Last Saturday I made a game day decision to run the Winchester Town Day Road Race. According to my training plan I needed to get 8 miles in anyway, so I figured it would be good for me to mix it up and throw some faster miles in, you know, for fun and all. The really nice thing about this event is that the start is down at our middle school track which is just a mile from my house and thus no planes, trains or automobiles involved. I so rarely get to race close to home and feel like it's good to take advantage of the opportunity when it arises. But, that said, we had a lot going on in our household Saturday morning, so as of Friday night I still wasn't sure I could get all my ducks in a row and get the race in, too.
COFFEE w/ CLOVER
Fortunately, the race didn't start until 8:30 so I was able to just roll out of bed at my usual time, walk the dog and enjoy my coffee at a leisurely pace when we got back. At around 7:30, after crossing some t's and dotting some i's and checking in with my husband I decided I could probably get the race in and get back in time to do everything else that needed to be done. I ran down to the track carrying nothing but cash for my registration in my pocket and using that first mile as my warmup. You can't get much easier than that. I have a love/hate relationship with shorter races; short being anything under a half marathon. I love them because they're over quickly. I hate them because they are monumentally harder for me. I do them because they are good for me; speed being something I am always working on. I had checked in with my coach earlier in the week, letting him know the details and confirming that I wouldn't worry about pace or time given that I've been a little rusty and beat down lately. There were two options for the runners; either 2.5 miles or 5. I opted for the 5 mile loop since I needed to run 8 total for the day and I wanted to just get it done in one fell swoop.
I cruised though the final mile and then turned to finish on the track which now felt like a giant frying pan. I rolled across the line and then immediately grabbed two waters, pouring one on my head and chugging the second while gasping for air. Not pretty. But the work was done and I was pleased that I'd powered through. I had no idea what my time was and I didn't make an effort to find out. For once, it totally didn't matter. All that mattered was that I'd pushed hard, had fun (kind of), spent some time in my own community for a change and made the whole thing work with my family's schedule. BOOM. My friend Sara, who is also my neighbor, met up with me post-race and joined me for an easy cool down back to our hood. Fortunately I'd finished with enough of a buffer to make it back and get my girls to their activities with a little extra time to spare. Which I used to get iced coffee before Grace's game. Obviously.
I later found out that I'd run a 33:11 which is a decent time for me all things considered. I also was able to get my split at the 2.5 mile mark and learned that I'd run the second half faster than the first which I was psyched about as going out too fast is a common blunder for me. In the end, it's not the most exciting race report. They can't all be showstoppers but they all have their takeaways. In this case, run local, ignore the watch, embrace the ugly and enjoy the rest of your day.
Listen to this:
Catch the Movement - The Little Ones