Saturday, November 24, 2007

RFE TR #52, Great 10K Duck Race

Total Miles Trained For Elijah: 428.9

Long sleeved race t-shirt

At 5:30 AM Chasen and I left home for Stuttgart, Arkansas. It claims to be the rice and duck capital of the world! This time of year is the World Championship Duck Calling Contest and Wings Over The Prairie Festival. That info should make a bit clearer the name of the 10K race I ran today.

Stuttgart is located southeast of Little Rock and central Arkansas. It is flat as a pancake! And this time of year is usually freezing cold, windy and rainy over there. Duck hunters paradise!

We made it there in record time. We had oodles of time to wait. Due to hamstring soreness, Coach Terry told me to forego the extra 3.8 miles and just do the 10K. Fine by me! After getting my race packet, we just sat in the warm car until almost 8 AM (race time). Today was a complete dress rehearsal for Memphis. Since it was to be in the 30's I wore two shirts (another long sleeved shirt under my I Run For Elijah shirt).

Chasen got a kick out of my braids. He called me Pippi Longrunner. Ha!

There were 71 racers. Just before we started I saw Annette and the Cabot bunch. I told them all, including Fast Kelly, that I'd be lining up at the back. I was under strict orders to not go much faster than marathon pace. Something very odd happened as we were told "On your mark, get set, GO!" There was no air horn or gun... there was a duck call! Ha ha ha.
Mal R. Duck saw us off (get it - like mallard duck)

I was literally almost the last one on the road. I was running next to an elderly man for the first hundred feet or so. But I was NOT going to run too quickly. No PR today -- just a training run. I soon lost the man (behind me) but I honestly kept it as slow as possible. I was waaaaaay back there, but I didn't care. It was pretty peaceful, actually. It was almost like doing a training run alone -- yet better.

As I mentioned, it was flat as a pancake out there. And freezing cold! There was one water stop. ONE! At mile TWO. Jeez! At mile 4 I took off my jacket and passed a girl that had been a hundred feet in front of me for the whole race. That was gratifying, I must say, even though I was just crawling along.

Like Tulsa, this was a race where I never walked (except while at the one puny water stop). It really didn't cross my mind. I felt super strong. There was plenty of traffic control, and someone was perched at every mile marker calling out splits. I talked to every one of them.

As I came down the home stretch, Annette and Kelly were walking towards me. They asked if I needed any help running in (because they would have run me in). I said no. I had it covered!

Here I come. Chasen thought my bright shirt was a street sign from a distance. Ha!

Almost there! Annette said that I looked like I could have easily run another 20 miles. Thanks!

The finish line was quite uneventful, and that was fine. We went in for snacks and to see the awards presentation. Since it was such a small race, I thought maybe I'd get lucky. Nope! Annette, Kelly, Brenda, Raquel, Joan and Robert (all of Cabot) took home awards. Congrats, Cruisers!

L-R: Annette, Kelly, me (you can see their awards - hand carved duck boxes - on the table)

Chasen and I (thanks, Annette!)

After we said our goodbyes with the gals, we headed over to Mack's Prairie Wings. That is home to all things duck hunting (and maybe other types of hunting, I'm not really sure). Chasen scored some very nice shirts and I bought him a ski coat (for Christmas). We ran into some work friends of his while we were there, so we visited for quite a while. Believe me, I stuck out. A girl in tights does not exactly fit in amongst a sea of camouflage!

You know what? I almost PR'd today. My 10K PR, set in May at the Toad Suck 10K, was 1:08: 19 -- an that was an all-out effort that ended with me not thinking that I could take another step. Today I ran it in 1:08:24 and felt like I could have run forever. Not bad!!! I attribute smart racing (and training) to that. I didn't go out too fast and bonk at the end like at Toad Suck.

Mile 1: 10:53
Mile 2: 11:22
Mile 3: 11:08
Mile 4: 11:07
Mile 5: 10:49
Mile 6: 10:36
Mile 6.2: 2:26
Total: 1:08:24
Average: 10:56

My hamstring felt good throughout the race. It merely whispered at me. Yay! My ankle, knock on wood, was perfect. And Sesamoids - quiet as a mouse!

I'm feeling great about Memphis. It's hard to believe that time time next week my marathon will be done. Wow!


ShirleyPerly said...

Susan, I am sooooo proud of you! You stuck to your plan and ran a very smart race. At your next 10K, I'm sure you'll PR but for now you are primed and ready for Memphis. And don't you look just fantastic in that bright yellow shirt and tights!!

cheryl said...

So sorry I missed you today, but I wimped out. You did great, That 10K time is about my 10K time, we could have run together DARN IT!

IrishBlue said...

I love the braids!! You look adorable.

Good luck next weekend! I'm so excited for you. Can't wait to hear the details. Let me know how bad the hills are. I'm still thinking about Memphis next year - that, or NYC.

Annette said...

You looked great today Susan.

There were actually 2 water stops... were you running so fast you just missed it?? It was right at the 4 mile sign. Or maybe they ran out of water and took it down???

Arland said...

Great race Susan! You are going to smoke Memphis!! Hate that I missed you guys today but there is one advantage on being injured, I got to sleep in!!

PLANET3RRY said...

Great work! What a great tune up run for Memphis.

Glad to hear that it was easy as pie and that there was no real injury complaints... that's music to my hears!

Oh yeah, and the braids ROCK!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on the run, and the great race report. I had no idea that particular part of Arkansas was that important in the duck world.

home therapy

Katie said...

Great work, Birthday woman! Hope you have a great day! I know you will do well next week in Memphis!

Kelly said...

Susan, I was so glad to see you. You looked great at the end and I have no doubt you will have a great marathon this coming weekend. I loved the braids too!
Happy Birthday today also. We will have to have a belated celebration in Memphis. See you then.

CewTwo said...

Great race report, thanks for sharing it!

You are primed and ready to go!

Jennifa......G said...

Wishing you a wonderful 2cnd marathon this upcoming weekend. Thank you for your sweet comment...the bean and I will be rooting for you all 26.2 of Memphis.

MarathonChris said...

What a great race - effortless fast efforts. You are SO ready for your race this weekend.

Rest up and get ready to rock Memphis!!

Jamie said...

Great race report, and wow, you ARE SO READY for this weekend. Wishing you best of luck as you tackle the marathon!