Tag Archives: heart of ghent 10k

My First Rescheduled Race

My fall racing season was supposed to begin tomorrow but thanks to Mother Nature and a rescheduled race, my season has been postponed by two weeks.  The Heart of Ghent 10k I was so excited for has been moved to 10 October.  Hampton Roads is expecting lots of rain in a short time Friday night through the day on Saturday and as a result some big time flooding is rescheduled racealso expected.  Along with the rain comes the continuation of 20+mph winds that have been around for the last four days.  Put this all together and it’s not a safe situation for runners, course support personnel or race management.

In the end, this has ended up being my first experience with a rescheduled race.  I understand the need for safety and the desire to still hold the event but I’m disappointed by the way it was handled.  I will be pacing the Hartford Half Marathon that day, a commitment I would absolutely never back out of unless I was injured especially since I have paid for hotels and made travel plans months in advance.  Even if I could run on the rescheduled race date, I have a training schedule that makes throwing in a race effort 10k a little more than ‘let me just move it’.

The handling of this rescheduled race bothered me for a few reasons.  First, the release participants sign during registration states “NO RAIN DATES.  NO TRANSFERS.  NO REFUNDS.”  When the race was moved to a rain date this contract became void.  Mettle Events was unable to offer refunds because “most of the expenses for conducting the event have already been incurred.”  This is certainly not ideal but it’s also not my responsibility as a participant to control their financial situation.  They did, however, offer three alternate options for participating.  One was to simply run on 10 October, a second to transfer your registration to another runner and the third to defer to next year.  The second and third options came with a $15 fee for the 10k and a $5 fee for the kid’s run.

There was a slight outrage at this from many participants for several reasons.  There are numerous other events people, including myself, are registered for on 10 October and  the transfer fees are ridiculous.  Luckily, thanks the power of social media and some unhappy runners, a virtual run option has been added.  You may run a 10k and submit your time during the week prior to 10 October in order to pick up your packet and medal on 9 October with everyone who is running the next day.

Unfortunately, I am unable to do the virtual run that week due to traveling for Hartford and Narragansett.  I am also unable to attend packet pick up since I will be in Connecticut.  Mettle Events offered to work with those of us who are out of town for the rescheduled event if we sent them an email.  I did so at 9:30 this morning but have not heard back.

I’m bummed out I won’t have the chance to run in the rescheduled race and test myself at the 10k distance in a race day situation.  It’s just not the same on your own.  That being said, I would love to participate in the virtual run option to avoid a $15 fee and am hopeful Mettle Events will come up with a wonderful solution.

Meredith

Have you ever run a rescheduled race?  What happened?  How did you handle it?

Fall 2015 Race Season is Here!

It’s race week!  Fall 2015 Race Season is kicking off this Saturday with the Heart of Ghent 10k.  I ran this one last year as well, winning my age group last year with a PR.  I’d like to repeat with PR and an age group placing this year, too.  After Saturday’s race it’s a quick turnaround to my first back to back half marathons then a lengthy strength of marathon training before the Harbor Light 5k in November.fall 2015 race season

Now, back to this week.  The race is four days away and I’m excited to see what I can do.  I’ve been training at a fairly hard level consistently for the last few months and to make sure I’m ready to perform taper week is nice and light.  Two days of short interval speed work, one easy day and two rest days will get me to the line fresh and fast.  If the weather holds, which isn’t looking good right now, I’m hoping to finish 30+ seconds faster than last year’s 43:24.  If Fall 2015 Race Season starts with Saturday morning’s predicted 70% chance of rain and 20mph winds, I’ll know everyone else out there is suffering, too, and let my time goal slip some.

I want Fall 2015 to start strong because Spring 2015 didn’t go as planned.  Hopefully the changes I’ve made mean an improved Fall 2015 race season is in store.  I’m fueling better, recovering better and using a more flexible schedule that includes less ‘just run’ miles and more goal oriented workouts.  Ideally this new attitude will lead to fall 2015 race season PRs at 10k this weekend and 5k in November.  After that it’s on to a new half marathon PR attempt in December and an inevitable marathon PR next March.

Speaking of my first marathon, it’s exactly 26 weeks away!  The One City Marathon isn’t until March 2016 but I’m ready to hit some late fall 18-20 milers and get rolling.  My first pair back of back half marathons is coming up in a little more than three weeks, making them a good jumping off point for marathon training and I’m glad they’re on the schedule soon.

Meredith

What’s on your fall 2015 race season calendar?  New distances?  New PRs?

Fall Racing is Almost Here

It’s August!  Time to start getting ready for fall racing and working towards some new PRs.  I’ve had a busy few weeks with three race weekends in a row (RnR Chicago, Kill That 5k and Joggin for Frogmen) and am looking forward to some easy weekends with nothing more than a long run on the schedule.  My fall racing schedule includes a little bit of everything and will be lots of fun.  I’m pacing and racing at the half marathon distance while looking to PR at both 5k and 10k in the next few months.

Fall racing season kicks off with Rock n Roll Virginia Beach and it will be here before I know it.  I won’t be racing this one but will be pacing the 2:15 group again this year.  Eric at Hampton Runner will be my pacing partner and we couldn’t be more excited to help people reach their half marathon goals.fall racing

Next up is the Heart of Ghent 10k on 26 September.  Along with some cooler weather this flat course will give me a chance to hit the new 10k PR I’ll be looking for.  I had a great race last year (super comfy tees) and it’ll be a nice opportunity to push myself without a PR attempt half marathon on the schedule until December.

Two short weeks later I’ll return to pacing for the Hartford Half Marathon 2:00 group.  The next day it’s racing mode (hopefully) for the Narragansett Half Marathon and to check off my second state for the weekend.  Neither race will be fast but I’m looking forward to pushing myself for the first time in the second of back to back half marathons.  After a whirlwind trip to New England, I’ll be back in Virginia Beach for a little breather and five weeks to dial my training in for a 5k PR attempt at the Harbor Lights 5k on 21 November.

Fall racing will wrap up with a trip to Louisiana for the Baton Rouge Beach Half Marathon.  It’ll be a quick one night stay as I use this flat, uncrowded race as my 2015 half marathon PR goal race.  Even though I have plenty of fall racing on the calendar, each event has plenty of wiggle room for training tweaks if I feel I need them and I’m looking forward to going after new PRs as the weather cools down.

Meredith

What’s on your fall racing schedule?  Going for any new PRs?

Back in Action and Awards

I’m back in action!  A rough run on Saturday had me staving off more until today but thanks to the weather, things got shuffled around a bit.

After fighting a little with both of my ankles over the weekend I reevaluated my schedule and Sunday night decided my legs were feeling well enough to stick with it.  Until I read the week’s weather forecast.  A predicted high of 27 on Thursday.  While I don’t mind running in frigid temperatures, it would be my first genuinely cold run of the season and I didn’t want my final long run before Rock n Roll Arizona to suffer because of it.  Luckily I was able to adjust my training schedule to accommodate winter.  Here’s what the week will end up looking like:

Monday – Strength training
Tuesday – Rest  Shakeout run with 2x 200M strides
Wednesday – Interval Work
Thursday – Long Run (10 Miles)  Rest
Friday – Shakeout Run  Long run (10 miles)
Saturday – Race Pace Run (4 miles+)
Sunday – Heavy lifting

My legs were beaten up after a heavy dose of front rack walking lunges Monday and the shakeout ended up being exactly what I needed.  It was a day earlier than I had planned on running again but a short jog before heading out let me know my ankle would be fine.

I’m happy to be running pain free again and am even happier to have received some cool awards.  They’re awards I earned in 2014 but I waited to share until they all arrived.

My age group award from the Heart of Ghent 10k print with a plaque commemorating my 10k PR.  It was very hard to photograph with my phone!awardsRock n Roll Series Heavy Medals!  Rock Encore and Triple Crown earned for Rock n Rolls in Nashville, Virginia Beach and Las Vegas.  The Triple Crown is HUGE!
awards

Meredith

What cool awards or medals did you earn in 2014?  How do you decide if you’ve recovered enough to run?

2014 Heart of Ghent 10k Recap and Review

I ran the 2014 Heart of Ghent 10k on September 20 and had a great time.  It was the third year Mettle Events has put on the race and they did a wonderful job.  I don’t run 10k’s frequently, so I looked forward to this change in distance as well as the chance to hit a new PR.

Race Morning dawned cool and early as Doug, who was also running as a tune up for Myrtle Beach, and I chowed down some breakfast and fueled up with waters and E2s.  We had opted for Race Day packet pick-up and got to the race location about an hour before the 2014 heart of ghent 10kStart.  Parking was a breeze.  Plenty of it, all free!  We acquired our gear, pinned on numbers, took a short walk to the ample number of line-less Port-a-Potties, came back and snapped a pre-race selfie then he did an 800M warm up and made for the line while I wrapped up my mile with three strides.

We exchanged good lucks and I went to the front.  The field looked fast and even if I was going to get passed, I didn’t want to get clogged up in a group of walkers with a turn coming quickly after the Start.  I chatted with several friendly men and women as we waited for the National Anthem to play then waited again for the roads to finish clearing.  After a very short delay, we were off!

As the lead group took off, it felt like I got passed by 15 women.  I knew the field had looked fast!  Not wanting to sacrifice my entire race, I quickly settled into running my own pace and decided to pick off the ladies in front of me when I had the chance.  Coming into the Mile One mark, two ladies passed me but I did a great job of sticking with my own pace and running my race rather than chasing too soon.  At the Mile One mark, my watch unsurprisingly read 2.08 miles.  I had done an exactly 1.00 mile warm up so I knew my watch would be at least one mile ahead of any course markers and I had taken the middle of the road around the first few turns which left me expecting to have covered extra ground.

At some point between the Mile One and Mile Two markers there was confusion as to where the runners should be directed and I’m not entirely sure a bunch of us didn’t run around an extra block.  This didn’t change the fact that was I was feeling very positive about the performance I had started to put together but really threw me for a curve when I arrived 2014 Heart of Ghent 10kat the Mile 2 mark with my watch unexpectedly reading 2.88.  I had tried to hug the curves in the previous section to make up for the possible extra distance but this was much more than I expected.

Around Mile Three the cool morning started to warm up.  We hit some wide, tree-less stretches and the sun was full of shine.  In spite of the warmth, I felt nothing like I did at the Bay Days 8k and maintained a steady pace for the entire race.  A long, softly bending curve past the Mile Four mark gave me the chance to gain a bit on the two women I had been keeping an eye on for the beginning of the race.  I took a straight line from one edge of the curve to the other while they both stayed in their lanes and bent with it.  Straight line, short distance let me be able to pass the first of these two ladies before Mile Five with the second in easy striking distance.

I passed the second woman I’d been tailing at the top of the Mile Five bridge climb and took note of how far in front of me the next woman I had a shot at was.  Far.  I counted the seconds between her turn and mine before determining that I wouldn’t be able to catch her in 1.5 miles.  I was OK with my positioning coming into the last bit of the race knowing I was going to PR and put together a run I was going to be very happy with.  Coming down the bridge I was fortunate to come upon a pair of gentlemen to chat with for about 400M before finally passing at the Mile Six mark and could again see the un-catchable woman in front of me.

I knew I was in a good spot for the last 400M and like the Bay Days 8k earlier this month, the Finish line was hiding 50 or so meters from a 90 degree turn which prevented me from being able to leave it all out there and come in a few seconds faster.  When I crossed the Finish, my watch read 7.10 miles and 51:32.  Subtract my 8:04 warm up and I was right there with a new PR of 43:28.  Sort of.  The course wasn’t certified and I clearly didn’t cover the required 6.2 miles.  Even if you add the 41 seconds it would have taken me to run that additional 0.10 mile, I still would have beaten my last 10k time by over two minutes.  I collected my medal, two bottles of water and knew I had about 15 minutes before I needed to be looking for Doug.  I loosened my shoe laces and a nice post-race running recap with Claire, the woman who had been just out of my reach for the last two miles.

Doug crossed the line happy with his time and we hit the after party.  Tasty pizza was flowing compliments of Y-Not when we hopped into a long line for beer.  The line moved quickly and Doug and I each received two complimentary beverages with the option to purchase additional tickets.  At that point we tuned into what the announcer was saying.  2014 heart of ghent 10kWe could scan the QR code hung up at various points around the party zone to check our results.  Well, I didn’t have a QR reader app on my phone and apparently picked the wrong one to download on the spot because I was unable to access my results even after scanning the code.  We would just have to wait and see if my performance had been good enough to earn an award.  No big deal, we had cocktails.

We settled down on a grassy spot, stretched some, chatted with our fellow runners and enjoyed our adult sodas when I noticed things in the party zone had quieted down a bit.  Awards Ceremony!  Because I hadn’t been able to get results on my phone, I didn’t know if I needed to be there.  Luckily for me, I did.  Even though I had felt like 15 ladies had passed me at the Start, I discovered I was 6th female overall and won my age group!  The award is a 2014 heart of ghent 10kprint from Brandon Foster-Gray, a beautiful photo of the Brambleton Bridge in historic Ghent and a gift certificate to Running, Etc.

2014 Heart of Ghent 10k recap loose ends:  The flat course is fast in spite of all the turns, the after party was a blast, the bands at each mile were great, the awards ceremony was nicely done and the awards are super cool.  It’s a small local event with a friendly family feel, solid organization and wonderful sponsors.  The Norfolk Police Department did a good job of managing the traffic trying to cross the runners paths and I did notice several Port-a-Potties lining the course.  There were two well staffed water stops though some people mentioned the second one could have come sooner.

I had a fantastic 2014 Heart of Ghent 10k Race Day and will definitely consider running it again.

Meredith

Did you run the 2014 Heart of Ghent 10k?  Do you like the 10k distance?