Thursday, September 27, 2018

Two Weeks, Two Races (Part 1)

     This summer I've made steady progress with my running. I've been running about 20 miles per week, which has been my target. My main goal has been to enjoy running and have fun! There were a few weeks of intense wildfire smoke this summer, so a lot of my summer miles where actually done inside on a treadmill.

     At one point in July, I was feeling super ambitious, so I signed up for a handful of races when the prices were still low, without any training plan in mind. I have a couple of races per month for the rest of the year. The last two weekends, I ran two completely different events.

Race Recap: Race for a Soldier 10 Miler

     I've run this race twice before, but originally it was a half-marathon, and they changed the course to 10 miles, which I was excited about. We were going to be in town to watch my grandma while my dad went to his high school reunion. Plans changed (a very long story), but I still found myself at the start line at 7:45 am.   

Map of the 10 mile course.

     The first part of the race was downhill from the Gig Harbor YMCA down to Borgen BLVD, then downtown near the waterfront. The first 4 miles did not have much elevation gain, so I kept about a 10 minute mile.

     Next, we went up Crescent Valley Hill, which was the most challenging part of the course. Miles 5-7 had roughly 100 feet of elevation gain per mile, so I slowed my pace to about 11 minutes per mile. I started to feel a bit of exhaustion at this point.

     There was thunder and rain on the forecast, which made me nervous, but the weather ended up being ok. It was raining on and off during the race, but it was never raining very hard. At one point, around mile 6, I started getting cold, so I pushed myself harder to try to stay warm.

      We headed back towards the YMCA at mile 7, and it was mostly small hills, then downhill from there. I was still feeling pretty strong. Mile 8 we began weaving around through housing developments, so I wasn't sure where I was for the most part anymore. The last 3 miles I picked up the pace to a 10 minute mile again, and finished strong.

The finish line. (I'm the barely visible person running under the flag)

     This is the first year that this course didn't completely kick my butt! I ran up ALL the hills. My official time was 1:47:07, 10:43 minutes per mile on average.

    I'm pretty happy with how I ran, though honestly I felt like I could have pushed myself a bit harder. This run was just for fun though, so really I'm happy that it went well, and I felt healthy and strong afterwards. I wasn't even sore the next day and continued with my regular running schedule.

After finishing, holding the small dog-tag they give out as a memento. 

     After the run, Craig and I celebrated with breakfast at Kelly's restaurant in downtown Gig Harbor. Both Craig and I got waffles that tasted a bit like birthday cake. :)

Exploring the docks downtown after the race.