Hot Cider Hustle

I almost didn’t get up and moving this morning!  Typically before a race, I get everything set up the night before.  But this morning, I scrambled to pull together some cold weather gear, breakfast, and a race bag.

 

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I left around 7am and drove the 30 minutes south to the forest preserve where the race was being run.  I wasn’t sure what to expect, but got there early enough to pick up my packet.  I got a sweet parking spot, and easily grabbed my bib and race shirt.

 

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It was freezing outside and so I retreated to my car for awhile, playing on Pinterest and listening to music.

Before the race, people started to gather, moving around to stay warm.  I found a sunny spot to stretch out my still sore calves and think warm and happy thoughts.

 

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When it came down to get started, we all filed into the corrals and wandered towards the start line, eager to begin.  I wasn’t thinking much except that I wanted to start moving and get warmed up.  During marathon training, I did countless 8 mile runs which is why I thought this would be a great post marathon race.  My usual pace was around 9 minute/miles, so I was hoping to finish around 72 minutes.  However, since the marathons, my runs haven’t been that speedy.

 

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I figured I would just see how I felt today and take it from there.  I brought my phone along hoping to snap some photos of the beautiful trail.  The first 2 miles were a challenge in trying to keep my race belt down and my pants up.  I swear I desperately need a new race belt.  After snapping these not so clear pics, I moved my phone from my pants to my belt which helped.

 

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By mile 3, my body was finally warmed up.  I shed my gloves and was able to pick up my pace a bit.  My miles stayed below 9 minutes and the trail was beautiful.  At the half way point, I felt good, but my race bib came unhooked.  It was a bummer and a few people passed me along the way.

 

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The last few miles, I continued to jockey back and forth with a few other runners as we picked up the pace towards the finish line.  With about a mile and a half to go, I felt strong and gave it a little push.  My last mile was just under 8 minutes and I crossed the finish line, feeling fantastic!  I think all of those 8 mile runs combined with no expectations made for the perfect race.  And a negative split!!!

 

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Since I didn’t get any photos of myself finishing, I was able to get some action shots.  The hot cider at the finish was awesome and totally hit the spot, along with a few other Whole Foods goodies.  It turned out to be a beautiful day!

 

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Even thought it was tough to get the day started, I’m so happy that I participated in this community race.  It was well priced and the course is beautiful!  Plus, 8 miles is a really fun race distance!  It would have been fun to have some family and friends to hang out afterwards and enjoy the day.

 

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I arrived back home 30 seconds before the BOY after his test and I went straight to bed for a nap.  Cooper and I curled up for 2 hours, and I woke up feeling better, but still exhausted.  I think the emotions of the week have gotten the best of me, so I am laying low again tonight.  I look forward to using the extra hour tonight for some sleep.  I’m sure there’s another busy week ahead!

 

It’s been a successful year of racing for me, so it’s with sadness that I close out the year.

No worries, I am already planning my first race of 2014!

 

 

Hot Cider Hustle

Official Results

Overall Place: 109/568
Age Place: 12/78
Time: 01:07:06.0
Pace: 8:23

 

 

Did you race this weekend?

Are you doing any late fall races?

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13 thoughts on “Hot Cider Hustle

  1. Congratulations on an awesome race! Sounds like you ran it perfectly! It looks like a pretty place to run, too.
    You had a fabulous racing year. Can’t wait to see what you have planned for 2014!

    • Me either! I am only signed up for one 10 mile race and haven’t decided which tri’s and races will work into my life for 2014. My bro is getting married mid July so I want to make sure i have time for racing and wedding fun!

  2. Awesome race, Jen! That’s a great pace, and post marathon no less! Looks beautiful, too. Congrats on not only this race, but also on a successful year!

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