2016 Memorial Day 4 Miler

Happy Tuesday, friends! I hope you all had a wonderful long weekend.

As my husband and I were getting ready for bed last night, we kind of looked around the house and realized we didn’t really get anything we had planned to get done this weekend. I worked from home on Friday and then we had the long weekend – we had intentions to do massive cleaning – both inside and outside the home, go through toys in the playroom, get caught up with laundry (and folding). And very little of that got done.

Instead, the weekend was filled with lots and lots of family time. We spent 8+ hours over my sister’s home in NJ on Saturday, 3 hours mid-day with my sister and her family on Sunday, several hours with them again Sunday evening, and then 5 hours with my entire family on Monday over my other sister’s home.

Below are just a few snapshots of the time together:

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Snuggles with my adorable 4.5 month old nephew!

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Waiting for it to get dark (~9pm) so the fireworks could start!

 

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Front row seats for fireworks show!

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First pool time of the year (the water was FREEZING!)

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After a decent speed session last week (and my first since Boston), I decided to run in Monday’s Memorial Day 4 miler. I knew it wasn’t going to be the time I had initially hoped for, but wanted to run hard and at least get an idea of where I am right now. However, coach and I agreed to not taper at all for this race – so I ran Wednesday – Sunday, including speed on Thursday and 10 miles (currently my “long” run) on Saturday. I knew my legs would be a bit fatigued but it wasn’t a goal race and my focus for the time being is just getting back into a good routine of weekly mileage.

I feel like a broken record because I feel like I say this after each local race I run, but I love local races. From the logistics to the camaraderie (the more local races I run, the more familiar I am getting with local runners), local races are definitely where my heart is right now.

We left our home around 7:40am – my husband and boys dropped me off about a mile from the start/bib pick up area. I jogged the mile, grabbed my bib and then did another mile warmup. For the next 15 or so minutes, I stretched and hung out at the start – chatting with some of the other runners who I recognized or knew.

At 9am, the race started. The forecast had called for heavy rain but there had been none that morning. And almost to the moment the race started, the sky opened up and it was a torrential downpour. The rain lasted for maybe 5-7 minutes but the humidity stayed. It was upper 70s with 95%+ humidity (and 70+ dewpoint). Not ideal racing conditions but it’s summer, so what do we really expect?

I didn’t have pace goals or ranges for this race – instead, the goal was to ease in to the race and finish strong. There was definitely no easing in. I took off – and paid for it later in the race. I knew I was going waaaay faster than I should have – but it’s so much harder for me to practice patience in short races.

The course is almost 2 miles south along a street called Father Capadano Blvd. You make a left and loop around and run the last 2 miles back to the same area – except you are on a paved road next to the beach (for a mile) and the boardwalk for the last mile.

Just before the 1 and 3 mile marks, I saw my husband and boys – which helped my spirits briefly.

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Pre-race (no rain)

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By the 1.5 mile mark, I knew I was in trouble. I was already slowing down and couldn’t imagine continuing at that pace for much longer. Much of the last 2.5 miles was a total sufferfest – my legs felt like they weighed a ton and my breathing was labored.

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After a too-fast first mile, I slowed down during mile 2 and even more during mile 3. I picked it back up again for the last mile – but honestly, it was more a function of just wanting the race to be over. The faster I run = the faster I finish.

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But rather than beat myself up about the poor pacing or how awful I felt for 85% of the race, I am celebrating that I am racing again. It feels so amazing to feel good enough again to run, let alone race. IMG_2129After finishing, I got to hang out with some of my favorite runners – girls that I don’t get to see often enough because of work, families and life!

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For those not familiar with this race, you can learn more about it here. I definitely recommend it to anyone in the local area – it’s a fun atmosphere with a good amount of spectator support along the course and at the finish!

Did you race this weekend? Any upcoming races?

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    5 thoughts on “2016 Memorial Day 4 Miler

    1. I am with you on loving the local races lately! And the short distance after training for half-full marathons is brutal! I’ve only done one 5k so far this spring and it felt SO hard! Here’s to hoping our paces will match our expectations with a few more under our belt!
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    2. Look at those strong legs!! Nice job getting back into the race world. I don’t race very often, but I did a half a couple of weeks ago and I’m gearing down for Seattle’s Rock n Roll Marathon in June. YIKES. I’m glad you got to meet up with some friends. And your nephew is adorable. :)

    3. Michelle, Is your coach for hire? I suffered through the Buffalo Marathon this past weekend. I missed my goal by 26 minutes, and was happy it wasn’t more. Lol. The weather was terrible. Congrats on your race! Looks like your kids had fun!

    4. I love when you run local races cuz I get to see my friend <3 and the cutest cheering squad ever. Thanks for the cheers (AJ and Ryan) and for the pictures Paul. xoxoxo

    5. Sufferfest. Awesome description! :o) Been there, looking for a nice place to throw up that won’t wreck someone else’s use of the park.
      Glad you’re feeling like your badarse self again. Thanks for inspiring me to work harder and aim high.