Run Your Buns Off 5k Race Report

start

I have been running now for over 10 years and typically at some point in a person’s running career they look for new challenges, to try things that they haven’t yet achieved. For me that was to become a race director.

I have the privilege and honor of directing a race here in Columbus, Ohio called the Run Your Buns Off 5k to benefit the Ohio House Rabbit Rescue.  This year was the Third Annual, something I was completely stoked about!  I had no idea when this race was first held that we would even make it for a third running, but here we are.

Race directing is so much more difficult than being a participant. I can’t even fathom what it is like for folks that manage much larger races like half marathons or marathons.  The logistics alone can be difficult to keep up with, but I think for me, the hardest part is the customer service part.

Customer service for a small 5k can be daunting. On the one hand, I get it, people are paying money to participate and they want to feel that their money is well spent.  But the other half of me thinks, ‘Hey, we are truly blessed to have money to spend to run, the time to run, and aren’t some complaints just a #firstworldproblem?”  Maybe.  But it is an excellent skill to learn and each race that we have had I have learned something new, something that can be improved about the experience.  Each year, I think the race is getting better.  And I do take people’s thoughts and feedback seriously while trying to also be conscientious of the fact that we are trying to aid a non-profit.

This year we held the event at the Scioto Audubon Metropark, which is a pretty little place to have it at. The temperatures were a little warmer than is typical this time of year, but sunny with blue skies.  Our turnout was excellent!  We had a little over 100 people register for the event.

The burden of being a small race is that putting on a 5k can be expensive and we are trying to help raise money for a non-profit. So, we don’t want to break the bank, but we DO want to have an enjoyable experience for our participants.  This year we went with cotton t-shirts rather than the tech fabric and we had volunteers create handmade medals to award to finishers.  In the past we have done age group awards, but those can be expensive and time consuming so I haven’t decided whether or not to bring them back.

This year I got to participate in the race itself which was fun and exciting. I didn’t have the most splendid finish time because I have been doing so much distance running that I’ve lost speed.  My time was 31:16 and 6th out of 22 in my age group, so not bad.

One piece of feedback that we got was to include a course map. This was fascinating to me, because this had never been requested in the past, so more people must be using them.  I think this was a great suggestion and have added it to the list for next year.

Finisher awards or medals are always a big deal. I understand why.  Larger events and 5k’s hand these out all the time now.  The difficulty is when you are teeny tiny race like we are or what used to be called a ‘no frills’ event, it can be hard to keep up with the changes in expectations.  This year we had handmade finisher awards which I think turned out quite nicely.  I don’t know if this is a permanent solution or not, but what we did this year turned out nicely.

To be frank, I love directing this race. The few times DH and I have contemplated moving in the future, I get really sad about the prospect of not being involved in this race.  It truly is something I am SO PROUD of.  It also feels good to know that something I am passionate about can become a method for supporting a different passion (house rabbits).

All in all it was a magnificent day and I am already thinking about the Fourth Annual!

family

Advertisements

Rabbit Ramblings

Sigh.

So, what is new with life? Well, one thing I haven’t talked much about is the fact that I am working on my PhD. I am at the stage they call being a “PhD Candidate” or what I like to call “hazing.” Ok Ok, so that was sort of a joke….sort of.

Actually, let’s give respect where respect is due. Hazing would be so much easier! This has got to be the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. Harder than any race, harder than any other job. Every time I think I have things together, I get feedback and find out I have so much more work in front of me. I don’t think I will feel good until I know the date of my defense.

I don’t talk about my dissertation much because frankly it’s overwhelming. I am making progress, but it often feels painstakingly slow. Or there are days where I take two steps forward only to take about four back.

I am in the education department at The Ohio State University studying the philosophy and history of education. My interest is in the ways that educational reform has come to impact public education.

Dissertation while working full time has been awfully stressful. Needless to say there isn’t much time for other activities. But I am still running. It was suggested multiple times that I take a break. To a certain extent I am. I am running as I can and fewer events. But, quite frankly, I can’t stop running all together. That is my most efficient form of stress relief.

I will occasionally update on the status of my dissertation. Hopefully soon I will have a defense date.

Since this is a rabbit ramble, here is a bunny:
IMG_0258

Hoosier Hundred Race Report

Hoosier Hundred recap

 

So, where does one begin with an event that took them 30 hours? 

First and foremost, I want to thank people. The people who crewed for me (dealt with angry Shannon at mile 54+) and the people who donated.  I would not have made it to the 100k mark had it not been for the people who believed in me when I could no longer believe in myself.

All told over $3,000 was donated to the Ohio House Rabbit Rescue.  All of the proceeds will go directly to the “Be the Voice Campaign” which is meant to help purchase their adoption center, the first of its kind in the state of Ohio.  One of the things I loved most was getting to share my love of house rabbits with people who might not know much about them otherwise.  I had the chance to SHOW people that rabbits are fantastic pets when taken care of properly.

So, how did it all begin?  Well, in 2011 my first pet rabbit, and one that I was closely bonded with, Hoosier, passed away.  Since his passing I have been looking for ways that I might be able to honor him and the love that he shared with his ‘hooman.’  In March I had the idea that maybe I could run in order to raise money for the purchase of the adoption center- and so the Hoosier Hundred was born.

Fast forward to August 30 at 5:30 am and I was greeted by my friend Sunshine (who is very sunny at that time in the morning) and Pat and Bev the two brains behind the adoption center.

I was mentally in such a solid place when I started that run.  I wasn’t thinking about much at all, just that I needed to accomplish that first loop.  My idea was to keep myself within a 1 mile radius of the center so that I could always refuel and check in with people.  Saturday was the second hottest day of the year, so in that way I am glad I was so close by.

Within the first 4 loops I saw so much wildlife it was amazing! There were dozens of deer, a buck, a skunk, wild bunnies, a hawk and squirrels.  I enjoy my surroundings when I run so I immersed myself in that.

At some point in the morning my friend Pat was able to join me for a loop or two.  She is an amazing woman that I had the opportunity to get to know better during a trip to the Flying Pig Half Marathon.  She was kind enough to drive me down and let me stay overnight with her!!! Actually, it is one of my favorite race trips, it was a good time.

Next my high school teacher/ former colleague Jeff joined us.  A speedster who runs like a gazelle, Jeff is the reason I began running in the first place.  My very first run ever was on a two mile loop that started and ended at my high school.  I couldn’t even run the full two miles without having to stop and walk a few times.  I was glad to share this experience with him since he has seen me run since the beginning!

The miles floated by and I was joined by friends Judi, Deirdre, Jay, and Jen on and off throughout the afternoon.  It was certainly a scorcher that day and we ended up altering the loop so that it went through a graveyard. 

 At this point my memory of events gets a little fuzzy.  I really like my sleep, so after a while things begin to blur together.  I know many people came out to visit me and say hello.  Seeing new faces every couple of miles was refreshing and to any one that I gave blank stares to, SORRY!!!

Overnight I had Judi (for a portion) and Melanie, Sunshine, Jimmy and my DH.  We kept on trudging through that same two mile cemetery loop.  At one point I believe there was even a dance party involved in the loop….no further comments on that.

When Sunday rolled around I started to just feel tired.  Honestly, looking back, it had little to do with my body (which was certainly tired), but keeping yourself mentally tough and able to keep moving forward becomes much more difficult when you haven’t had any sleep.

In the early morning I was joined by Karen and Ken who saw me through until the end of the 100k.  I know I was not my nicest Shannon at this point, but I seriously could NOT STAND people by that point.  It was the strangest feeling because the whole time I knew they were all taking time out of the lives to be there, for me, and that I needed them there, but I felt so claustrophobic!!!

Finally at mile 54 I was ready to throw in the towel.  There were a round of thunderstorms that had rolled in and I was ready to go home.  My friend Pat (who stopped by before her race that morning) gave me a hug and told me to ‘listen to Sunshine.”

So…God help me, I listened to Sunshine.  Who said, “We are going 4 miles out and 4 miles back.”

I slogged along; I cried on the OT, I had a temper tantrum.  She was SUCH A TROOPER.  She told me it was OK to feel this way and how proud of me she was.  More importantly she reminded me that what I was embarking on was something very special and something I wouldn’t forget.

Suddenly the tears were gone and at the turn around I found the energy to run/walk the whole way back.  Did I mention it was a freaking torrential downpour?  Yeah…2 hours and 11 minutes of soaking rain.

Once again, I could not have finished had my friends not been there.  I never felt real doubt until that morning, but they were all able to pull me through.

I also need to thank DH.  He never fails to support me no matter what antics I am up to.  He was right there beside me throughout the last 8 miles in that rain, running just because he loves me. 

Random Notes:

Nutrition eludes me.  I ate a nutrition bar early on that made my stomach very upset.  I had the most difficult time finding foods to eat that wouldn’t cause problems (despite taking Gas-X-I know GROSS, but it’s an ultra-runner weapon!) Also, nothing actually sounds good.  You reach a point where food is just kind of yucky, but you have to find a way to keep eating.

Fluids I had NAILED! My technique was two loops with water, two loops with a Gatorade/ water mix.  I only needed one electrolyte tablet the entire time.  Despite it being a hot day.  I drank the occasional coke as well.  Smoothies were good and so was hot coco.  All in all, I was proud of the hydration system I had in place.

 

If I attempt this again, I need to run more.  This was the most consistent I have EVER been in my running career, but it still wasn’t enough.  I needed more time on my feet and I needed time where I was faster.  But these are just notes of things to evaluate for next time.  Mostly, I just want to celebrate this step in my running career.

I leave you all with one picture.  There are other pictures on the Facebook page (or will be).  I thought, although this is a long post, there is only one picture I want to end this with.

shan62