So I ran a couple races this weekend. Getting to be old hat because back to back races are fast becoming one of my favorite things–even though it seriously messes with my routines. But I LOVE racing. I LOVE it. It lights me up and makes me happy. To be fair, it usually makes me cranky first, but I’m happy when I’m out there, and when it’s over I can’t wait to do it again. Even when it hurts. (Like right now.)
I felt really good going into this weekend. I’d had some bad training runs, but figured out a couple of things, and I was just feeling it this weekend. I could just tell it was going to be a good weekend of racing. So Saturday morning I had the Pittsburgh Pirates Home Run 10k–running around the North Shore and finishing across home plate at PNC park, you get a medal. They had me at medal, honestly, I’m a sucker for the bling.
Pirates gear, repping the black and gold, ready to run. My 10k PR was 1:10:41, set last December at The Christmas Story 10k. I did the math and knew that if I could keep my average pace split under 11, I would PR. I started with the 10:30 pacers, but didn’t stay with them for long. And I was where I should be mile after mile. Things got a little rough around miles 4 and 5–I had a wicked stitch and had to walk a couple times, but I managed to pull it together and finish strong. I was originally thinking maybe I’d pull a 1:09:something. But as I entered the stadium I knew it would be much better than that. I ended up pulling out 1:05:07–a PR by more than 5 minutes!
Couldn’t celebrate for too long, though, because after I collected my medal I had to hightail it out of there so I could change, pack, and we could head to packet pickup for Sunday’s race. Drove to Ohio, picked up our packets, had some lunch, visited my dad, hung out with our friends (who graciously hosted us for the night) and tried to relax before the next event.
The next morning was COLD. MUCH colder than we’d anticipated, though I was optimistic that it would warm up before the race actually started. Sunday we did the 10-mile Drop, a point to point race that starts in Chardon, Ohio and ends at Fairport Harbor, Ohio. We parked at the finish and were bussed to the start where it started to warm up (and so did we). The race is billed as downhill, but its in Northeast Ohio, so that basically means flat with a slight downhill grade. PR material, though if you know me you know that I’m not super fond of flat courses, I much prefer some topography because I’m good at using the downhills to my advantage. Still, I chose this race, and I felt good going in. Same deal as Saturday, if I could stay ahead of 11 minute miles, I’d definitely PR. I started off great. The first half I was more than on track. I slowed down some in the back half, but I’d made enough time up in the first half that I was still on pace to PR. My record was sitting at 1:52:04. I would have been happy with anything less, but I really wanted 1:50:something. I was struggling in the last mile, I was sure I could PR but doubted I could get 1:50. I wanted to walk at one point and then I said NO. Just go for it, see what happens. I ended up coming in at 1:49:41.
I pushed hard both days. I was sore on Sunday from Saturday, and I’m sore as I type this now. It’s the most delightful sore in the world, I’m super proud of myself and how hard I worked. The Pittsburgh Half Marathon is 2 weeks away, and I have a steep time goal set for myself. I don’t know if I can do it, but after this weekend I know that I will do everything I can to get as close as possible. But today, I rest.
Happy Monday, friends.