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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!!!
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!
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.
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
Overall Place: 109/568
Age Place: 12/78
Did you race this weekend?
Are you doing any late fall races?