Ahhhh ... Monday Monday. Monday after freezing cold and ice Monday. March sure did come in like a lion, so I am holding onto hope that it will go out like a lamb. Tomorrow would be awesome.
But despite the freezing cold temps, I had a race this weekend! The Frostbite Five Miler in Ambler, PA. I've run this sucker a bunch and I like it because it's a true apples-to-apples comparison of performance since the course is the same. Only this year, I think it's an apples to oranges comparison with past races because coach had me do an 11 mile warm up. The big race (NJ State Marathon) is just 8 weeks away, so Saturday was just another long run day. Last year, I managed to break 40 minutes, which put my pace in the 7s, which thrilled me given how hilly it is, and I was hoping that this year I could do the same. That didn't happen, but I'm still pretty pleased with my performance.
Here's a little history of my times:
2012: 42:28 (8:30 pace)
2013: 40:51 (8:10 pace)
2014: 39:35 (7:45 pace)
2015: 40:30 (8:06 pace)
Sure, I didn't break 40 (so close!) and I didn't beat or tie my time from last year, but even with 11 miles in the tank, I managed to beat my 2013 time. That's not bad at all. And in order to keep it simple, I just ran two loops of the race course and then tacked on an additional mile at the end. My running buddy Tina met me at 6:45 (the race started at 9:00), so we were able to run that course twice and had about 20 minutes before the gun went off. Perfect.
It was ZOMG freezing when we started running our 11 miles at 6:45. I think the temp was about 15 degrees. It was so cold that my water bottle (that I wore on my fuel belt) froze. Still, it was a lot of fun and it's always good to see the course conditions. I forgot just how hilly this course really is!
What's funny is if I look at my splits from this and last year, there is a definite pattern, which says a lot about the course!
Mile 1: 7:38 [last year: 7:41]
Mile 2: 7:32 [last year: 7:48]
Miles 1-2 are not bad. There are a few uphills, but there's a lot of down. I felt like I was flying down these hills. I looked at my times and was like yes - yes - yes hold on to this pace. You can do it (put your back into it).
Mile 3: 8:15 [last year: 7:57]
Mile 4: 8:04 [last year: 7:46]
Mile 3 is a doozie - it's very uphill and the hills are long and really tough. Mile 4 isn't easy either. A bit of a break but still more hills. You can see how even last year my time slowed on mile 3 and rebounded, but not as fast as the early miles, on mile 4. I knew when I saw those 8s that I was in trouble. Because Mile 5 is the hardest of all. I tried to push and make up some time, but I was just done. My legs would not go any faster.
Mile 5: 8:26 [last year: 8:09]
What I remembered as a "gradual" uphill is actually a very challenging hill for a good 1/2 mile. I saw my watch and knew that a sub 40 wasn't happening, but if I ran hard, I could come close. You can see my face here - I wanted to finish strong:
The coolest thing about this race was that when I crossed the finish line, a woman in purple behind me came up to me, gave me a high five and then hugged me and said "THANK YOU! You paced me the entire race!" I had no clue. But damn ... that made me feel good. Who doesn't like to be a rabbit?
So, I'll consider this one a bit of an anomaly in terms of results. And I'll keep on keeping on with the training. I have to hope that when the weather turns, I'll feel better about running. Right now I feel a little off my game.
Just a head's up that there won't be a post on Wednesday. This weekend was cray. I have a bunch of half finished projects but had zero time (or inclination or motivation) to do them this weekend.
See you swoon,