This past weekend was a wonderful running weekend! I know it’s Wednesday and a little bit later than I would normally talk about all of my weekend runs..whoops!
Friday was mile repeats. And not on my track…. I drove there after work, and to my displeasure, I found that only half of the track was actually uncovered. BLA. . So I hit the mill. If I’ve learned one thing during this marathon training cycle, it’s that I HATE MILE REPEATS. HATE THEM. I did them a few times over last summer, but I did them on the track. I think I’m more of an 800s/400s kind of gal. And also? I didn’t hate mile repeats (as much)on the track. But I cannot handle even one more mile repeat workout on my treadmill. No thank you.
Anyway, Saturday morning, one of my good friends was making her debut as a race director!! She organized a 5k called the “Jig & Jog 5k” that was local to me & raised money for her church! A race that raises money for a good cause? And takes place practically in my backyard? Sign me up, please and thank you. My legs were sore from mile repeats, and I didn’t intend to go “all out” speed-wise like I would normally plan on doing for a 5k. I had 3-4 easy miles on schedule for Saturday so this 5k was perfect.
The weather was awful-snow, and really cold. Obviously I was still going to do it (backyard race, friend organizing it!) I was super lazy getting out of the house and did a 1 mile warmup and then it was time to go! The route for the race was the same one used by the Good Times racing series that runs from April-August. It’s a really flat route and runs along the Merrimack River and UMASS Lowell.
If you have ever done one of the Good Times series road races, then you are familiar with the Riverwalk….Let me tell you- I will liken the race to a “Tough Mudder” OCR race because the Riverwalk was still covered with snowbanks and ice! There were also not many sidewalks as our area still is not defrosted (its still really freaking cold!). As yucky as the conditions were, I didn’t hear anyone complaining! There were about 100 people who showed up to run it- I think it was a sign that everyone else has cabin fever just like I do!
The race went off …and I was leading. The funny thing about leading a race is that I’m pretty sure that the leader should know where they are going. —I did NOT know where I was going. Every time I would pass my friend & her sister I would yell “I don’t know why I’m leading, I DON’T KNOW WHERE TO GO” It was hilarious. I stopped a few different times to ask someone behind me for directions…comedy at its finest folks! I was pretty far ahead of anyone else for the first mile, and when a guy I know caught up to me, I was glad because I knew he would know the way!
I ended up winning the race, overall! Not only the lead woman, but the winner of the race! It was pretty great! My time was not good-snowbanks, not knowing where I was going, tired legs from mile repeats-all of these things contributed, but I didn’t even care. I was happy with my splits of 7:36, 7:19, 7:14- Right around my marathon goal pace and it felt SO easy. I was talking to the guy behind me nearly the whole time….it’s funny when you can have a conversation at a pace that used to feel “hard” to you and now it feels “Easy.”
It was a good day to be a runner, and, honest….a fantastic day to be a woman. Winning in itself is very fun, HOWEVER-> beating the boys is MORE fun (sorry dudes, I don’t meant to be offensive!). I’m pretty excited to start doing some of the Good Times weekly Tuesday night race series this spring/summer. It definitely helps you to run faster when you know the course (and know where you are going!)
Sunday was my last “really long run” before Boston. 22 miles, run and DONE, thank you very much. I put this on my IG, but I just have to say it again: Not a day goes by that I’m not grateful and thankful for what I can do. My strong legs run thousands of miles a year. The human body is capable of great things, I tell ya!
19 days and counting….
have you ever done a race in awful conditions?