer runs I would be a little more conditioned (plus race day running always brings out a little more). Lately I’ve been oscillating between a 3/1 run/walk interval to a 5/1 interval, but today I upped it to a 6:30/1. I had tried on a training run the other day to do an 8/1 but the heat was too much so I figured 6:30 would be a good compromise.
The start was neat as the starting arch had the logo’s of all the previous races/future races in the season (they even had someone walking around in a turkey suit from the turkey trot and crawfish from the crawfish 5k, unfortunately I didn’t snag a picture), and we had a 1 minute delay called the iHate(can’t remember his name but it was a local lawyer who had sponsored the race) delay. After the delay there was what sounded like a mini cannon and then we were off!
It was interesting for me because I’ve never really considered myself a fast runner, lately though I have been making great strides and PR’ing in my last few races and running at a pace I couldn’t image in the past. At the start of the race it was surreal as I managed to keep the front of the packers in my sight until the first curve in the road. Prior to my first walk break I somehow found myself as the 4th female in the race (2nd and 3rd were literally just steps in front of me), this was a position that I have never been in so it spurred me on, as was seen with my first mile which was a sub 8 minute mile!
The benefit to this race was that since it was on the beach it made for a fast and flat course, the negative it was hot!!! I think I was sweating just standing there before the start of the race. It was also an out and back (with a block turnaround) which was also helpful for shorter races as I could more easily tell where I was/how much I had left to go (yes I had my Garmin but seeing it there vs mentally/actually seeing the course is a bit different). I think being so close to the front of the pack (and my one of my fastest runs ever) spurred me on because with the exception of the first one I cut about 10-15 seconds from my walk breaks and went ahead and ran.
Throughout the race I started fishing, picking out a runner in front of me and would slowly reel them in and telling myself that I had to pass them before my next walk break came up, one by one I started picking off runners. Coming down to the last 1/2-1/3 mile there were 2 girls up ahead of me, not quite in grasp but not terribly far, when I reached about 1/4 of a mile left in the race thats when I kicked it in to gear. I’ve been working on speed work lately and by golly I think it has begun to pay off as boy do I have a kick. Literally one second before crossing the finish line I managed to catch up and pass one of the girls.
I thankfully grabbed my medal and quickly guzzled down a bottle of water and then 2 more glasses at the post race party. The end result? My average pace ended up being 8:07! I was the 20th finisher overall, 4th female (only 5 seconds behind 3rd) and ultimately placed 1st in my age group!!!!!!! What? How did that even happen?
Technically I was 2nd in my age group but the overall female winner happened to be in my age group so I got bumped up 🙂 , ironically her name was also Holly (no e) and has the same last initial as me, so looking at the results you have Holly K & Holley K.
The post race party was great (can you really beat anything on the beach?) with live music, jambalaya, bananas and bagels, employees where it was held were also walking around with glasses of water and passing out jambalaya to runners.
Overall I really enjoyed the race (I always love running locally run ones), from the boy scouts at the water stop to the mystery of what swag you would get. The only complaint I have about the race is that it was hot, it the race was bumped up even just an hour (it started at 8) it would have been much better.
I know this was probably a bit of a bore and long, and an obnoxious amount of () but I’m working to get back into the groove of things. Another PR is officially in the books (not hard when its your first 4 mile race) on to the next one!
My name is Holley and I by some miracle placed 1st in my age group today.