Morning Workout- 10 Miles at 7:30 pace
Evening Workout- 4 miles at an easy pace (to be done later)
Last week was not at all the training week I had hoped for. Monday and Tuesday a fever held me in bed. Wednesday I said, enough is enough, and slogged (slow jogged) a five mile loop in my neighborhood. The next day I was able to grind out a weak 60 minutes worth of work but Friday my short run felt surprisingly good so I drove to Running, Etc. and registered for the Neptune 8K race. I’ve done this race the last two years and it’s always a fun one. Even though I wasn’t feeling up to par, the worst that would happen was a nice 8K’s worth of tempo pace. Basically I was desperate to try to salvage some good out of the training week.
After warm up we lined up to one of the most interesting starts I’ve seen in awhile. On the left of us was a teeny tiny (less that a foot tall) cannon and I thought “That’s cute”. The “cute” cannon went off so LOUD that the entire front 3-4 rows of runners jumped backwards in surprise. I still haven’t decided if I love or hate the cannon. That little thing packed a concentrated power punch of fake gun fire.
Like normal, I didn’t wear a watch. Garmins are fantastic for pacing purposes but for me personally, I have a bad habit of checking it too often so now I try to race by feel. We had a horrendous wind to contend with and groups of us ran tightly packed to try to block it a bit. It was pointless though between the tall ocean front hotels; the strong wind was swirling. At the first turn around I found myself as the 3rd place female but I also knew I was feeling great. I stayed relaxed and didn’t rush things while I ran with Steve and Andrew for a bit(Pic Below).
There was one more turn where I made my move into 2nd Female and 6th Overall. The last 1.5ish miles of the race would be into an atrocious head wind. Obviously when you move up a place, you don’t want to lose that place so my little legs were fighting to keep the 3rd place girl off of me and the wind was waking up my lingering cough that I thought was gone. I had no idea how close she was and while normally that kind of excitement would be exhilarating, the wall of headwind just made it plain miserable. Andrew passed me and I was able to hang onto his side for a bit (before he took off ahead) to finish in 29:38 (5:57 pace) as 2nd Female, 7th overall. This was 23 seconds slower than last year on the same course. Running slower a year later is my idea of a punch in the gut but I can truthfully say the wind was INSUFFERABLE so I’m going to chalk this race up as a successful effort to shake whatever was ailing me out of my system.
Hopefully I will have a better idea of where my fitness is at next weekend as I race the Crawlin Crab Half. It is the last half marathon I will run before the Philadelphia Marathon in seven weeks. In marathon training, seven weeks is a lifetime. There are still plenty of gains to be made. My flu/whatever it was, was a tiny setback but thankfully it is getting out of my system now instead of four weeks from now. I’ll be making an appointment for my follow up iron level recheck again soon too. Take care everyone and enjoy your week!