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Tulip Run Race Report (Updated)

Ahh, what a glorious, glorious day yesterday was! I packed my race bag the night before, woke up early, had my coffee and a small breakfast, and hit the road to go to Burlington, WA or more precisely, the Skagit Regional Airport which is about 80 miles from my house. I picked up the BF too as he came along to be my support crew and take pictures. :)

For those of you already experiencing Spring, the Pacific Northwest has gone for 7 weeks without a mostly sunny day. I've seen sun here and there, but it hasn't stayed around for long. Yesterday the temperatures were a bit cold (low forties maybe?) and the sky was clouded over but (thank goodness!!!!!) it was not raining. That was a good start. Perfect running weather.

Sad to report, but thanks to the weather, there was none of this:

However, there was a lot of this:
Start of the Race...Photos by the BF

We arrived pretty early, but it gave me enough time to pick up my race packet, hit to Port-o-Potties once or twice (Side Note: the Port-o-Potty company was called Wizard of Ooze...... I'm more grossed out than impressed with the cleverness), and debate over which shirt to wear and what shoes to wear. I ended up choosing my cushy Asics that have the orthotics in them because they make my calves feel less fatigued since the race course was going to be 80% trail.

The worst part of the entire race was waiting for the start. They were a bit delayed in setting up the timing mats, and despite the crowd, it was really cold to stand idle while they figured things out.

Finally, the race started and the crowd was off. I placed myself pretty well at the start line. I didn't find myself passing too many people and vice versa. First mile split was 7:47, then 8:16, 8:32, 8:48, and 8:57 respectively. (Click here for Garmin data if you're curious)

The course was wonderful! The first mile is on the road, but the majority of the next 3 miles were through wooded trails. It was quite fun. I liked not being able to see that far ahead of me, and running the trails gave me something to think about such as where to put my feet and what mud puddles to avoid (there were a lot!). The last mile was slightly de-spiriting because it was back on the road with a good view of the finish line far in the distance. I pushed hard and finished in 42:33 according to what I saw on the clock when I crossed the finish line.  So, so, so happy with the results! I wasn't expecting to finish with that fast of a time. Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful. And so were my blood sugars! I started at a blood sugar of 230 mg/dL with a bit of active insulin. I put my pump on suspend and had 2 Girl Scout cookies before the race. I took my meter and flask of Hammer Gel out on the course with me but didn't use it. After the race, my blood sugar had come down to 123. Perfect! Oh yeah, and the sun came out. Finally!

*******5 minutes ago, I just checked the results from yesterday. Who placed 2nd in her age group?!?!?!?! This girl!!!! Never happened to me before. There were 34 in my age group. It was split up differently than normal - 20 to 24 instead 20 to 29. Now, I'm EXTREMELY happy with yesterday!!!!!!!

Almost to the Finish Line with muddy legs

And finally, I noticed, yet again, a problem that I really, really need to address with my running. I'm a heel striker, and in one photo the BF took, it's extreme! I'd say it's not always the case. The photo was taken at the beginning of the race so I may have been sprinting out past the slower runners in front of me, but if I am going to lower my risk of future running injuries, I need to change my running gait. More on that in a later post, but take a quick look at what I'm talking about:
Knee is fully extended (not good) Foot is slightly turned (uh oh), and the heel is definitely hitting the ground first.

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