I’m skipping my usual training recap posts, because most of my mileage last week was at the Runner’s World weekend, but I will share this with you:
Bam. I peaked at 47 miles last year, too, so I’m feeling good about this one. To some of you this is nothing, to some of you this is insane. To me, this is awesome, and I am happy with it. Other than the RW runs, I did a 9-mile workout with mile repeats (2 mile warm up, 4 x1600 w/3 minutes rest, 2 mile cooldown) and a nice 6-miler in the park with some friends.
So, back to the RW runs, eh???
Disclosure: Runner’s World provided me with bibs for the races, travel, lodging and some meals. All leg fatigue is my own.
Our morning started at the ArtsQuest Center, which was open to runners before the races, and which was WARM.
Everyone else had the same idea.
It was in the low 40s the morning of the race, colder than I’ve felt in quite some time. I’m usually a little tough in the cold weather, but rooming with a Florida girl skewed my judgment a bit, and I wore a lot more than I’d usually wear in that weather.
In ordinary times, I’d probably have worn a long-sleeved tee and a skirt, so this is a lot of clothes for me. Another departure from normal is that I HAD COFFEE BEFORE THE RACE. I have a very sensitive stomach, and I avoid coffee like the plague before I run, but I was really cold pre-race, and it sounded like a good idea at the time.
Tina dressed a little more wisely for running in this weather and was freezing before.
With the high volume of mileage this weekend, I didn’t want to completely burn my legs out, so I didn’t plan on racing any of these races.
I somehow found myself with Jess at the start. Jess is fast, like, BQ fast. I told myself I had no business to run with her. She told me that after some injuries and other setbacks her fitness wasn’t where she wanted it to be, and I believed maybe I could hang with her.
There was a weird false start–the “real” start was past where the 10K and half starts were, so we all thought we were going, just to be stopped again a bit further up the road. Hmm, okay.
We were let loose, and I told myself it would be great if I could keep running with Jess, but it was totally fine if I fell behind her, since she was, in fact, way faster than me.
The course starts in the North Side of Bethlehem, crosses a bridge and climbs the biggest hill of the course. My legs were relatively fresh, and I was running strong. I wasn’t racing, but I was definitely putting a little effort into these miles. What goes up must come down, and we coasted down a lovely hill at this point. Once we crossed back over the bridge, I knew where we were again and that boredom somehow slowed me down. Before that: 8:09, 7:44. Third mile: 8:34? Moral of the story, don’t get bored.
But I felt good, and stuck with Jess until maybe 1/4 of a mile before the finish. She got a little surge and I thought “cool! go ahead, I’m cool back here.” (I don’t mean that sarcastically, for once.)
I crossed in 24:44, I think. I already deleted the run from my watch to make room for another one, and my results online aren’t showing up? It was a minute off of my PR, which I was pretty happy with for not racing it.
Lots of runners spilled into the Visitors Center to stay warm, and so did we! My stomach was a mess at this point from having run after having coffee. NEVER AGAIN, no matter how cold or sleepy I am. I also checked the jacket at this point, and had serious outfit envy for my friends wearing shorts/skirts.
I ended up starting out with the speedy Jess again, but we started off much slower this time. I wondered how my legs would feel after running a 5K at a decent clip and then sitting. Around mile 2, we separated because she needed to stop, and I decided to not stare at my watch and just do that weird “run by feel” people talk about.
But I decided I also wanted to have fun since I wasn’t racing it, so I pulled out my phone to take a picture or two. This is running up Main Street past the Historic Hotel Bethlehem. Foreshadowing: this hill would make a repeat performance in the half, but during the 10K, my legs were feeling good. At this point, I was alone but really enjoying the course. We’d had dinner at Bethlehem Brew Works the night before, so I enjoyed seeing downtown Bethlehem during the day, and I had a bit of an idea where I was going.
We came around that hill, and I saw this big cardboard hand for a high-five. I’ve never seen a high-five opportunity I didn’t like, so I ran past and slapped the hand. I don’t remember if I put away my phone after this, but I didn’t take any more pictures.
I continued feeling strong, and ended up passing quite a few people at this point. I ran into Toni and decided to stick with her and pace her. We hadn’t known each other well before this, so it was fun to chat with her and get to know her better and distract each other for the last two or so miles.
Done! Time for me to pose awkwardly.
I was happy to have these two races behind me, but still nervous about the half…
What is your favorite race distance? What distances would you feel comfortable running back-to-back like this?