Saturday, May 19, 2012

Bedford Rotary 12K

May 19 - Today I ran the Bedford Rotary 12K in Bedford, NH. I ran this race last year as part of my RnRPROV half marathon training. My official training for RnRPROV this year doesn't start for another couple of weeks, but I have been continuing to run on a pretty regular basis since my last halfathon. So last week I decided to run this race again for two reasons:
1. I love this route. It is just the right length and challenge level for a feel good run. The hills are not my BFF when I'm running them, but I love the feeling of accomplishment when I'm finished. 
2. I wanted to see if I could improve my time from last year. My running has been more consistent than ever, so I was hoping to see an easy PR for this distance. 

This local race started at 9AM from the high school, so I planned my arrival for 8:30. After easily parking in the lower lot (where exiting would be easiest), I made my way up the hill to pick up my bib and race day shirt. Just like last year there was a crowd of people who all seemed to know each other (except me, I live in another town) and super friendly volunteers. I had plenty of time to walk back to my car, put on my bib, and make one last trip to the bathroom inside the school. While milling around waiting for the race to start, I listened to the DJ music that was being provided and watched for anyone I might know. Nope. No one today.

Right on the dot, the bagpipers appeared and then the crack of the gun signaled the start. The hardest part of running for me has been pacing, so I tried really hard to start out slowly, so that I wouldn't fade away at the end. Being familiar with this course, I know how they save the hills for the middle and the end - just like all good race courses do, right?

So the first few miles were pretty uneventful. I did what I usually do when I am running alone and found some fellow runners to stalk follow. I like the fact that these people don't even know that they are pacing me or that I am totally listening to their conversations. About mile 4 is where the fun began - MAJOR elevation increase. I kept telling myself, baby steps, baby steps. Again, knowing the route, I didn't want to burn up all my leg energy knowing there was more fun to come. At mile 5 there is a little comic relief in the form of a peacock farm. They like to show off by fanning their tales and screeching at us as we run by. Leading up to mile 6 our legs got a little breather before a set of rolling hills. Just after passing the mile 6 marker, I came upon a runner who was limping. His calf was cramping and I'm sure the hill wasn't helping. I ran with him for about 3/4 of a mile just chatting and offering some distraction. He just ran Boston with a time of 3:30 something - pretty amazing! Today was his most painful run in 30 years, he said, but he was toughing it out. Right before the mile 7 marker I wished him luck and made my way to the finish hoping that I would still manage to beat my last year's time. The last 1/4 mile of this race leads runners up a final 30 foot incline and then around the high school track for the finish. As I was approaching the finish line, I saw the clock time...OFFICIALLY 1:10:42 (which according to my husband is a 3:31 PR!!)

After happily accepting two freezer pops from a teeny tiny volunteer and watching for my-injured-runner to cross the finish, I made my way back to the car and home. I forgot about the post race food and free massages, but that's ok. My family's congratulations and a cold Gatorade made for a great post race celebration.

My race day outfit was made up of many of my favorite running BFFs, but today I was especially loving my headband, my racerback tank and my water bottle. First, Sweaty Bands do not move. I love this. Nothing is worse than having to deal with sweaty hair on your sweaty face while you're trying to run. Second, I have fallen in love with the Nike racerback tanks. They are so comfortable in the warm weather and long enough to happily cover all my belly parts. Last, my Simple Hydration Water Bottle is the best thing ever. I love that I can breeze by the water stations drinking water without choking or spilling it from a cup. But, if I need to, I can quickly refill at the station and move on. Hands-free running and without being weighed down by a water belt is the greatest feeling and keeps me from messing up my running form. Today was all about being comfortable and these items definitely helped.

In my excitement after the race I posted my unofficial time on Twitter and have to share with you the amazing support I received from the running community and members of FitFluential. It is such an amazing feeling to read the replies and comments after reaching a goal or overcoming a hurdle. I love fitness, especially running. Being a part of a group of people who "get me" and understand my need to shout from the roof tops all the little successes I make along the way is by far one of the best experiences. If you can relate to this at all and are not yet a member of FitFluential, join!

What is your favorite race/route/fitness activity?

Have you ever "helped" a fellow runner in a race?


  1. Nice job today! I thought about doing that race but didn't want to do one so close to my marathon. Would have loved to finally meet you. :)

    1. That would have been awesome! We will some day...soon!

  2. Ugh! Wish I'd known about this race! I've never done a 12 k before. Great job on the PR and helping out a fellow runner!

    1. Thanks! I've only seen it at this race, so it must not be a popular distance. It's really nice though, especially if you're moving beyond 10K.

  3. Hey, nice going! I haven't done a 12k race in a long time. They're kind of interesting ... especially if you're used to racing 10s.

    My Running Shortz

    1. Thank you! That's why I like it, some variety. They also held a 5K after. I wish more races offered multiple distances.

  4. Congrats on the PR! I think I finally have to try out the simple hydration bottle. They look a little funny but I love the idea of not carrying anything.

  5. I nominated you for a One Lovely Blog Award!


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