Mileage from 2/23-3/1 and Stu’s 30k Recap

OMG.
Real life on Monday was in one word sentences:

Hard.

Ouch.

Calves. 

Sore

I started writing at 6:30 am Monday morning. I would also like to tell you that I seem to have that late night voice..you know the one that comes with a really late night out and maybe a long night of celebrating? The only thing is that I was asleep on my couch at 8:30, in bed at 9 and there was no partying. My “sexy voice” was compliments of a 30k race I ran on Sunday.

But lets back up to a little running recap, shall we??

Monday..Off

Tuesday..Off

Wednesday..7 miles, 2×2 mile repeats. 1st set of repeats avg pace 6:48, avg pace for 2nd set: 6:38.

Thursday..Easy run, 9 miles @ 7:56 avg

Friday…Off.

Saturday…11 miles, 7:59 avg pace. I had trouble with this run because I really did not feel safe out on the roads. Drivers were aggressive and I never once felt safe. I wanted to move the run inside and finish on the treadmill but as soon as I hopped on it- brain/legs decided they DID NOT WANT TO RUN ON THE TREADMILL. So that prompted me to register for Stu’s…

Worst. Decision. Ever.

Stu’s 30k Recap

Stu’s 30k is a race in Clinton, MA. This race is known for being hilly. Apparently, Clinton MA is actually also known for its hills? That is a new thing to me–a town actually being known for “hills”. After running this delightfully atrocious course, I know this is most definitely the case.

Let me tell you these things:
-Saturday night, I was up until 12, didn’t eat dinner, and I was on my feet all day/night/week long.
-I also got a crappy night sleep just about every single day last week, including the night before the race.
-I wasn’t “feeling” running last week.

Honestly, I’m not even a little bit disappointed in myself. I’ve run a lot of races where this is the case-when it doesn’t go the way I want, I beat myself up. I didn’t walk into the race thinking “this is my race and I’m going to do really well.”  My attitude was more “I’m shooting for a goal, hopefully I can get it, and if not, I hope I come close.” I wasn’t even going to post a review on this race but alot of people always tell me how they like reading about a crappy training week, or a crappy race day, or even just a crappy run. I get that! It shows that YES, I do have some pretty incredible training weeks where i’m all “I am Super Woman!”, but I’m human just like anybody else, and I’m entitled to a bad race too. Well, Stu’s 30k was my “bad race”! I am going to tell you all the ugly nitty gritty things that happened!

My SIL ran with me on Sunday, along with two other friends Scott & Melissa….Here we are, waiting inside the school for the race to start. It was really nice that they do that- It was pretty cold outside so I really appreciated it! And we got to use the indoor bathrooms…There were never any long lines, either.

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Look at those faces! They haven’t got a clue what is coming to them!

Runners got an email the night before with all the pre-race info on where to park, times to be there, etc. In this email was also a reminder that HEADPHONES WERE BANNED. This was total, complete sadness to me as I always run with music! I debated on whether to ignore the request, or just go with what the RD wanted. (((SIGH))) Sometimes its a real pain in the ass that I follow the rules…

The race started almost 5 minutes late. That is annoying. They kicked the runners out of the gym by 10:45 so….I have no idea of why the start was so far behind?
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Waiting for the race to start and still all smiles!

Imagine running a race all uphill, mixed with a few downhills. I love me a good downhill, and i don’t even mind uphills, I really don’t. I always include sizeable hills in my everyday workouts. But Stu’s? It Was Murderous. They really were “the roads to hell.” There were hardly any areas where you’re running on “flat” roads. I HATED this course, And I can say that I will never do it again. I finished and actually thought “I think childbirth would be easier.”

Anyway, Mile 1: Feelin good! 7:14 pace. I TOTALLY thought I could keep it up for another 17.6 miles. HAHA. I also noticed a ton of people running with headphones on! THOSE RULEBREAKERS! I wanted to trip them! Just kidding, I was only really jealous that they were such rebels!

Mile 2…Wow, alot of people are passing me…its so weird because my pace is still really good. My watch clicked with my 8:05 pace…it was so weird. Usually, holding a 7:30 pace feels easy and its NO SWEAT-8:05 was already a challenge. UH OH.

By Mile 3– I knew it was not going to be my day. My original goal was 2:10. So silly! I stopped caring that people were passing me and just went with it. But I have to tell you that I hate getting passed!

After mile 5-7 -I thought a 2:20 was probably still possible. I started doing mental math and knew that it would be close to that.

By Mile 9, I was hoping for a 2:30.

At Mile 11, I was holding on for dear life and hoping to come out of the race stillALIVE. There were tons of security people on the course–I wanted to do something illegal so they would have a reason to ARREST ME. It was brutal. I just did NOT want to be there one bit. At one point, it crossed my mind to quit but DUH i didn’t know the way back to my car, so…that was out. After mile 1, There was not even one mile that felt easy-all were tough.

Some things I wanted to include:
-I ate a honey stinger waffle before the race…love these little dynamite waffles!
-I brought my camelbak (I’m so sad I can’t use it at Boston!)
-I took honey stinger gel at mile 6.50, and GU at 12, and 16. THANK GOD for the GU at some of the water stops!!!! After this weekend, I know that I personally need to use GU. It works great with my system and truly gives me the energy I need during long runs and racing. I could feel immediate energy right after taking it, it was great!
-the volunteers were terrific… It was a very cold day and everyone was so friendly and wonderful!

Its kind of comical to me how slow I was (for me). Even though I run hilly training runs, I’m always really good at putting the effort in to keep the pace I want. This was sooooo not the case on Sunday. When I hit Mile 13-I got super sad, and kept thinking “I can’t believe I have @#*@(#*@)#@_ MORE MILES…If this was a half Marathon I would be done.” I hit 13 @ 1:49. During my 16 mile long run just the week before-I had hit mile 13 at 1:42. It really was NOT my day, and that’s fine. It just stinks!
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(SIL took this pic while she was running…please note the barefoot weirdo!)

If I hadn’t done 11 miles the day before…or gotten some sleep, or ate a big meal Saturday night…or tapered…Maybe I would have done better? But like I have already said–> I really don’t care. I am always all about redemption and going back to a course that I performed poorly on, and taking it down the second time around–You could not pay me to go back to Clinton, MA and run this again-Once was clearly enough for me to last 27 lifetimes. No thank you. At the end of the day-I know that Boston will be a BREEZE compared to this. Having run 8 of them before-this is really the honest to gods truth. If you are nervous about Boston, and want a training run that will make you realize how EASY Boston really is–Do Stu’s. Otherwise, My wisest advice to you is AVOID IT LIKE THE PLAGUE.

Some positives: After I finished, I went inside the school to wait for SIL to finish. They had hot soups, chips, cookies, donuts…the post race party was pretty great. Everyone I encountered was super friendly! It was so nice to be WARM after I was all done!!!! I really appreciated that!

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As I sat eating my soup, I couldn’t help but listen in on all the conversations around me-ALl anyone was talking about was how the Martha’s Vineyard 20 miler was cancelled, then Hyannis, and lastly Black Cat. It seemed there were a ton of other peeps who are in my shoes as well. SO I’m really sorry to all you other runners out there, too because I’m sure you are as miserable as me! Hyannis is a super duper flat race that I have mastered and didn’t expect to have to register for Stu’s either!

Sil sent me this early this morning: she has a motivational wall in her classroom with all her race things….Stu’s went in the toilet!!! ….I died!!!!!!

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Splits and elevation chart…
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Official time:
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Although, now is the time I tell you that my Garmin clocked 18.9 miles and an 8:38 avg pace.
OK, I am done my complaining and its time to drink some wine… (it’s now 6:30 pm, don’t worry, I’m not drinking with Breakfast!)

45.9 miles for the week, 8:07 avg pace!

Ever done Stu’s? Feelings afterwards? Hatred of hills after it???? 

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23 thoughts on “Mileage from 2/23-3/1 and Stu’s 30k Recap

  1. That pic of the barefoot runner cracked me right up! I’m so glad you posted this recap…I’m training for Sugarloaf Marathon and my long runs have been kicking my cheeks! It is good to hear that a badass runner like yourself has tough races. Seriously…
    You know the drill though…it’s the bad tough run that make us get back out there hoping it will be the awesome easy run! Keep on movin’

  2. Barefoot runner, wha??? That race sounded absolutely awful. But, you finished!!! And that’s pretty awesome.
    I ran a 27k last summer–it was my first trail race (and first night race). It. Was. HARD. Like you, I had NO idea what to expect and when I was “running” I cursed myself like no other. But then I was done and said that I would totally do it again ajjaja!!!! So maaaaaybe you’ll change your mind??? Okay, maybe not 🙂

  3. For me the big thing is *knowing* … when I ran my semi-trail marathon (PA Grand Canyon) in 2013 they talked about ‘relatively flat’ and only 200 ft elevation change … but in reality that was just ‘end – start’ … and didn’t account for the >6000 ft of hills we ran over the course! Ugh! Now it wouldn’t be so big a deal.

    Definitely feeling for you with all the cancelled races – we’ve had a bunch here as well (both temp and snow), but since I haven’t signed up for any I haven’t suffered!

    • If I had REALLY realized how difficult it was going to be – i think I would have not registered! However, If I wanted to do this race again-like you said it wouldn’t be a big deal because I would know what I’m up against and it couldn’t possibly be as bad the 2nd time around.

      I’m holding my breath that my half next weekend will still be on! There isn’t any snow in the 10 day forecast, but I’m still worried about the roads being too narrow because of the record snowfall.

  4. Ugh…I’ve actually never done a 30k before much less a brutal hilly one. Way to go on pushing through and finishing! That really is the hardest part especially when you wanted so much more out of it. I can certainly relate to this experience. I had a half last fall and it happened to be one of the most humid days of the summer/fall – somewhere between 96-100% humidity. The air was thick and about 4 miles in I knew the race was not going well…. it’s really hard to keep going after that. But it really was just a hard tough day and the only thing to do is pick yourself up again and put it behind you. Plus, look at it this way – you basically did a 50k ultra this weekend! Congrats on that super mileage 🙂

  5. i think we all give you so much credit for signing up last minute and powering through the nastiness of that race! like suzlyfe said…heartbreak will feel like a cakewalk after this one! way to go nicole; that physical and mental challenge will only make you stronger for boston.

  6. Great job getting out there and racing!! Sounds like you got lots and lots of mileage in last week!! Way to go!! You are very strong both mentally and physically!! XOXO

  7. What freak run barefoot in your wicked cold weather twinnie!?!?!?! :/ REALLY!!! I think of you of even more of a boss racing in temps and snow like you do … bad race or not

  8. Wow, this is the kind of race that will only make you so much stronger! Like a really tough training run that you paid for. I’ve never done a 30k but it sounds like a great race to do during marathon training! And OMG that is too funny that your SIL hung the bib in the toilet!! HA!

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