Sunday, November 7, 2010

Shelter Island 5K Race Report - Summer in November


First of all, I really despise daylight savings time. Like right now, it's not even 6pm and its pitch black outside....

But this morning, I LOVED it because I got an extra hour of sleep before this morning's Shelter Island 5K. It was very, very, necessary.

We woke up this morning to a beautiful summer day, only wait a's November, right? didn't feel EXACTLY like summer, because there was still a bit of chill in the air, but it was rather warm. As we drove toward the coast, Mik, Walter, and I could see the fog bank hovering and wondered if it was still hovering over Shelter Island (which is near the airport, which is on San Diego Bay, which is near...oh heck, here's a map)
So...the map gives away the punch line. I broke the 30 minute barrier, by about five second better than my previous PB at Carlsbad last March. Not bad for very little speed training at all and on top of a 20 mile bike ride yesterday.

But Shelter Island is never really about the race. I mean, as far as 5Ks go, it's a fabulous little run, about 1500 participants (This year it was the same morning as the Komen Race for the Cure 5K, which is a very, very, very important cause, but which attracts about 15,000 runners/walkers), very low key. For a gear check, everyone throws their bags in the back of a hotel van. The route flat, and fast, and is one we are very familiar with.

Shelter Island is really all about running with friends and, of course, breakfast. The race ends at Humphrey's By the Bay, a local restaurant/resort renown for it's Sunday Buffet, and while the after race spread is not of the same caliber as their usual Sunday buffet, it's better than any other post-race breakfast I know of, and it includes unlimited mimosas...

Really, we took COMPLETE advantage of that aspect of the race this morning.

But, before we got to that, we had to run...

First of all, there was no fog on the was completely sunny. We had complete SUCCESS in finding the perfect parking spot about 1/2 mile from the start and about a 1/4 mile from the finish (it's a point to point run), so we did a little warm up run to get to the start. I spotted Irene & her husband Michael as we were waiting in the porta-potty line. We still had time to stretch, then we made our way to the start.

I checked my messages to see if Glenn was around anywhere. I sorta suspected that he wasn't going to make it when he was tweeting from his bro's wedding reception the night before. Apparently, he was being a dancing machine and his fancy shoes were killing his feet (my advice? "take 'em off!!!" ...if people can barefoot run, they can certainly barefoot dance, right?) In any event, a brother's wedding takes precedence over a 5K, even one that has a full breakfast buffet, any time. We missed ya Glenn!
Walter, Me and Mik - At the Start
I "borrowed" this picture from Irene cuz, well, she's in it. We found the long sleeve neon-day-glo-lime-green shirts at the Long Beach Expo. They're Brooks line. It's nice to have the long sleeve shirt, but I didn't have it on for long because it was getting pretty warm.
So after the morning hug-fest, we made our way to the start. There are a fair number of walkers in this race, so we maneuvered to somewhere near the start, mostly to avoid people walking their dogs, running with strollers (although one guy with a stroller just FLEW past me at the 2.5 miles). Within about three minutes, it was time to run.

Walter's plan was to keep up with Mik and then race past her at the end to grab a table. didn't quite work out that way, but the two of them TOOK OFF and left me in their dust! (which was OK...I completely told Walter to run his own race. I wanted to see how well he could/would run, and we all know how we hate to feel as if we are holding someone back, even if we don't mind it ourselves if we choose it). Mik said that she passed the 1 mile mark heard 8 minutes and figured it was wrong. I knew it wasn't because I ran the first mile in 9:10. Now let's be honest here, there's probably no way I could have ever kept that pace, but the first mile was easy and I felt great. I had Irene in my sites (in fact, I think I was even ahead of her at some point) and was running freely (lord, I hope so, it was only a mile...geez!)

As we headed into Shelter Island, the sun was in our faces, and that always makes it a little harder. Then we took one more right turn onto "The Island"* which includes a little down and back loop. As I neared the mile 2 marker, I saw Mik headed toward the finish. She told me later that she was working pretty hard, but she didn't look it, she was flying. A little behind her was Walter, who also looked great! A few weeks ago in a LB1/2 training run, we ran onto Shelter Island, er, I did. Walter decided to not run the entire island that day. He admitted today that that was an error, since he really didn't know how far it was to the turnaround.

I ran past the Mile 2 mark at 18:50, which told me that I'd slowed down quite a bit. (9:40 mile 2). I had a moment of delusion that I could run the third mile like I ran the first and be somewhere around 28 minutes (yes, I was delusional), but that passed pretty quickly, especially when I looked down at my Garmin at one point and say 10:30 (YIKES! That will NEVER work).

That 10:30 threw me a bit, so I just tried to keep my head down and relax my shoulders and lean forward and do all of the things I know I should do, but my legs were starting to feel pretty heavy after the turn around. I used the "pulley strategy" which means I tried to spot someone ahead of me who I thought I could pass (NOT the 8 year old boy who bounced past me, hurdling pylons along the way...Grrrr), and just visualized that each one had a pulley on his/her back that was just pulling me in, and it worked. I got to 2.7 miles and suddenly, I had a burst of energy and sprinted toward the finish.

Here are our finish times.

  • Mik - 24:47 (a PB... The herd's running goddess)
  • Walter - 26:23 (a PB...hey when every race is your first run, they're all PBs, right? But I love that Walter gave it is all)
  • Alice - 29:53 (a PB by 1 whole second and 2:30 off of last year's effort!)

We all admitted to each other later that at the end, we wanted to puke. I know I did, which pretty much means I gave it all I had, so I gotta be happy with that.

Besides that, I needed breakfast.

By the time I sauntered in, Mik and Irene's friend Rich already had a table for us and Walter was sitting there (pretty sweaty).  The neon-day-glo-lime-green shirts make our group REALLY EASY to spot, AND someone had already gotten me a mimosa (gotta love that service!), although at that point, I was still in need of water.

I think photos tell the story of the rest of the morning. We ate. We drank. We laughed. We were impressed by the age group winners who run amazingly fast (the 60-64 male division runner ran the 5K in freekin' impressive is THAT?). We stayed to the very end.
Irene and Michael
Me and Mik
Walter and Mik
By the end of the event, they were giving away Champagne in larger cups. We decided that size does matter.
So...Shelter Island is probably the last race of the year for me. There's a small possibility that we'll end up doing a 5K around the holidays (The Holiday Bowl 5K is one likely candidate), but there's nothing else on the calendar right now. 

It's been a heckuva year running-wise for me. I'm sure I'll blog about it at some point, but somehow today's 5K and mimosa fest was a great way to end the year. 


  1. Nice race - a PR is a PR! And champagne is full of iron - those mimosas are good for you. Love that picture where it looks like Walter has crazy palm-tree hair and Mik also has a tree coming out of her head - you did best there!

  2. Great job on the PR! I'm still trying to get to 30 mins.. My fastest is 34 something! ack!

  3. Great job on the 5K! And great photos! Looks like fun!

  4. Hooray to a PR ... and a great way to celebrate shaving a few seconds off the old record.

  5. Looks likes TON of fun (was reading Irene's blog, too :) ) and a 1 sec PR is still a PR. I need to venture to Cali and run a race with you guys someday - soon!! Too funny about Glenn's, yeah dude, take the shoes OFF. Ha.

  6. Great job on the PR. I am amazed you had a bag check. I have yet to see a bag check in ATL.

  7. Still, a PR! Yay!

    Too bad all races don't end with brunch included. :) It was a lot of fun and we need to do that again, soon, even if we just end up at the High Dive.

    Now, not only do I have to try and catch Mik, Walter has really put on the speed!

    It was really good morning.

  8. A PB is a PB so Congrats! Plus, you really killed your previous course PB and that's probably the better way to look at it.

  9. Betty says,

    Congrats on the PB's! You all look great and like you are having a blast! This run is a little secret that all the locals love!

  10. Great job on your race, you should be so proud! I forgot all about this race until you blogged about it. I do remember you posting about it last year and I really wanted to do it! Ah, maybe next time.
    Great photos, it looks like you all had a fun morning!

  11. Sorry I missed the events! I got home so late - even with the extra hour of sleep, a 5AM wake up call wasn't happening. Oh well.

    Great race and great effort for all the heffers!

  12. Way to go ... what a terrific way to end your running season (both the race and the champagne).

  13. Congratulations on your PR! I have to say that I'm very intrigued by this race - I've heard nothing but good things about it!