Weather was absolutely perfect last Saturday for this race, which is one of my favorites for the year! I actually debated wearing shorts vs. tights, but ultimately went with tights because there was still snow on the ground, & that tends to make the air temp a little cooler. By mile 3 I was wishing that I had gone with shorts! The t-shirt has an awesome design on it (above), with no sponsors cluttering up the back. I love the rolling hills as it gives you something to shoot for, but the last mile is practically all downhill. It's pretty competitive for being such a smallish, neighborhood race, so I can never expect to win an award, which is fine. It's well-supported, & you have cookies & hot chocolate to look forward to at the finish line! Photos are courtesy of my friend Jon, who fell on the ice hurting his already bad knee, & was there to support his wife Caron. Maybe Jon would have been safer if he had just run that day!
Started the race with the same girl I ran most of the St. Louis Track Club Half Marathon with in November, but she was out of sight before the first mile. We both stated that we were nowhere near the shape we needed to be in, each running 15-20 miles a week for the time being. She actually went third in our (tough!) age group, as it went in 10 year increments. Unbelievable performance with the hills & her fitness level!
The above photo is at the start of the race. I had no expectations going in since I've been dealing with my piriformis issues (again) & haven't been able to run much. Mostly I've been riding the bike, & thanks to my friend Chris, I've been getting a 10 miler in every couple of weeks so I think that is what saved me for this race. Miles 2 & 3 have long uphills, so that's why they are slower, but I really love this course so am definitely not complaining!
My Garmin splits are as follows:
Mile 1 - 7:06
Mile 2 - 7:22
Mile 3 - 7:28
Mile 4 - 7:19
Mile 5 - 7:01
Total - 36:16/7:15 avg pace for exactly 5 miles (per the Garmin) & 36:21/7:16 avg pace - official time (not chip-timed) which makes a 41 second PR for me in the 5 mile on a hilly course. I'll take it!
Post-race & feeling really good! It's so nice to be able to train through the winter, & though I complain about the snow & ice some of the northern states do not have the option of running outdoors so I am very thankful for that!
With another race in the same area (University City) coming up next month, plus the entire spring racing season on the way, I had to make the decision to take some time off (again!) to let this piriformis issue settle down. Bought some new (firmer) shoes, which should help, as it seems that when my shoes start to break down I start to have the issue. We will see how this experiment goes, but so far I am loving the fit & feel of the New Balance 759's. AND they match my racing team singlet. Coooooool :) I would be fine if the pain would just stay in my lower back & rear, but when it travels down the hamstring, to the calf, to the arch of the foot I have to pull the plug. It hurts, & it's no fun running in pain. I have been riding the bike, & enjoying that, plus I even made it to the pool this week & may go again tonight.... I KNOW!!! Hopefully the bike will treat me well, & I can still do the U-City 10 mile in March, followed by the Go! STL 1/2 marathon in April. That is the plan, anyway... wish me luck!