Race Recap: White Hall 15K…aka the Insta-PR!

Have you ever had one of those nightmares leading up to race day when you oversleep or get lost and somehow miss the start? I didn’t have one of those on Saturday night, but it did almost become my reality on Sunday morning.

I laid my flat self out the night before so that when my alarm went off at 6am I wouldn’t have to blindly rush around getting everything together and leave the house missing something important. Like say…my wallet a la last weekend.

flat salt

Knowing that it would be gloomy for start time on a trail with nothing green growing on it yet because spring has yet to really arrive here and MORE SNOW TOMORROW, I wanted to wear a lot of bright, happy colors. I think this outfit succeeded. I was dressed and out the door by around 10 of 7. The drive to the White Hall NCR trail area where the race was held should have theoretically taken me 20 minutes and start time wasn’t until 8. Getting there a little early would allow me to jog around on my ankle a bit to see what it could handle.

Good thing I gave myself some extra time.

The directions I had were somewhat vague and I didn’t realize I was lost for the first time until I had nearly crossed the state line into Pennsylvania. Panicking, I pulled over and searched frantically for another set of directions and almost started crying when I realized that the highway exit I needed was several miles before the one I had taken. I backtracked based on these new directions and got myself back on course, but then ended up lost AGAIN when I went the wrong way at a fork in the road. It was exactly like every pre-race bad dream I have ever had. I finally got myself where I needed to go with only a few minutes to spare.

Thankfully registration was easy because I had already signed up online, so I paid my $2 (LOVE CLUB RACES!) and collected my bib quickly. Then I went to stand in the long line for the lone port-o-john when the race directors started calling everyone over to the start. I looked at my watch: 7:58. ACK! Guess I would just have to hold it.

There were around 130 of us out there, so a little better attended than the freezing cold 8 miler in January and the weather was definitely more forgiving in the upper 30’s. We were given the rundown of the course, which was an out and back. They told us where we could expect some nasty conditions, which was something I had been afraid of after all the snow we have had. Then we were off! The start was pretty slow because at that point the trail is only a few feet across. After about a quarter mile, things spaced out a little and I was feeling pretty comfortable. My leg felt kind of weird, but not in a hurty way so I tried not to think about it too much.

Not long into the first mile I almost rolled one of my ankles and this would be a trend that would go on for the entire 9.4 miles of the race. Many people bike on this trail too and since the ground has been so wet I was constantly falling into tire tracks. And jumping over piles of horse dung (wheeeee!) because people ride their horses out there. Then the mud they told us about. And then the fallen trees which I hadn’t anticipated, but really didn’t mind having to go under and over because they added to that obstacle course-like appeal and made me feel a little like a badass.

Imperfect as some of the conditions were though, it really was beautiful out there.

At some point during the 2nd mile I started running alongside this one guy whom I had never met before and we ended up near each other until around mile 6 when I pulled ahead. We never actually spoke, but something about having him there made the race more pleasant. He had a really relaxed form and I felt like I was getting that laid back energy from him. At the finish we high-fived and he joked with me about what they must have had in the water at the hydration stop right before I had a little extra burst of speed.

I was feeling fairly good for most of the race, but as I hit the 7th mile I started to realize how much I have fallen out of shape in the past month+.  My ankle was the least of my worries; actually at that point it wasn’t bothering me at all. My legs were burning in a way that they haven’t for a very long time. My energy level was good – thanks, Energybits! – but my muscles were just so damn tired for the last couple miles. There was a woman up ahead of me that I had been gaining ground on for awhile, but after a certain point I gave up trying to catch up to her because it hurt and that’s not why I was out there yesterday. I would already have a PR when I finished anyway, and the thought of that was awesome.

My shiny new 15K PR that I learned last night was good for first place in my age group!

15kPR

I felt a little like I was going to throw up at the end, but I got it under control pretty quickly. I ate some GU that I had forgotten I had in my pocket and grabbed a water to sip on as I watched more people cross the finish. Just like the last BRRC event I attended, the volunteers were awesome and enthusiastic, the atmosphere was relaxed and friendly, and they had a great spread of post-race snacks out for everyone. All I could think about was a venti vanilla macchiato though so I didn’t hang out very long. Why do I crave giant specialty coffees so much after I run!?

I did snap a picture of the landscape though before hightailing it to Starbucks. Beautiful, but hopefully soon it won’t be so dead and brown looking.

landscape

Did I mention that we were getting more snow tomorrow? Because yeah. More snow tomorrow.

Have you ever gotten lost on the way to a race? Do you like wearing eye-searingly bright colors when you run? Are you getting more snow tomorrow?

I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend! Saturday was beautiful and we actually got to play outside for awhile!

treeclimber

She’s so weird.

~ Salt

PRO Compression giveaway <—- HERE

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51 thoughts on “Race Recap: White Hall 15K…aka the Insta-PR!

  1. Laura says:

    I adore your springy running outfit, and congrats on a PR! I hear you on the rolled ankles – I anticipate more than a few of them this weekend!

  2. Pandora Viltis says:

    Congrats on your 1st place AG and PR! I wish my version of being out of conditioning was a 7:51 pace on trails.

    I’ll have to try energybits and see if I can run more like you 😉

    • runsaltrun says:

      Thank you! I usually don’t buy into stuff like that too much, but I definitely have a noticeable increase in stamina when I eat those things and there’s no crash later which I like. They smell like a fish tank, but I believe they work.

  3. emmelineruns says:

    I love wearing obnoxiously bright racing clothes, I have all kinds of neon pro compression too so I can make sure people are annoyed by me 😉 congrats on a PR! Your small friendly races make me want to drive a few hours up to MD for one of them 🙂

    • runsaltrun says:

      I believe it is very important to be seen at all times. 🙂
      You should come up! We have no shortage of small, friendly races here. There’s a great running community in Baltimore!

  4. Change of Pace says:

    Congrats on the race and age group placing!! It sounds like a fun one, and you can’t be a $2 entry fee! Thank goodness you left early- getting lost is a lot of stress you don’t need before a race!
    I love to dress bright when I feel like spring should be here. Fake it ‘til you make it! I refused to wear my bulky winter coat today even though it was -18C (0F) this morning!

    • runsaltrun says:

      It was SO STRESSFUL. I was thinking about that as I was driving aimlessly around…like I was already so nervous for the whole thing wondering how my leg would hold up and then it was just a ton of added anxiety on top of that. Oh well. It’s done and I did okay. 🙂

      Thank you so much! I also refused to wear anything but a light jacket this morning and people have been looking at me like I’m crazy. Spring for all of us now, please!

  5. ambertherunner says:

    OHMYGOD what an awful drive to your race. I would’ve been a nervous wreck. But at least you didn’t miss the start!
    Not fun conditions to race in, but great job on winning your age group, and not getting injured in those pesky tire tracks.
    Loved your outfit too. Part of the fun with running is all the bright gear we get to wear 🙂

  6. hellyontherun says:

    yay for PR 🙂 and congrats on your AG win!!!

    I love clothes–bright, dark, weird, whatever–clothes in general make me happy 🙂 I’ve never gotten lost to a race but I have IN a race (in high school lol!) And, no. No snow here in Phoenix. Like ever lol!

  7. Kristin says:

    OMG, AWESOME!!!! Man, I really love your purple watch (I have the pink one, but I really love the purple one) and love even more seeing your awesome new PR displayed on your watch!! That’s a great time and WOW, first place in your age group! Beautiful pictures, too and I absolutely love your outfit. I really love bring colors!!! Fabulous job!!!

  8. Meg says:

    Ugh about getting lost but glad you made it! Also, way to go on a PR and age group win!!

    I cannot believe that is B. Her hair looks so long! Cutie for sure!

    • runsaltrun says:

      Thank you! It really was a fun distance to do and I highly recommend it! I bet it would have been even more fun if I had been able to train for it a little better.

  9. littlegreenrunningshoes says:

    1. Love the outfit. You can never have too many colors. 2. I get lost all the time don’t feel bad. 3. I would probably get lost on race courses if it wasn’t for the orange cones or volunteers. 4. Yes 😦 more snow for us tomorrow too.

    • runsaltrun says:

      In my first 10K last year, we ALL got lost because the course was so poorly marked. So I don’t blame you at all on that one.

      I hope the weather isn’t too bad for you guys tomorrow and that it melts quickly!

  10. Diann says:

    Congrats and glad you made it on time! I loved your winter-be-damned colors. It’s time for that cold nonsense to be over; unfortunately real feel was 2 degrees this morning, and we too have more snow on the way. That’s okay, it can’t be long now until spring arrives for more than a day at a time!

    • runsaltrun says:

      Thank you, friend! This weather has been so depressing that I had to do SOMETHING to brighten it up a little bit. Let’s hope this last little blast of awful moves through quickly for all of us!

  11. afastpacedlife says:

    Oh, wow, that was stressful getting to the race. I’ve gotten a little lost before, but not like that. Congrats on running a great race anyway (and your age group win).

    It’s about 50-50 as to whether NYC will get snow. I hope not. I’m a little tired of it.

  12. piratebobcat says:

    Nice job in those conditions! I do always use other runners energy when in a race. Someone once told me to pick someone out ahead of you and pretend you have a rope tied to both of your waists and that person is pulling you along.

  13. fitnessmeetsfrosting says:

    OMG you ROCKED it!!! Way to go Ms. 1st in her age group! So happy for you speedy lady! I would have been a total basketcase if all the pre-race SNAFU stuff happened for me haha. I NEVER sleep well the night before a race because I dream exactly that.

    • runsaltrun says:

      Haha thank you! My legs are on fire today, but it hurts so good.
      It was seriously the thing those nightmares are made of. I don’t think I’m ever going to sleep well the night before a race again.

  14. Chaitali says:

    Man, your pre-race adventures would have really had me panicking! I did have a problem the last time I did a race at RFK Stadium just because i couldn’t find which parking lot to park in. We ended up driving around the stadium a couple times until we finally followed a car that knew what they were doing. Poor signage sucks.

    • runsaltrun says:

      RFK is SO CONFUSING! Actually DC is just confusing for me. I have lived so close all my life and yet have still managed to get lost every time. Poor signage definitely sucks!

  15. txa1265 says:

    Congrats on the PR and age group win! That must have been nerve-wracking after getting lost! I tend to be super type-A about directions so I’ve never gotten lost on the way to a race … yet!

    And I DEFINITELY love loud clothes for running! 🙂

    • runsaltrun says:

      Thanks! I think I might like to try and find another one soon. Not quite as long as a half, but a little more challenging/more warm up time than a 10K.

      I’m looking outside at the snow right now and it’s making me crazy. I hope it doesn’t stick.

    • runsaltrun says:

      Thank you so much and yes it was absolutely horrible. Next time I’m going to make sure I’m a little more directionally organized in the morning if I have no clue where I’m going.

  16. kristenk says:

    Congrats on an awesome race! You are sooooo speedy! I have had 2 almost-missed races. The first one was last Thanksgiving – it was a new race in my hometown and when I told my mom where it was she was like “oh yeah, it’s over where we go for walks in the summer” and my GPS confirmed that. When we got close we drove alllll the way down this long one way street in the forest just to learn that the parking lot was closed at that entrance! By the time I drove all the way around to the other entrance of the parking lot I had like 3 minutes to spare! And last December we left our apartment way too late for a 5 miler in the rain and I had to have my husband drop me off at packet pickup and I had to do the race wearing the race hoodie they gave me because I didn’t have time to run it back to the car. Races are so stressful when you’re late!

    • runsaltrun says:

      Ahhh that’s cutting it close! I hate random road closures! That extra stress on top of pre-race jitters is definitely not something we need!

      Thank you so much, friend! I think I’m still rocking my Sunday endorphins. (Definitely still rocking my Sunday sore quads.)

  17. irishrunnerchick says:

    Great job on your race – you are so speedy! What happens when you are fully fit! I haven’t gotten lost yet but only because I’m pretty anal about knowing exactly where I’m going and arriving ridiculously early for everything. And I love the bright colors – maybe you can will spring to happen with your wardrobe?

    • runsaltrun says:

      Thank you thank you! I think I have learned a valuable lesson in all this and it is WAKE UP EARLIER. Even if I get there way early, it would be preferable to the stress!

      I’m trying to will spring to happen today with some very flowery leggings, but no dice. It’s snowing again.

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