Race recap: Dodge the Deer 5K

6 Apr

This morning I headed off to Schodack Island State Park to participate in the Dodge the Deer 5K, an Albany Running Exchange frun race.

After checking the weather again this morning, I opted for thermal tights and long sleeves for my race outfit. I’m glad I did because it was coooold and windy. Spring is really taking its sweet time here.

My dad came with me as my main cheerleader and photographer. He hasn’t seen me race since high school, so it was nice to have him there and spend the day with him.


He really wishes he brought gloves.

A cold and windy day also meant spending plenty of time warming up. My dad took this beautiful shot of me downing a mint chocolate Gu for a little fuel about 15 minutes before the race.

Dodge the Deer 2013 003 WM

Mmm, tastes just like a thin mint but much better fuel.

By 10 minutes before the race, I was warm and shed my outer layer. I knew it would be warmer once we were on the trail with the trees blocking most of the wind. Plus, I also get super hot during a race. Turns out this was a good call.

Dodge the Deer 2013 005 WM

Warmed up and ready to run!

Ready, set, go!

Here’s me starting off way too fast but feeling pretty strong.

Dodge the Deer 2013 010 WM

Let’s do this!

Unlike the last 5K, I had my Garmin for this one. To be honest, I’m still deciding if it was helpful or hurtful overall. Having  my pace available to me did confirm that starting out at a 6:10 pace was not a good idea. BUT I think my periodic pace checking hindered my effort. When I thought I was going too fast, I slowed down a bit even if I was feeling relatively strong. Then I was too slow. Too much mental work for a 5k! I think I need a pacing coach. Any takers?


My pacing is a mess.

Regardless of the pacing debacle, I really enjoyed this run. The park was gorgeous and the trail was relatively flat and free of roots or big ankle traps. I still managed to roll my right ankle a bit in a little dirt rut about .3 miles away from the finish line. It didn’t stop me, but I definitely swore like a trucker when it happened (Sorry, fellow runners nearby.). I would be the one to roll an ankle on a mostly smooth trail. That’s so me.

I really wish I took more pictures of the park and river landing itself! The cold must have frozen my brain a little bit. This is definitely a place I would return to for other races or to just go for a trail run, so I’ll be sure to take pictures then.

Despite my silly pacing and rolled ankle, I still managed to sprint to the finish line and beat my recent PR by 4 seconds. I clocked in at 23:19! Turns out, I was even first in my age group! This is the first time I have placed in a race and I’m pretty proud. (Side bar: I have been 4th in my age group multiple times, including my first half marathon.)

Dodge the Deer 2013 012 WM

Can you see me? Hint: I’m in the bright pink and kicking butt.

My dad got a shot of me at the finish line, but I was in mid-arm raise and I look kind of awkward. Story of my life, right? I can only imagine what the official photos look like!

One of the awesome things about the Dodge the Deer event is that they give out a lot of prizes and all of them are baked goods. My kind of race! Winners also got to get a special photo with the race mascots. Along with age groups, they gave prizes for the kids fun run 200meter, kids fun run 1 mile, youngest and opposite of youngest runner, and fastest couple. The fastest couple got the prize of a 3-tiered wedding cake complete with deer toppers.


Collecting my award with Dodge the Deer and friends

My cookie award was this happy pink fish homemade by an ARE member. I wish I could tell you what it tasted like, but one of the cats (Adele) stole it off the kitchen counter and tore it to shreds before I could even have a bite. (I think I should set some kind of trap to keep that rascal off the counter.)


Cookies are the best kind of award.

After the race, there was a big cookout with hot dogs, hamburgers, salads, bananas, oranges, bagels, cookies, hot cocoa, and coffee. ARE, frun, and event apparel was also available. I ran into many of my new ARE friends (of course) and it was good to see more familiar faces. This was a really fun event and I will probably become a regular participant!

Now, I’m icing my ankle to make sure it doesn’t swell or get worse.


Ice, ice baby.

So far, so good.


4 Responses to “Race recap: Dodge the Deer 5K”

  1. Carol April 6, 2013 at 7:21 pm #

    Awww sorry about your ankle. Hope the ice helps. CONGRATS on the new time. We are proud of you and LOVE you! xoxox

  2. Nick April 6, 2013 at 10:55 pm #

    Nice job! PR, place finish, your Dad with you, friends at the end…sounds like you got all your wishes, congrats!!

  3. Christine April 7, 2013 at 1:57 pm #

    Congrats on the PR!! And double congrats on the Age win! Sorry that you rolled your ankle. I still manage to do that sometimes on perfectly flat, clear pavement. I’m glad you liked the park, I’m a fan of it as well!

    • Nikki April 7, 2013 at 3:42 pm #

      Thank you! I am so clumsy and uncoordinated, of course it would happen! I’d definitely return to the park for a run some other time. Now that I know how to find it!

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