I carpooled up to the race in Annapolis with 3 other members of my running club, which is the way to go, especially when it's super early, dark and raining. In all honesty, I could probably never drive myself anywhere and die a happy woman. I need to start playing the lotto so I can get a chauffeur...
Anywhoodle, back to the race. It was cold and misting rain when we arrived at Southern High School in Annapolis, MD.
|Everyone was sitting in their warm cars waiting for the start|
My teeth were chattering when I picked up my bib, but I knew that cooler weather is better for running and once I got going, I'd be warm. It was hard to ditch my jacket before the start, but I was glad for it later. There's nothing more annoying than trying to race with a jacket tied around your waist.
When I asked Alyssa to run this race with me, I promised that we'd keep a 9:20 average pace. Then I sneakily told her that we would just not look at our Garmins and run at a pace that felt good. My rationale for this is based on my running experience with Alyssa. I know she's a really strong runner and I also know she's a Garmin addict. I had complete confidence that if she didn't know our pace and we went based off of comfort level, we'd kick ass.
|I'm smiling because we haven't started running yet|
We chatted our way through the first 3 miles and provided entertainment to all surrounding runners. In a race that banned headphones, we have to do what we can to help out! We pretty much talked the whole time except for the parts on the main road (the cars are too loud) and the end when we both just wanted to concentrate on finishing.
The course was mostly on country roads with rolling hills. I'm a fan of the short, steep hills, but I hate the gradual, long hills. This race was an out and back and it wasn't just our imagination, it was actually more downhill on the way out than the way back. The best part of the out and back is getting a chance to see the lead runners. Also, when you turn around, I get a huge mental boost from the thought of "home stretch!" even if it's still many miles until "home".
Alyssa only tried to cry uncle one time and when I asked her how she felt running-wise, she said "Neutral" (lucky I didn't ask how she felt Kara-wise or the answer might have been "Negative"), so we kept going at my pace. After mile 13, I noted out loud that our half marathon time was 1:52:02 (new PR for me!), and that seemed to light a fire under Alyssa and she started hauling ass.
The last 2 miles seemed completely uphill and I was really feeling tired, but I couldn't let Alyssa down, so I kept up. We finally saw the school again and after a sharp turn around a corner, we hit the finish line! My Garmin stats were 16.25 miles in 2:17:58, which is a 8:29 average pace! That's a pretty fast 9:20 average pace race! I knew Alyssa had an awesome race inside of her, I just had to enforce the standard of awesome for her running. :)
I walked through 2 aid stations to get some Gatorade and a cookie (it's like they knew I was coming), and I also stopped to help a lady catch her loose dog around mile 11. She was playing fetch with her dog in her backyard and didn't know a race was going on and then her dog decided it wanted to run a metric marathon too. I wanted to make sure she caught her dog, so that trumped whatever time I lost helping her. The dog was a wiggly Yellow Lab that reminded me of Peanut, so that was an influential factor. Now, if it had been a cat....
They had a great food spread at the finish, but it only took about 2 minutes until I was freezing cold again. We did manage to take a picture, but I had to put my jacket back on:
|Did I mention that it was really windy? Excuse my hair...|
We waited in the car while the award ceremony went on and my running club buddy Perry got 3rd in his age group (he averaged 6:44 miles!) and got a plant as a prize:
|It's a good thing I didn't win one, I kill plants just by looking at them|
Overall, I really liked this race! You can't argue with the cost (5 dollars??) and it was so well supported. Each aid station had a ton of volunteers and I have to give them a lot of credit for standing around in that weather! I highly recommend the metric marathon distance, it's just a half marathon with a 5K at the end!
Back to Saturday, I wanted to do an easy recovery run since I did 10 fast miles on Friday (1:25 for 10 miles is a new record for me!). I did 4 miles outside with the baby and the dog, but on my way back into my neighborhood, a loose German Shepherd came running down its driveway with its hair up and growling and it proceeded to nip Peanut in the butt. I kicked the dog back with my kung fu skills and yelled at it (never underestimate the power of a strong yell to deflect a loose dog). The dog's owner came out pretty quickly, but he was sipping his coffee and really causal about the whole thing. I told him that his dog bit mine and he just shrugged and said "I'm sure he didn't mean it". I knew he didn't "mean it" because Peanut wasn't actually hurt, just scared, but that doesn't excuse his dog's aggression. I was SO pissed about it that I ran 2 more miles on my treadmill when I got back inside and told my husband what happened. I also used my anger to notify my home owner's association of the incident with an angry letter (complete with references to the covenant we all had to sign when buying a house in this neighborhood), so hopefully that will help. If it ever happens again, I'm calling the police. I know it's not neighborly, but neither is letting your aggressive dog outside with no fence and no supervision.
Wow, I'm angry again just writing it out! Peanut is like my kid, so hearing her yelp in pain gets me very angry. If the owner had apologized, it would have gone a long way, but I guess responsible dog ownership isn't a universal concept. Now, if that dog had come near the stroller, it would have been a different story. Don't tell Peanut. :)
I finished up week 10 of JFK training with 60 miles. This was a week full of humid, hot runs and freezing cold runs. I'm hoping for more moderate weather this week!
|6 miles used to be a long run for me|
|What do you mean, "NO NO NO!"? I'm confused.|
|These plastic things are like the most fun things EVER Mommy|
|Even Peanut wants a piece of the action!|
What you have done in the loose dog situation?
Do you think PRs count if it's not a race? This past week I beat my 10 mile PR and my half marathon PR, but neither was a race (well, the half marathon PR happened in a race, but the race didn't end there).