Our weekend trip to NYC was cancelled last minute, so my boyfriend and I decided to take advantage of a local set of road races happening in his town. He ran the 5K and I ran the 10K in keeping with our current stages of training.
With my Half just 3 weeks away, I really didn't want to race hard on this 10k, and in fact really preferred to treat it like a handy training run that came with company and some water stations. In order to log the #of miles I had originally planned to conquer this weekend (so much for my chance to go for a run in Central Park), I instead ran from my boyfriend's house to the starting line of the 10k. He drove there, and we found ourselves in the midst of quite a big community event. These people put on a good race. The 5K started at 11:50am, so we got him corraled and I took pictures of the start and then found my way to the finish and waited. He ran a sub-30 race, which was better than he expected (and exactly what I thought he would do). He cautioned me that it was MUCH warmer on the course than either of us had run in all year and advised me to carry water with me, not just wait for the water stations. He's smart!
I gulped down a 12 oz water about 1/2 hour before my race started and began re-stretching as John did some post-race stretching. When he was reasonably rested we walked over to the corral for me to get in and I had my pre-race Gu, handed over my windbreaker and let him head to the starting line for good photo op of me. :)
I was mostly unfamiliar with the course, but it was small rollers through the backroads of this small town. I remembered my mission was to just get it done, not to risk injury or insanity by speeding along. The competitor in me won out a little bit, but I kept a steady pace throughout and allowed myself a few small walking breaks to use my inhaler and swallow some more Gu. Carrying water with me was great since I didn't need to get into the fray of the first water station and never felt desperate for "when is the next water/?"
There was a time that I saw I could run a sub 60, but decided not to go for it since it would be very close and I wasn't used to this new-found spring weather. I did make sure to PR though! (1:01.14 - official). I will work on the sub 60 for my 10K on July 4th.
The finish was a half lap around a track, which somehow seems like the hardest part. I gave it as much kick as I had left and even saw across the field my boyfriend waiting for me at the finish line, camera in hand. I gave him a wave and he waved back. My mustard colored shirt and neon pink headband makes spotting me easier. I even added hot pink sunglasses to the look - hopefully he will upload the photos soon.
So, I gorged myself on water, chips, pretzels and cookies after the race. John even had a cold diet coke in-hand for me which I greatly appreciated. We met up with some friends that also ran, so we joined them for a post-race feast (of healthier choices than pretzels, chips and cookies). I look forward to seeing the same people again in two weeks when we will convene to bottle the beer we brewed a few months back.
Anyway, it was a nice surprise race for me, and I was pleased with my performance. Gave me some good confidence as I head towards my half-marathon!
Finally, I have a race on the horizon! I should never have let it go this long, cuz it's hard to get back into the swing of things once you've sat on your butt for a few months!
That's all in the past now. On May 1st I will run my 3rd Half Marathon a few days before my 37th birthday. What does that mean? Nothing, really. Not the birthday part anyway. I ran my longest training run of the season yesterday, 7 miles and it felt pretty good. I love when long runs give me confidence. I'm struggling with some gear - trying to find the right waist pack to run with, but physically, I felt pretty strong. I could have run more except that when I have a # of miles in mind it becomes very difficult for me to run MORE than that. Plus I was cold towards the end.
Anyway, I'm getting very pumped up for the Cox Road Race Half Marathon in Providence, RI. I think being out to watch the Boston Marathon in a couple of weeks will have me bursting to get out and race, though I'm not expecting a PR in May...(would love to).
I'm really hoping to PR in June. Last year I ran the Worcester Half Marathon in hopes of running sub 2:30, and I ran 2:22. I ran the BAA Half in October and despite being sick the week before, I ran 2:20. I'm aiming for 2:15 in Worcester this year - got to catch up with my fellow Team Pink member Anamarie who just debuted in the Half at 2:15!