First race of 2017 – Highland Ranch Six Pack Series – 5k

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It may have been my first race of 2017, but it wasn’t planned out. In fact, I still don’t have a race schedule planned out for the year. The only other race I know I’m running FOR SURE is the Erin Go Braugh 7.77k on March 11th because I never miss it. A lot of this is due to my up and down motivation for running in general, but that’s a whole other story.

Last weekend, “my boss” (she hates that word, but for the sake of my readers, that is who she is; she is also my friend), asked if I could help out at the Six Pack Series in Highlands Ranch and just time part of it. She suggested I run the race and then take over the timing while she announced awards. That sounded like a good deal to me! I then added on shadowing the course-set guy because in a couple of weeks I will be setting the same course.

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My friend Jen and I

So after getting up early, walking the whole course, I ran the 5k! I had no goals, none whatsoever, just to run and feel the sun on my face, the burn in my legs and feel my heart pumping. BONUS, a friend of mine and fellow cross country coach, decided to come run! I had no idea (and she was just hoping I would be there). It was such a good surprise and nice feeling to have a good friend on the course. She is also coming back from a non-running stint due to other reasons.

When the whistle was blown, I took off at a nice comfortable pace. For the first mile, three of us ladies were sticking pretty close together, one to my right and one slightly behind me. The first place woman was way in front of us, so it was us three trying for 2nd and 3rd place. I’m not sure when the lady behind me fell back but at about a mile and a half we hit a hill and the other lady pulled ahead, leaving me in third.

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I decided then that I wanted to hold that 3rd place spot and kept up my pace. I reached the turnaround, cheered on by fellow 3W Ambassador (a team of 50 runners that run and promoted 3W Races), and kept pushing, telling myself there’s only less than half of the race left.  My friend was running the 4 mile and I saw her after the turnaround (as she was about to turn). I yelled out to “come catch me”, hopefully giving her a boost of energy. I knew exactly where I was on the course, having set it, and kept counting down the half-miles in my head.

Finally, I rounded the last corner, finish line in site, and pushed it in for the finished! I maintained my 3rd place and felt pretty great! (My friend finished 1st overall in the 4 mile, almost catching me in the 5k).

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For my lack of running and being on my feet that morning, I’m pretty proud! This race gave me a huge motivational boost in my running.


Six Pack Series Highlands Ranch (new series starting Fall 2017!)

3W Races – 1 mile to half marathon races all across the CO Front Range!

My First Time As A Race Director

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If you would have told me five years ago that I would be a race director, I would have laughed in your face. Heck, even a year ago, I would have scoffed at you.

It’s not that I didn’t want to be a race director, I absolutely love running and races, it’s just that five years ago I didn’t have any idea how to get involved with a running company. I started my blog and was running all the races I could, never knowing that there was a possibility I could be in charge of those races.  Fast forward a few years and I became an ambassador for a local running company, 3W Races.  Another year after that, I was offered a job in marketing for the same running company and another year after that I was transitioning into the race production side of things.

I don’t know if I ever had “race directing” on my list of possible jobs, but now it seems like a perfect fit. I love running. I love races where people can socially share their love of running and, quite frankly, I love being in charge of that! During all the smaller race-production tasks, I have loved being a part of the background, doing things people don’t know go on to make a race successful.  Then hearing people compliment the race, I feel pride, knowing I had a big part in that success.

While being on the marketing team, my transition to the production side of things started out as a volunteer coordinator, organizing the race day volunteers and making sure the course marshals and water stations were set up properly. Add in setting up the race, then mix in some website tasks, fold in packet pick up and swag ordering and you’ve got the recipe for race directing.

See me there in the back ground???

See me there in the background??? Think about all the races you have run and the people in background helping make it happen!

I was taught race director tasks little by little and my first solo race as race director was a couple of weekends ago, the Heart Throb Run 5k in Longmont. I have been an assistant race director, registration captain, and many other things, but without my mentor there, I was a little nervous to be THE Race Director. I wasn’t completely alone, the other 3W owner was there to set up the course, but it was me running the show – so to speak.

Sometimes race directors have weird tasks, like hold back the flag at the start so it doesn't hit people in the face!

Sometimes race directors have weird tasks, like hold back the flag at the start so it doesn’t hit people in the face on a very windy day!

And….. It went well! Not a snag, complaint or conundrum to be had! (Knock on wood). The day after the race, I was constantly checking my email, worried someone was going to email in a complaint, but all I saw were words of gratitude and compliments! To top it off, my mom and my boyfriend came out to run as well! Ben even took first in his age group!

I was nervous at first to be in charge of a race because sometimes, no offense, runners can be needy, crazy, and hard to please, but now that I have one under my belt, I am super excited to do more!


Check out 3W Races in Colorado! Run any race and chances are you find me there!

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Patriot Day 5k – Post Race Recap and Unexpected PR

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Well, it’s been awhile since I’ve done a “post-race recap.” I’ve been running a few races this year but haven’t really taken the time to review them. Since this blog is partly about running, it’s about time that I recap a race of mine.

This past weekend was a “holiday” of sorts to remember and honor those that served our country on that awful day 15 years ago. I was a freshman in high school sitting at my desk in earth science watching the news as the two towers fell down.

I will never forget that day and our country will always remember those that had fallen with the towers. The company I work for, 3W Races, holds a race every year to honor those first responders and military that were there that day and that continue to serve our country. The Patriot Day race started out as a 10k and 5k but this year we only did the 5k. Not being responsible for the production of this race, I decided to run it! Talk about perks of the job!

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This race is in Denver and around a beautiful park in the city, Sloans Lake. Being a super flat course (the most flat of any of 3W’s courses), I wanted to see what my current fitness level is by racing as hard as I could. I didn’t want to wear a watch, I just wanted to go off of feel. After getting this time, I plan on picking some running goals and deciding what I actually want to do with the sport.

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I showed up to the park pretty early, getting plenty of time to talk with friends and get a warm up in. One friend in particular told me he wanted to PR which would be a sub 25 minute 5k for him. He told me he wanted run with me, or at least keep me in his sights. I figured we could run together since my time would be somewhere around 25 minutes anyway. That’s what I’ve been running in recent races.

The whistle was blown and off we went. My friend and I ran pretty hard from the start line. I have a bad habit of starting off too fast, and even though I tried not to this time, I knew we were running pretty quickly! I don’t know even remember what the time was, but we were both shocked when his watch beeped at the first mile marker. I told my friend that it’s okay, we can still get that PR as long as we hold where we’re at.

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By mile two, he was still on my shoulder; I knew he was set up for a PR. I waved my hand up, holding a “one” on my fingers telling him we only had one more mile left. I pushed it a little harder, still feeling great.

Then, with three-quarters of a mile left, I looked down and saw my shoe untied! I swear I doubled knotted that thing and ironically, I was even thinking about shoes untying while running.  UUURRRGGG. Not stopping, I just became very aware of where I was putting my feet down at.

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I passed a group and they reminded me of the mishap but I still kept going. I passed my friend’s wife on the course and told her he was right behind me. Looking up, the finish line was in sight and I pushed even harder.

Noticing that I was finishing around 23 minutes, my friend was definitely in for PR. I looked back and there he was, flying in for a minute and a half PR! So excited, we high-fived and he thanked “Coach Vestal.”

 

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Feeling pretty good, I started thinking about my PR. I honestly couldn’t remember it, but had my phone with me. Checking my blog, where I record such things, I found that I had beaten my PR as well. I couldn’t believe it. I had not goal of a PR, just a fast race. I have been feeling super slow lately, and not as fit as I used to be, but I had indeed ran my fastest ever 5k! The best part, is I still feel room for improvement!

A PR kind of day, about half a dozen of us gotten PRs! It was awesome! We all got to take turns re-setting the time clock to our times, and took some celebratory pictures then headed to a local brewery for celebratory beers.

1st in my Age Group!

I was also 1st in my Age Group!

July 23rd, Castle Rock Prairie Dog Half/10k/5k – Review

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Many of you know I work for a running company in Colorado called 3W Races. This is a dream job that I started almost two years ago now!

I mainly do marketing for them (emails, local event promotions, acquiring sponsors and social media) but I have been transitioning into more race production and race day tasks. For our big races, our half marathons, after set up, I am the volunteer coordinator and organize all the water stations and course marshals. This means recruitment, mapping  out where they go, communication with volunteers and making sure they get to the right location and do the right thing.

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The next one that I have been working on is coming up on July 23rd. We have the Summer Splash Prairie Dog Half, 10k and 5k in Castle Rock. This race in particular I got to run two years ago! It’s a beautiful course that is just hard enough to give you a workout and feel accomplished without being too hard.

The year I did it, I placed second in my age group for the half marathon! I remember that day pretty well because I showed up early to help set up, ran the race, then stayed after to help clean up. I also remember my knee hurting really badly for that race after doing a double race weekend. You can read all about it HERE.

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