Monday, November 30, 2015

RACE REVIEW:LHS ALUMNI 5K

LEXINGTON MINUTEMAN STATUE
As I mentioned in my last post, our family had grand plans to run a turkey trot together down on Cape Cod this past Thanksgiving.  The race started at 8:00am and as of 7:20 my girls were still sound asleep.  My husband and I debated waking them up but opted out and drank coffee instead.  Mmmmm.  Coffee.  They finally rolled downstairs in their pajamas around 7:40 and we still could have pulled it off, but Rosie, who never admits to being tired and is always up for anything, looked at us and told us she just didn't have it in her.  So, we bailed.  And we gave thanks for the ability to be lazy and hang out together, which was lovely.  I considered being lazy all week-end from a running standpoint, but I didn't have that in me either.  Shocker.  Thus, on Friday morning, I got up in the dark (5:30am) and beelined it back to Winchester so I could grab my stuff and bust a move over to the LHS Alumni Race which was being held in Lexington on our home XC course.  I did have extra incentive to get over there beyond the race itself.  The event is a fundraiser for our team, so we can go to big meets like Nike Cross Regionals (NXN), which the boys were headed to after the race.  It also brings back runners who have graduated from LHS, both to run and to spectate.  I've been coaching for 5 years now, so I am always excited to catch up with the kids that used to be on the team.  And, finally, the race was being timed by 2L Race Services, which happens to be the company that my own coach, Lowell Ladd, owns and operates; coaching being a side gig for him along with parenting, cooking, cleaning and many other things.  I've been training with Lowell for over 2 years now and I've never met him in person, so I was psyched to finally put a face to the name.  When I arrived, Lowell and his brother Aaron, a friend and fellow LHS coach, were setting up for the race.  I introduced myself and gave Lowell a hug, which was a risky move as not everyone is up for that.  But, he's done so much for me since we started working together that I felt like it kind of had to be done.

Pre-race w/ Coach Ladd

Thankfully, he was totally fine with it.  Of course, I had to get the obligatory photo, too.  After we chatted a bit, I stashed my stuff and headed off for a few miles before the race was set to begin.  I needed to cobble together a 10 miler, so I was planning to get 5 in beforehand, run the 5K, and then cool down with an easy 2 afterwards.  When I got back, I checked in with Lowell about my race strategy, a luxury I don't usually have because he lives in PA and we have to work via phone and email.  That was a bonus.  I'd just done an interval workout (800 repeats) on Tuesday and I was still pretty beat up from that.  In addition, my energy level was low in general due to a long Thanksgiving day and my early wake up.  (I know...excuses, excuses).  Lowell told me to push the flats and to stay anaerobic on the hills.  Oh, yes....the hills.  Our course has 2 of them (Baskin & Loring) and they are nasty.  And we do Baskin twice.  So, based on Lowell's suggestion, I'd be taking it "relatively" easy for a good portion of the course, which I was totally fine with.


LEXINGTON XC COURSE ELEVATION

For the record, the above image doesn't do it justice.  It's brutal.  And, after running it, I now have even more respect for all the athletes that have to tackle this course at any point in their lives.  I did have a lot of fun, though, seeing several people (runners, friends, parents & coaches) along the course who cheered for me, which is always nice.  I rolled across the finish line in a respectable 21:12 (6:50 avg), a time that I was more than pleased with given the degree of difficulty and my overall energy level.


Aaron, who had worked the race so that Lowell could run, was sitting at the finish and when I crossed the line I gave him a quick "How YOU Doin?" hand gesture because, well, why not?  Then I headed back out for my final 2 miles of the morning.  No cheating on the workout when your coach is there, right?  I would never.  When I got back, I learned that I'd won a gift certificate Greater Boston Running Co., the local running store, for being the first woman, which I was more than thrilled about.  I also got to spend a little more time with everyone who had come to spectate....Sevana, Katherine, Maya B-T, Alex, Sophie, Lucy, Vanessa....so many great ladies to catch up with.  And then, finally, it was time for me to head back home.  I said goodbye to the LHS crew and to Lowell and Aaron, wished Coach Babcock and the boys who were running NXN good luck, and headed to town for a coffee before going back home.  People ask me all the time why I race.  I tend to give standard answers like...because I like to challenge myself or because it gives me a runner's high.  But, in the end, the best part of racing, regardless of how I approach it, is the love and camaraderie that goes along with it.  Because in the running world, it doesn't matter what kind of athlete you are...young, old, fast, or slow; we are all one big happy family and everyone is welcome.  #RUNLOVE

Listen to this:
Air Traffic Controller - People Watching

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