Dissapointed with first ever race- looking for advice (Read 172 times)




    I’m Kate. I’m brand new here Smile I’m 29 and have been running for about a yr and a half. My longest distance run is 10 miles. I run 3-4 times a week, usually between 4-6 miles each run.


    I live in a rural area and run completely on trails. By trails I mean grass, mud, rocky terrain and small streams. I run hills quite often as well.


    I signed up for my first 12k a few days ago and ran it. I am not a fast runner by any means and had expected a finishing time of around the hour mark.


    This was my first time what-so-ever running on pavement. Of course I wore my trail running shoes (all I had and did not want to race in new shoes) which never give me blisters.


    I underestimated the feel of the pavement. It makes sense that there’s no ‘give’ but it’s another thing to feel it. It was very challenging for me.


    I had blisters the last two miles and am wondering if it was from not having road shoes or the feel of the road- or a combo of both.


    I finished at 1hr 20. My family was proud but I cannot help but feel a little dissapointed.


    I do not know any other runners, so I’m just looking for some helpful advice. My husband is encouraging me to enter a half in February.


    I enjoy trail running, but most races locally are the road races. Should I buy road shoes and train on paved surfaces some too?


    Thanks for your help Smile


    Hot Weather Complainer

      Hi Kate,


      If you want to run races, and the only races are road races then absolutely, get road shoes and train on pavement - you don't have to do all of it on the road, in fact I think you could probably get away with continuing on trails for over half of your training, but if you start banking some miles on the road you should be fine for your next race in terms of the surface.


      The road will give you blisters if you're not used to it (as will trails - I run mostly on road and when I do run on trails I'm much more likely to get blisters).


      Where is the half in February and what sort of course is it?  You definitely sound as if you have the base and the time to be ready for a half in 3 months.

      PB:  Christchurch 2016 1:29.25

      Recent Races:  South Island Half-Marathon 2018 1:32.39 Auckland Waterfront Half-Marathon 2019 1:30.49


        Thanks Steve. The race is on a beach, on bike lanes and paved roads. Flat terrain. Looks to be no hills at all.

        February is our coldest month in Alabama. Actually worried about it being a little too cold.


        I will take your advice and get some road shoes.


        Hot Weather Complainer

          That sounds like a good mix of terrain for your first race.  I definitely wouldn't be too downhearted about the race, your feet and lower legs just weren't conditioned for it by the sounds of it.  Don't jump into full time road running, ease your way in so you stay nice and healthy as you build into longer training for the half.

          PB:  Christchurch 2016 1:29.25

          Recent Races:  South Island Half-Marathon 2018 1:32.39 Auckland Waterfront Half-Marathon 2019 1:30.49

            I would get some road shoes and always mix in a little road work for enhanced leg turn over. Trail shoes on a road race.....I am not a fan. You definitely need some road time if doing a half. How about doing a 5K race in next month to give some confidence and also it will give you a good idea of what your "road" fitness is? It can at least give you a projection of a half time and help with training paces on the road.

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            I lost my rama

              Hi Kate, and welcome!  Yes, trail and road are two different things, but you can definitely do both at the same time.  I agree with getting road shoes, but finding the right road shoe is also key in preventing blisters (as is the right sock).  I run both trail and road races (as do many others), and yet I still find my road shoes work best in trail races, but that's mostly because I haven't found the right trail shoe yet.  Just throwing that out there, so you might want to see how a road shoe feels on trail (light trail).  I think you can do a Half by Feb.  Just start building up more miles on the road if you can.  If you can't on road, then more miles on trail is better than nothing.  The key is more miles (not to be confused with longer runs necessarily) as you get to those bigger races.  Good luck!

              3/17 - NYC Half

              4/28 - Big Sur Marathon  DNS

              6/29 - Forbidden Forest 30 Hour

              8/29 - A Race for the Ages - will be given 47 hours


                Wow, I really appreciate all of your replies. I feel so much better already. It helps to hear from people with more experience. I don’t know any other runners personally, so up until know google has been my running friend Smile


                I love my trail shoes to death. First pair I bought and am scared to get a new pair because they feel so good. They are Altra Lone Peak’s. The 3.0 I believe.

                I’d like to stick to the same brand so I was looking at the Altra Escalante 1.5. Does anyone else here use Altra shoes?


                I seriously thought the only difference in trail vs road shoes would be the grip on the bottom. So now I’m assuming road shoes have better shock absorption, which makes sense.


                I made a big mkstake during the race too. I got gung-ho and started at the very front of the line. I hung in at the front for the first two miles but by the end of the race 623 people had passed. I finished 624 out of 1700.


                Of course I knew not to start at the front-and to start slow. But in the moment common sense went out the window.


                I will incorporate more road runs. Trails are so convenient because we have a lot of land and being a lone runner, and a woman, I feel safe there.


                Running in a paved/road area, alone, concerns me some. I do run with my dog..I might could bring him along and some pepper spray. Haha!

                I'm out of ideas

                  You could use Running in the USA to find trail races in Alabama or nearby states.

                  2019 Races:

                        6/01/19 - IHM Nun Run 5K

                        6/08/19 - Eagle Up Ultra 24-Hour

                        6/29/19 - Loopy Bunny 6-Hour

                        7/27/19 - Endless Summer 6-Hour

                        8/17/19 - Lean Horse 30M

                        9/21/19 - NC24

                  Interval Junkie --Nobby


                    I made a big mkstake during the race too. I got gung-ho and started at the very front of the line. I hung in at the front for the first two miles but by the end of the race 623 people had passed. I finished 624 out of 1700.


                    Of course I knew not to start at the front-and to start slow. But in the moment common sense went out the window.


                    Don't worry; this is sooooo common.  Even happens to experienced runners.  Learning how to run a race is so much more than running that distance at max effort with a bunch of other people.  Running a race takes patience.  Really, it's only something you can develop over running races.


                    As is good practice, you should probably have at least two pairs of shoes anyway; it's good to give the foam a rest every other day.  Some people (like me) swear to sticking to the same brand/model for both pairs.  Some people believe in "muscle confusion" and have several different model/brands they rotate through.


                    Either way, any significant change in how your foot is working within the shoe is a potential cause for blisters.  For your trail shoes on pavement, it might just be the case that the one area is only rubbed 30% of the time because of odd trail terrain, but on the flat road it's 100% of the time.  Also, in a race your foot is going to sweat more -- and for longer distances (marathon) swell a bit.


                    Still, it would be good to invest in a road shoe -- something to use when the mud is ankle deep on the trail, I guess.


                    Welcome to the sport!

                    2016 Goals: Lose the 10lbs I gained for not having goals


                      Do you know your times for each mile?  Sounds like the early miles were much faster.  The thing with racing is that going too fast in the early miles will slow you down in the late miles many times what you saved.  Let's say your fitness was 65 minutes, but you started out at a pace for 55 minutes.  That could easily turn into an 80 minute race.


                      The more you race, the better you will get a pacing.  Eventually, you'll just know "this is 10K pace" or "this is HM pace".


                      I agree with others, the road shoes should help as well.  BTW, some folks don't like to have separate road and trail shoes because they think the added shoes are a waste of money.  That is not really true because you don't wear both shoes at the same time.  You'll wear each shoe less often, so they will last longer.


                      Finally, 60 minutes for a 12K is not bad.  In a smaller race that should be competitive for your age group.


                        I wear the Altra Torin for roads here.  I live in a VERY rural area in OK and there are no runners near me and the ones in the closest big town do mostly roads.  I prefer trails as I'm slow as a turtle in molasses and the people and the scenery.  Since you are used to zero drop shoes you could also try the Topo brand.  Try and stay under 4mm if all you are used to is the 0 drop.  I also like the Saucony Zealot as a road shoe.


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                          @dhuffman63 - Good to see I’m not alone! Thanks for the shoe recommendations. That helps point me in the right direction.


                          So much helpful advice here. Pacing was definately an issue. I don’t know the pace for each mile but my average over the race was 10:46.

                          My normal pace is around 8.


                          So basically I went out way too fast and then drug my feet the rest of the way!


                            Hi Kate, as a single woman who runs in the early morning hours, I get your concern about being out on the roads! You can definitely feel exposed sometimes. I have been running for about eight years, mostly alone, and mostly in the dark (I am out of the house by 5 am). There are a couple things I do. I try to vary  my route, but i'm kind of stuck by highways, so the most I can do is clockwise vs counterclockwise. I do not listen to music, I am very self aware of what is around me. I am also training my dog to run with me (a boxer) this is recent but already makes me feel more secure. I do not carry pepper spray but have considered it. i wear my phone on my arm but honestly it is pretty inconvenient to get to, I think this would mostly help if i somehow injured myself and needed to call for help, in an emergency i wouldn't be able to get to it quickly enough. I wear several lights on my arm, shoes, and reflective strips on my clothes.


                            There was one time several years ago that a car passed me, and then i noticed the same car drove by me again slowly. It really freaked me out. I cut through a street and then ran through some yards to put distance between myself and the car and to throw the off route, i ended up several streets over and never saw it again. i was hyper vigilant the rest of the run!!


                              You sound like me, Christi!


                              I homeschool my two kids so I’m also out in the early morning hours. It’s just literally the only alone time I can get!


                              My dog(s) run with me and they are fairly large (catahoula curs) but one is deaf and the other deaf in one ear. I’m pretty sure they would not alert me to danger, but hope their sheer size is enough to deter people.


                              I carry a phone as well, but I also doubt I could get to that in time and call someone if I were being attacked. I like my pepper spray because it came with an elastic type band that fits over my hand. I think it’s called runner’s mace. Anyways, it’s easy to hold ( I can actually open my hand because of the band) and I like that it’s so accessible.


                              I’m guilty of watching a little too much unsolved mysteries...


                              Really though, I keep it with me for stray dogs and other animals too. Thankfully I’ve never had to use it but it gives me some peace of mind.


                              Have you had any issue with your dog’s foot pads on pavement?


                              Hot Weather Complainer

                                It's really sucks that this is something you have to worry about when you just want to run.  I've had people follow me, yell at me, throw things at me and veer their cars towards me for fun over the years...but for a female there's obviously a whole new level of danger.


                                Good luck with the training - those dogs have other senses they can use for danger, I doubt anyone will mess with them!

                                PB:  Christchurch 2016 1:29.25

                                Recent Races:  South Island Half-Marathon 2018 1:32.39 Auckland Waterfront Half-Marathon 2019 1:30.49