Sunday, June 1, 2014

Frog Hops Sporty Frog Recap

Due to my self-admitted bling addiction, I get asked by a lot of friends (and family) what races give finisher medals. I have been super excited about the new Frog Hops race series because it's local AND gives nice finisher medals. The first in the series was in April but my April was already solidly booked; May was pretty booked too but my aunt signed up for the May Sporty Frog 10K. I wanted to do it with her because I felt bad recommending it and then making her do it alone, but last minute I realized I could make it work - it just meant doing it and then hopping in the car to drive to Indiana right after. This is the most last minute I have ever signed up for a race - I signed up on Thursday and it was on Saturday. With Kim's comment about it being funny that my 10K PR is on a killer course ringing in my head, I opted for the 10K and was excited to shoot for a PR more in line with the paces I have been running lately. (Spoiler: It didn't happen - and for the same reason this recap is short and picture less!)

The races are held in Independence Grove in Libertyville, literally 15 minutes from me. I had never run there but I heard it's gorgeous. And it did not disappoint - a beautiful lake front, gorgeous paved path. It was advertised as stroller friendly and although the course was rolling it was definitely fine to bring the baby along, other than the heat for whoever was running.

I picked up my packet and my aunt's around 7:45; the race started at 8:30. I was a bit nervous because it already felt warm and really sunny, but it was a forest preserve - I figured there'd be shade! I wasn't carrying water because I had thought there would be aid stations every mile. (I was wrong. It was a 5K loop with an aid station halfway through; 10k did the course twice.)

The race went off; I started at the back because I had the stroller and figured that was polite.

What I didn't consider - both the 5K and 10K started at the same time :( The RD had said the race was bigger than expected as it's pretty new, so I am hoping this is growing pains; hopefully in the future they will start the 5K and 10K 10-15 minutes apart to alleviate some congestion. The 5K was full of elementary school kids doing their first 5K and their "COACH" and race ettiquette wasn't there. Which, I get. And good for every single kid and parent out there! But the first half a mile was VERY congested and very frustrating for me. People ran in groups that blocked the path; kids and adults alike would suddenly stop to walk in front of me. I made someone beside me laugh when someone did that and I made a frustrated noise. (It was a sympathetic laugh, and the person who came to a sudden walk didn't hear me - they had head phones in. AND I didn't mean to make a sound - but they very nearly got run over!)

I have zero problem walking at races. I have used run/walk intervals. But please - be careful when you stop to walk; especially early in the race, you could cause a collision if you stop/start unexpectedly. If I need to walk I will pull to the side and make sure no one is behind me. Good race etiquette protects you and everyone around you!

I finally gave up and off roaded a little to get around the globs of people, and it went better from there. I passed a pair of runners and heard someone say "The baby is running faster than us!" which I thought was cute. My first mile came in around 10:31 and I felt good - hot, but good. I was keeping the pace relatively easy, not pushing it.

Half a mile later I hit the aid station. There had been no shade yet and I was bummed; it was hot and I was feeling a little off, but I downed some water and on I went, slowly picking people in front of me off but keeping it comfortable. I had 4 1/2 miles to go! (Or so I thought.) The second mile came in at 10:01. My legs felt great and while I was hot, I mostly felt okay. Ish.

The third mile was the same as the first; unshaded, with rolling hills. I was fine, I was fine, I was hot but fine...and then 2/3 of the way through the third mile, I was not fine. I was so not fine I stopped to walk, afraid I was going to fall over. I was dizzy and queasy. And I panicked, because I had never felt like that while running, and, I had the baby with me. I started running again, but I was off. And freaking out, because I was pretty sure I shouldn't be running, but the finish line for the 5K loop was close and I would reevaluate there where I was with other people and could have my husband, if nothing else, come get the baby.

At the finish line when they told me only one more loop, I heard myself say "I need to drop down to the 5K."

I wanted to cry because I could not believe I was doing it, but something was wrong. My face felt gritty, my breathing was not normal, and I felt dizzy and nauseous in waves. I collected my 5K medal and texted my husband. I was done. Frustrated, but I knew running in the condition I was in was stupid and as much as I wanted a 10k PR, I have marathon training starting next week and pushing myself here was not in my best longterm or short term interest. My final time was 31:37sh according to my garmin - not a bad showing for a 5K, would have been a great split for a 10k. The rest of the day I drank tons of water, feeling totally parched, and sort of like I was hit by a truck.

Cute medal is cute though! Interestingly, it says series rather than the name of the race. Maybe each race in the series has the same medal? 

After a day or two to hash it out, I think - despite following my normal hydration routine - I ended up dehydrated. It was a lot sunnier than I expected and I wasn't carrying water, and there was no shade. My pace wasn't pushing it, so I don't think that's what happened, but while I regret that I needed to drop down, I am glad I did the smart thing. It just sucks that I needed to do it. BLEH!

Annnnd, I think I need to get some kind of hand held hydration. My belts don't fit me right right now, they ride up and bounce. Oy.

EDIT: Official chip time 31:45. I have no idea how my garmin time came up so short but oh well. Oddly, I took 3rd in my age group (and there weren't just 3 of us LOL). Sadly no AG awards but that is the highest I've ever placed!


  1. It was hot, you did a good job!

  2. Oh man. You poor thing! Independence Grove is NOT the place to race for a summer (well, feels like summer) race! The no shade there is BRUTAL. And races there are typically pretty crowded :( But! It is a beautiful place!

    That stinks there was not more water. I love my Nathan handheld if you are looking for a rec. Also, for another rec, here is a shaded 10K: but.... in August. You will acclimate to the heat soon. I hope you are able to stay hydrated. Have you thought about trying salt pills or an electrolyte drink/tablets?

    1. Also, I think they are using the same medals for the series, but the Easter race was cute - it had the runners and a bunny :)

    2. It was totally gorgeous! I'd love to run there again...maybe on a less sunny day! Or time of day!

      Yeah that's my fault, I misread the race site. I should have been carrying water. The problem is that while pushing the stroller I can't hold a handheld, not enough hands! I do want a handheld though, I'll look into that one! I haven't looked into electrolytes but I have also never felt so gritty after a run. It could be that I when I was run/walking previously I wasn't losing at the same rate I do now, but one thing is for sure - I never ever want to feel like that again! Got a rec for that one?

      And that race!

      Their races are cute! Did you do their Easter one and I missed it?! I was down in Springfield for that one!

    3. Does the stroller not have a water bottle holder? I have been having good luck with these - Although, I am taking them way more (during a run, with water) than recommended. I can't drink sports drink (or haven't found one I can when I run) so that is what I have been doing.

      I didn't do the Easter one! I wanted to, but I was in Texas :)

    4. Oh that's right, you did the bunny ears one! I knew that. (And actually, I did. That shows my stalker nature doesn't it?)

      Thank you - I'll look into that! My stomach is surprisingly unpicky, I probably could do Gatorade. I have had tummy issues only once during a run and it's entirely possible with what I ate I could have had them not running too, lol. Otherwise I have been known to eat spicy cheetos and go run (and ran one of my fastest 5Ks that year too) and before last night's run I ate a full bowl of rice and beans and veggies.

      The stroller did not come with one, I have to buy it separately. And I suppose I really ought to! I had only planned short summer runs so wasn't too worried but..obviously, short is still enough to need water.