Race Recap: It’s a race! It’s a long run! It’s the White Hall 15K!!

If you voted in my poll the other day…THANK YOU!! You helped me to make a very tough decision this weekend.

I think this qualifies as a landslide.

I think this qualifies as a landslide.

There were a couple other factors that led to my decision as well. For one thing, it snowed Friday. This snow was not gone on Saturday morning. After the temperature went up to about 60 degrees in the afternoon though, it was almost as if it never existed. (Thumbs up from me.) The forecast for Sunday ended up being a little warmer than Saturday morning and the winds were about the same.

Also – and I’ll go into this more in my training recap for the week – but starting on Tuesday night a chronic rotator cuff injury that I’ve been dealing with since I was a teenager flared up. The flare up was so bad that I would wake up in the middle of the night unable to move and screaming for my husband to come help me. It was scary. I needed the extra day to see if I could get the pain under control and by Saturday evening it wasn’t looking good.

Then I guess I figured out the correct ibuprofen/hydrocodone cocktail and woke up Sunday not-pain-free, but with a better range of motion than I had had all week. I figured I would give it a go. I wasn’t planning on actually racing anyway because this was all part of a longer long run so I didn’t even need to worry about doing my best. I just wanted to log the miles.

The race was at 8am. I woke up at 6 to medicate, tape my shoulder, eat a little breakfast and give myself enough time to get dressed because getting a sports bra on over my head had been a challenge the day before. I arrived to the NCR trail head at White Hall a little after 7am, paid my $2 to register, pinned on my second race bib of 2015 and prepared to knock out a few miles before the race start. I had never run north along the trail from this location and as it turned out I was in for a treat! It went through the Gunpowder Falls State Park. There was such beautiful scenery and beautiful waterfalls rolling past the trail. The temperature was a cool 35 degrees and I was feeling very little pain as I ran.


I managed to get in a little more than 4 miles and when I arrived back at my car everyone was lining up to start. Perfect timing! I ate a few Stinger chews and found Sara. We hung out for a couple minutes before the airhorn sounded to kick off the race. Our club races are small, but there was a better turnout  this year than there was last year. We all got jammed up at the start, but pretty soon things fanned out.

One nice thing about the fact that I had already been out running (beyond being REALLY warmed up) was that I did not know exactly how far I had run or what my splits were like. I could have performed some simple math in my head to somewhat figure it out, but ain’t nobody got time for that. I preferred to enjoy the mystery and instead went by feel and without worry of time or distance at all. My watched beeped at each mile, but those beeps were for my own personal run. I hoped I wasn’t confusing anyone near me because they were not indicative of how long we had been on the course.

Despite the nasty weather we’ve had, the trail conditions were GREAT! There were a few spots with a bit of mud or standing water, but overall it was so much better than I ever would have anticipated. The temperature was pretty perfect too and they had two water stops set up along the way so that we would hit each twice (the course is an out and back). The volunteers were friendly  and boisterous which really added to a nice race experience for everyone.

I feel like this race flew by and it was so weird to come to the end with absolutely no idea what sort of time I was running. As it turns out, I finished in 1:14:35 (8:02 pace) and got second in my AG. Only 50 seconds less than my PR last year! It makes me kind of excited to do it again next year when I haven’t run 4 miles first/won’t have to worry about running an additional 6+ miles afterward! I wish I knew what my splits had been.

At the finish they had all sorts of awesome treats for us: drinks, bagels, fresh fruit…and I couldn’t enjoy any of it because I had to get going! I quickly slugged back a cup of Gatorade, refueled with the GU and chews I had with me, and bid farewell to my friends. More on how the rest of the run went later.

I love club races. They are always fun, the people are always nice, the volunteers are always great, and they are 2-freaking-dollars. Oh and often there is someone taking photos so you get a race pic or two for free.

white hall 15K

Cruising to the finish with a smile on my face!

The biggest downside to this race? When I arrived I overheard the race director saying that they had taken the port-o-john that usually sits at the White Hall trail head. And sure enough, it was gone. It had been there not even 12 hours before. WTF!? Who takes a port-o-john the night before there is an event scheduled right there!?

Or better yet, who just randomly takes the port-o-john EVER? That thing is ALWAYS THERE!

Interestingly enough, as I was leaving the house I suddenly thought that maybe I should bring some toilet paper along just in case. And this WOULD end up being the first time I’ve ever had to pee in the woods while out on a run. Oh well. Consider it a rite of passage and at least I had that TP.

Did you run or race this weekend? How did it go for you? 

I hope everyone has a great start to this new week!




82 thoughts on “Race Recap: It’s a race! It’s a long run! It’s the White Hall 15K!!

  1. kiwiyogirunner says:

    Sounds like an awesome race!! Great that you were smiling at the end! I laughed when I rad that ain’t no one got time for maths hahayou are speaking my language girl 😉 by port-o-John do you mean portaloo? So confused right now 😉

    • runsaltrun says:

      I can barely add in my head. It’s pretty sad haha. I didn’t want to have to stress myself out with math while I was trying to run. And yes I’m pretty sure they are the same thing!

  2. Annie at TheLittleGSP.com says:

    That trail looks lovely! And you look so happy and relaxed! Congrats on coming so close to your PR without even really racing. I’m glad you went with the race option for your 20 miler… much more fun that running in the dark and leftover snow on Saturday morning!!!

    • runsaltrun says:

      It’s rare that I get pretty scenery for my runs! I was fairly surprised at my time and I’m so glad I went with that option as well. So nice to run with other people!

  3. Shawna says:

    awesome job! hope the shoulder is feeling much better. lovely pic. i was registered for a half on Saturday am but already had decided earlier in the week that i wasn’t going to run. my calf/shin splint injury has been acting up again, and then it snowed and sleeted alllll day on Friday in NYC and into Sat am, so we thought it’d be cancelled, as my friend’s 10K was….but apparently it went on anyway. i do not regret skipping it, just that i paid for it in the first place!

  4. seetinarun says:

    Sweet race! Great run! We got the snow here, too. Grrrrr. So glad your LR worked out for you this weekend. It’s tough when you have to be a master strategist just to figure out when to take it. GL with the shoulder.

    • runsaltrun says:

      Hopefully that will be it for winter for all of us! Thank you! It actually worked out better than expected with only very little downtime between each part of the run so I didn’t feel like I was splitting it. Good stuff. 🙂

  5. Chaitali says:

    I’m glad that this decision worked out for you! It seems like a beautiful trail. And congrats on that age group finish 🙂 I hope the rotator cuff flare up is better soon.

  6. sarahdudek80 says:

    Fantastic work and it sounds like you made the perfect decision. What a gorgeous looking trail. And smart thinking with the TP. Lately the public restrooms are closed along the path where I coach and someone is sitting on my bladder these days. I am seriously considering your plan of action!

    • runsaltrun says:

      Thanks! I think I’m going to have to run up that way more often. It was really so gorgeous and peaceful up there! The trail near my house is much more boring. I will definitely always be traveling with TP now though. Apparently those toilets just come and go as they please!

  7. Michele @ PaleoRunningMomma says:

    Glad it went well! The shoulder thing sounds scary though. I have a hamstring thing from teenage years that randomly bothers me and then goes away. So strange how these things just linger and pop up. I think you are well on your way, training has been awesome!

    • runsaltrun says:

      That’s exactly what happens to me! Like it completely comes out of the blue and ruins my life for awhile and then gone usually as quickly as it shows up. I had talked to a doctor years ago about surgery, but never got it and I would really like to never have surgery on it. I have some exercises I can do that help manage it, but it just picked the worst possible week to pop up again. Thank you so much!

  8. SuzLyfe says:

    I guess they really had to go to the bathroom, or were really self conscious about what had happened in there? lol. S**t went down! bahaha. Other than my marathons, almost all of my races these days are part of larger runs! The last one that I did that wasn’t was the LakeFront 10 last April

    • runsaltrun says:

      I really love this way of training. I had taken off from racing while preparing for NJ, but now I’m wondering if I shouldn’t have been incorporating more races into my training.

      Haha I totally almost made a comment about s&*$ going down on the club Facebook page last night.

  9. charissarunning says:

    Awesome job!!! You are so speedy to be able to pull off that kind of pace within your long run 🙂 It sounds like the race really helped break it up so that you could enjoy your run. Sometimes that’s tough for a 20-miler. You are really killing these long runs and I cannot wait too see you finish Long Branch!!
    I raced this weekend too and got a new PR…but I’m a little slower with the recap – still working on it!

    • runsaltrun says:

      I feel like I should have been finding more races to do that with during this cycle. It was really fun! Not gonna lie…the rest of the run was a total struggle bus, but I got it done and hopefully my next 20 will be even stronger. 🙂 Hooray for PRs!!! Congratulations!!

    • runsaltrun says:

      HAHAHA I was totally a TP psychic. That’s exactly what I was thinking when I found out the potty was missing. Now that spring is finally here we can run ALL the races!

  10. Kristin says:

    Oh wow Salt, you always amaze me at your dedication to running!! What a great race and wow, so many miles! That’s awesome! You look so amazing in your run photo- you look relaxed and happy!! Love it!! Great job again and I hope your shoulder feels better!! XOXO

    • runsaltrun says:

      I felt so relaxed and happy at the end! I am laughing in all the pics haha. (Some of them I look like a total moron.) Thank you so much, friend! I went to the doctor today for more info on it and didn’t find out much, but got a PT referral.

  11. FLRunnerBoy says:

    Congrats on a job well done Salt!!! Sooooo sorry about that rotator cuff fiasco 😦 and I totally love your race pic!!! Either you are very at peace and happy from your facial expression or … in pure agony haha lol 😉

    • runsaltrun says:

      Hahahahahaha I was actually feeling really good there! Now if anyone had taken my picture after mile 18…there would not have been any blissful smiles. 😀 Thanks!!

    • runsaltrun says:

      Your vote always matters with me!!!! I just hope I can kick this pain to the curb now that I have a stepback week. I’ll be easing it up on the treadmill the next couple days and hopefully in 2 weeks I’ll be ready to do this all over again. Thanks, friend!

  12. Sweaty Mess says:

    I look so angry in my pics! Yours look great! That is one thing that I have liked from BRRC – the pics they take. And they are free! The race went okay for me, I wasn’t racing, just long running it. Although, I was happy to have followed the same woman for the entire race and then booked past her during the last .3. 🙂 I was kind of afraid because the last time I ran 10 miles on the trail I came home with knee injury. Right now I’m just recovering, since it was outdoors, and I’m just not adjusted to the outdoors yet.

    • runsaltrun says:

      I thought your pics were great! Whoever was taking them is a good photographer. I’ve paid way more money for photos that weren’t half as good. 🙂 I’m so glad the conditions out there weren’t as bad as I had expected. I thought it would be a lot of mud and standing water and there was only one place where I almost slipped. It was so fun to see you out there! I wish I could have hung out afterward but I had all the rest of those miles. Ugh. (I ran north again after the race.)

    • runsaltrun says:

      It was such a good decision. I’m glad I made it too! 😀 It really was a perfect day out there. (Maybe it could have been a little warmer, but I’ll take it!)

  13. irun4pizza says:

    That’s a great time for a trail race! Holy cow – nice job!
    This weekend was my last long run before this weekend’s 50k! I love trails!

    • runsaltrun says:

      We REALLY lucked out with the conditions out there. I think they had been worse on Saturday evening, but a lot of the standing water hardened up overnight! It was really a great race!

    • runsaltrun says:

      I know right!? Not a flake to be seen anywhere! It’s like it never happened!
      Honestly I was pretty much completely fine until last weekend when I got that massage so I’m pretty sure that’s what triggered it. Then I know for a fact that I sit at my desk wrong at work and probably slept wrong at some point and then I went to a class Tuesday night which sealed the deal. I just hope I can get the pain under control this week. So far it seems to be a little bit improved.

    • runsaltrun says:

      Thank you! Yes it was definitely much better than I thought it would be. I had driven past the Paper Mill end of it on Saturday and it looked good there, but you never can tell farther north. It was awesome!

    • runsaltrun says:

      That part of the trail is so much prettier and more interesting than the one near my house. I need to get up there more often! I bet it will be even more awesome once everything is green!

      And yes…this option definitely worked out best for me!

  14. missadventuresinrunning says:

    Great race! Your picture makes the course look beautiful, and you look pretty good, too! Good thing you brought that TP!

    • runsaltrun says:

      Thanks! I am SO glad I had toilet paper. I’ll be carrying it with me every time now because apparently we can’t expect the bathroom to always be there. (Seriously WTF.)

  15. Sue @ This Mama Runs For Cupcakes says:

    These small club races are usually awesome. I really need to start doing more of these. I love incorporating a race into my long run, it really breaks up the monotony!!

  16. ambertherunner says:

    A $2 race + a free picture?! You just told me on your club. Too bad I live so darn far away 😉
    That is so awesome that you were a mere 50 seconds off your time from last year when this was in the middle of a long run for you. Can’t wait to see what you do next year!
    Also, I feel so sorry for anyone that didn’t think to bring TP. I definitely wouldn’t have. Wonder where that port-a-john disappeared to…

    • runsaltrun says:

      You could still join and just be far away! Hahaha BRRC rocks!
      I was STOKED at that time. I had been looking at my races from last year and thinking that there was just no way I’d be anywhere close to that and it was really an awesome surprise that I was. It was almost as good as a PR haha.

      I will never be traveling out there without a roll of TP I guess. There are always bathrooms at each trail head. Such a weird time for it to just up and leave.

  17. Hailey @ Striding Strong says:

    I’m am quite jealous of that $2 race fee. I think you may just have the best run club ever. Great job on your 20-miler/race! That’s pretty dang awesome to be so close to your time the previous year while already having ran four miles and mentally knowing you had more to go! I have good feelings about this marathon for you 🙂 Take care of that shoulder of yours! Oh, and I’m so glad you didn’t have to run at gross 4:30 on Saturday!

    • runsaltrun says:

      Hahaha ME TOO. Especially because there was so much nasty snow on the ground outside. Hopefully that will be IT for winter around here!
      Thanks lady! I didn’t even feel as horrible as I did at the end of the race last year either! All in all it was a great day!

  18. Jennifer says:

    Yay for you! I like how you ended up breaking up the run into segments. The pictures were beautiful, I like atypical distances, I’ll have to look into the race in the future. $2….so nice!

  19. Sun says:

    Congrats on your long run and race! Sounds like the weekend worked out well for you 🙂

    I can’t believe someone took the port a potty! Lol – like you said, who steals something like that???

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