On Saturday, July 3rd, I ran a 4 mile race along with quite a few of my fellow running club members. After the race we gorged ourselves on a potluck of bagels and cookies and fruit and homemade blueberry coffee cake. Jason did not come out to the race so at this point the only photo I have is one of me standing next to our running club banner. Which I forgot to upload.
Hopefully I will get to eventually see photos that other people too, including our group photo. I mean, at the very least I need something for my scrapbook!
Anyway, the photos aren't the only thing lacking from this report. I'd really like to say that I was thrilled with my race performance but, in actuality, I'm not. I mean, sure, it's technically a PR since I've never run a 4 mile race before but I really wanted to do better than I did.
You might remember that at the end of May I ran the Chase Corporate Challenge, a 3.5 mile race, with an average pace of 8:12. I figured this race was only a half mile longer so I was hoping for a time close to the Chase race.
It was not to be. My stomach was still bothering me and I don't think I'd ingested enough nutrients over the preceding few days. Not to mention the fact that Jason and I went on a 9 mile bike ride on Friday. I didn't feel particularly sore or tired after that but, considering I haven't ridden a bike more than a few miles in almost 10 years, I'm sure it had an effect.
Anyway, after helping to set up our picnic area (by delivering my assigned breakfast foods), chatting with group members, and a quick port-a-potty trip, I lined up with two of my running buddies who were hoping for the same pace as I was. But, much like many of my runs and races lately, I only managed to keep pace with them for about half a mile or so.
In fact, I went out way too fast. I think the reason I did so well at Chase was because the crowd kept me from going out too fast and thinned up towards the end allowing me to speed up. This race on Saturday wasn't every large (capped at 1000 people) so it was easy to get up to speed at the beginning. When I did my first mile in just over 8 minutes I wondered if I'd be able to hold that pace. I really wanted to do my running group proud. At one point a guy passing me must have read my club tank top because he said, "Hey! The Oak Park Runners! You guys are famous!"
I couldn't keep it up, though, and the hills sapped me of my energy. I made it to just about mile 2.5 before I gave in and walked. I was so mad at myself, but my heart and my head just weren't in the game. I walked until an older man passed me, looked over, and said, "Hey! Don't let this old man beat you!" I started jogging again and stayed in front of him for a little bit but he passed me up. However, I did manage to run the rest of the race even though my pace dropped by almost a minute.
The hill going up towards the finish line was mean and it didn't help that the finish line wasn't marked by anything other than a sign stuck in the ground. If I had been able to see the finish line from further away maybe I would have found some energy to tackle that hill a little harder.
I think the highlight of the race was running it with so many people I know. Almost all of us were wearing our club tank tops and since portions of the race were out-and-back, we would cheer for each other as we passed going opposite directions. Plus, hanging out afterward, eating, chatting, and cheering was quite fun.
And although I didn't get the time I originally wanted and I'm disappointed in the fact that I gave in and walked I'm still glad I did this race. Maybe next year my brain and my body will actually cooperate and perhaps I can finish faster. As my injured running buddy Ann said, "You're faster than that." I'd like to think that I am.
Official Race Stats
Final Time: 34:43
Average Pace: 8:41
Age group: 16/41
Posted from bimactive.com