Every year, the Bra Run at Dockweiler Beach gets 1k longer. It is the number of years when one of the race founders is cancer-free! It’s an excellent concept so that you can guarantee the race will never be the same. However, I wonder if it will be 50k and beyond one day! Last year, I ran and finished at a 7:15 pace. This year, I did the same pace for a longer race, although this year I felt like garbage.
Before the Bra Run 15k:
After Dubai, I had no interest in staying in a hotel. Although, it probably would have made sense, considering I drove a total of 400 miles (to/from LA twice). But the driving was all relatively easy, and I didn’t run into much traffic. I woke up around 4:40 on Sunday morning, realizing I had a corneal abrasion.
It was a messy morning, and Brittany and I arrived at Dockweiler Beach around 7. Unfortunately, we had to park a half mile away, and between that and a long line at packet pickup, we got about a .4 warmup. I could have used at least two miles, so I didn’t feel fantastic at the start. The older I get, the longer I need for warmups. In 2011, I used to run 5ks at 6:15 pace with zero warmup LOL.
Bra Run 15k Race:
The Bra Run 15k started about 10 minutes late, but it was fine, so we could relax at the start. With all the chaos getting to the start line, it was nice to relax for a few minutes. Finally, we were off. Last year, the 5k started first, and we spent a reasonable amount of time weaving in and out of 5kers. This year, the Bra Run 15k started first, and because it was two loops at the top, there was a good 6 miles weaving around 5kers. I don’t know what I think the best method is, but 2/2 times I’ve run the Bra Run, I’ve had to weave through people.
I don’t necessarily care about the “loss of time,” it can just get dangerous when different paces are running together in a very crowded area. The 5kers don’t want someone faster blowing by them and the 15kers don’t want to weave around. Anyway, I digress. At the start of the Bra Run 15k, I was the second woman, where I stayed the entire time. I thought maybe I could catch the first-place woman, but I didn’t have it on the day.
From the beginning, I never felt great. My body was jet-lagged, and I’ve been tired all week, so it wasn’t a surprise. I told myself to keep trucking along. I ran the first mile of the Bra Run 15k in 7:04. I was surprised because my legs were tired, and I had no real “oomph.” We turned around and went back towards the start line. I ran the second mile in 6:51, and they were the two most uneventful miles of the Bra Run 15k.
I thought we were going down to the beach like last year’s course for a few loops, but we stayed at the top and did a second loop. As they told us to turn back around, I knew it would get chaotic fast. We ran back under the Bra Run 15k/5k start line, and I could see the walkers for the 5k distance up ahead. The next mile was spent weaving around. A cyclist told us to stay towards the middle. I never ran into anyone but it got confusing.
I hit mile 4 of the Bra Run 15k in 7:18 and knew my pace would only get slower. This summer, I haven’t been doing long/harder, I’ve just been focusing on 5ks. (My only non-5k since May was a 10k for the fourth of July). But it was also reasonably hot (70/no shade/80% humid). So, my only goal for the Bra Run 15k was to “hang on.”
We finally headed down to the beach around mile 6. I averaged about 7:08 pace for the first 10k and died the last 5k. It was hot, and I missed 3/4 of the water stops because they were crowded or unprepared for runners. Not really a big deal.
Down at the beach, I just told myself a 5k left. My body was not feeling good, and I ran a 7:26 and 7:30. I tried to make my last mile, not the slowest, and ran a 7:26 mile 9. From there, I ran as fast as possible, which for the day was 7:22, and finished 9.44 miles in 1:08.22 and as second woman.
Bra Run 15k Thoughts:
I’m happy with the effort, and if you compared the first 14k to the Bra Run 14k last year, I would have been faster. My body did not feel great this week, and I was happy to run this fast while not feeling great. Last year, when I did “not feel great,” I couldn’t even run a 7:15 pace for a 5k. Hopefully, I can catch up on sleep next week and get rid of the jet lag, which so far doesn’t seem to be the case.
Question for you:
Have you run a 15k?
I didn’t realize they were uncommon because I’ve run quite a few in Upstate NY.