|Yay for first birthday. Now where's the cake?|
Race day came and things didn't look to promising with Mother Nature. We had storms followed by a mini heat wave. I decided I was going to run to the start of the race since it wasn't too far from my place and I needed to get enough mileage in. I was a sweaty mess barely into my warm up run. That wasn't a good sign. Even worse I ran the back half of the course and saw how muddy and torn up the paths were. This was definitely not a day to go all out.
I got to the race site and found the first couple Wurst runners. We chatted as they stood in line for their packets. Others soon followed suit. We started drawing attention in our matching shirts. The Redeye took a group photo for us. The race director also had to get pictures of us for the Facebook site. I kept looking around for Jennifer but never found her.She had texted me, but I didn't know since I had my phone securely wrapped and tucked away after partially damaging it with sweat earlier in the week. Before we knew it we were off to the starting line, everyone splitting up to guess about where they should stand.
After the national anthem was sung we were off to the races... ok more of a trot to start. There were quite a few slower runners up front, but that happens at all races. I just waited for openings and darted through. Its not like I was going for a PR on this night. I feel kind of bad because I caught Maggie and Mo catching up next to me in the corner of my eye, but I saw a big opening so I darted through and was able to run my own pace after that. I actually ran a pretty solid 5K. It was warm and humid and I kept having to dodge puddles, but I kept a solid pace without over exerting myself. I debated picking up the pace a bit for the second half to see if I could give my PR a run for the money. Once we turned around we had a pretty solid headwind going to I just tucked in and cruised along. About a quarter mile before the finish I saw Declan, the wurst high fiver ever, along with his wife and Lil Smokie. After the high five I picked up my pace slightly to go for a strong finish. I wound up with a 22:52 which is actually my 2nd fastest 5K time ever and I finished 55th out of 500 runners. Not a bad day all factors considered. I think my 5K PR is going to drop sometime after the marathon :)
After gathering some post race goodies I started making my way over to where Declan was at. I spotted Maggie coming down the final stretch and yelled out to her as she finished. Once I reached Declan I quickly became the entertainment for Lil Smokie. She was playing around with me and decided I needed decoration in the form of leaves and dirt. I tried to teach her to wave and cheer on the runners, but she was more interested in going running with them. After cheering on the rest of the WRCE members we headed back to the finish to regroup. We got a couple more photos in before part of the group split to head home and the rest of us headed to Ranalli's for post race free beer and grub.
The day following the race I intended to get up and run 6 miles before heading to Michigan, yeah that didn't happen according to plan. Instead I just packed up and headed out. I did get up on Saturday and get my miles in. Its no fun running through a subdivision I learned. After my run I took a quick shower then spent another 75 minutes on the road to head to my sister's place. I spent most the day playing with my nephews and niece. Its been months since I've seen Brooklyn so she was shy at first, but by the end of the day her favorite activity was pound on Uncle Eric. I spent a lot of the day on my feet and active and could feel a bit of soreness creeping in which wasn't a good sign considering Sunday would be my long run. Getting up on Sunday I wasn't fully rested and I was slightly sore, but if you follow the Hanson method, this is the type of condition you want to run under so you can prepare your body for the rigors of the marathon. I also had to have a gameplan considering I didn't have drinking fountains on the route. I wound up putting water bottles in my parents driveway and wore my hydration belt and carried some gels. I ran loops that would take me back to my parents place every 4 miles to refill. This wasn't a very scenic run and I didn't realize how uneven sidewalks can get, but I made it through without quitting and stayed within my prescribed training pace. After the run I went to get milk to find only a little bit left in an expire carton. I wound up just downing 20oz of water and grabbing a coke to get some carbs. I then took a shower while my mom made me a bacon sandwich (mmmmm... bacon). After a brief rest it was off to the cider mill with my nephew. He had a friend with him and they were running all over the place. Needless to say my legs were done at this point.
|And stay down!|
I drove back to Chicago a bit on the late side on Sunday night. Nothing like spending 4 1/2 hours in the car after running 16 miles then spending a couple hours walking around a cider mill trying to keep up with a 5 and 6 year old. I feared for the worst on Monday morning. When I woke up I was surprising alright. When I headed downstairs I cringed and hesitated as I took the first step expecting some soreness and creaking as has become the norm, but there was nothing! I was shocked to say the least. I made it through the day without any soreness or stiffness, just some general fatigue. I headed out on Monday night for an easy 6 miler and overshot my prescribed pace by quite a bit, my legs had some pep to them. I took Tuesday off since I got home late from work, but tonight I decided to try mile repeats since I have slacked on speed and strength workouts and found that my legs were still feeling awesome. I was rocking the mile intervals at speed workout pace instead of strength pace, oops. I'm feeling a little more confident now that I'm peaking at the right time in my training. The slight aches and stiffness that goes along with training has been going away and I'm running as fast as ever. I've just got to get through a few more days and I can begin the taper.