Yes, you read that right. This is going to be a three-part race recap because I had a pretty busy end to my April. I’ll try to keep it short & sweet… but some pretty exciting things happened!
Spring Sunset Training Series 5k: I almost wasn’t going to go to this race, but I said if I could get out of work in time I would be there. Then I almost didn’t make it because I couldn’t find the place! Luckily for me, my friend Christine helped me out and I made it there. We had talked earlier in the day and I asked her if she would pace me for my 5k to try to get a PR since she was running the 10k and the course was two loops. It was a small little “training race” with mostly the speedsters, many of whom are good friends of mine. We laughed and had a great time. It was perfect weather, other than the wind blowing in our face on the way back. I somehow kept up with Christine, and although I slowed down in the second mile, it wasn’t by much. I ended up getting not only my fastest mile (10:10), but also my fastest 5k (31:53)! I am getting SO close to that elusive 30 minute 5k. Afterwards I enjoyed my favorite Soft Parade and some noms at Buffalo Wild Wings with some of the guys.
14 Mile Training Run: On the Saturday following the Spring Sunset Training Series 5k, I had a long run on my training plan. I usually do my long runs with my friends, but this time I was running solo. It would be my longest solo training run… EVER. The last time I had attempted a 14 mile run on my own, I had failed miserably. So this run was intimidating before it even started. But the weather was beautiful and I was feeling great. I relied on my trusty 2:1 run/walk intervals and headed out. I ran some familiar routes, but also found a new route that gave me a little bit of hills. I stopped at home a little past 7 miles to use the restroom – my first 7+ miles were around a 12:30 pace. When I took off again from my house, I was surprised to see my first mile go by in under 12 minutes. Then I kept a very consistent pace and did mile 9, 10 and 11 at a 12:01 pace. I managed a 10 mile PR, and then with lots of hard thinking (because math is hard when you’re running) realized that if I kept pushing, I would get a half marathon PR too! Even if I slowed down! But I didn’t… mile 12 was done in 11:35. I told myself again that I could slow down and I would STILL get a PR. Mile 13 ended up getting done in 11:22! I conquered 13.1 miles in 2:39:05, a 4 minute 36 second improvement from my last PR! I ended up finishing my 14 miles in 2:50:44, which was actually faster than my first half marathon. This training run gave me unbelievable confidence and strength. I was no longer completely terrified of my 25k coming up in less than a month!
Freedom 5k: My “sole sister” Brittany invited our running group to run a 5k that honored her late fiance Robert who gave the ultimate sacrifice serving our country. Of course we were more than happy to come support her and run this race! Once again I was chasing down that 30 minute 5k, although I was okay even with just a 31 minute 5k (10 minute miles) or at least a PR. My hubby and his friend Mark ran this race with us, too, and once again my friend Christine was happy to help me get my PR. The weather was once again beautiful (we have had a pretty nice spring in Michigan – minus a few random freezing cold days after really warm ones!) and I felt good about pushing myself. As Christine and I started, I really took off, and she had to get me to slow down. I was pushing a sub 10 minute pace at first and we both knew that this was a challenging course – we just had no idea how hard it would be! Not far into the race I realized that my shoe was untied. UGH! Isn’t that the worst?! Once I got my shoe tied up again, we took off, and man… it was rough. I mean… just look at this elevation chart!
My splits ended up being 10:16 10:12 and 10:14 – almost negative splits – with a hard push at the end for the last tenth of a mile at a 7:35 pace! And yes, I ended up getting my PR – 31:29.9!
Go the Extra Mile for Covenant Kids: This race last year was my first ever half marathon and the first race that I ever ran with my friend Staci. This year I decided not to run the race but I wanted to go and support my friends. The weather forecast was NOT very favorable for racing – it looked like it was going to be cold and rainy all day! When I woke up in the morning and heard the rain pouring down, I seriously considered staying home. I kept talking about running up to the race and then back home and then my husband said, “I can take you up there if you want.” Well, that sealed the deal. So Ken dropped me off and I found my friend Nick. We hung out waiting for the half marathon finishers – our friend Chris, aka “Sizzle” ended up finishing 2nd overall. Speedy! Our friend Sarah finished her first half with the help of our friend Christine. Right after they finished I headed out to find my friends Staci, Joyce and Aimee. This was Staci’s third half marathon, Joyce’s second, and Aimee’s first! Somehow the rain was very light, pretty much mist, throughout the whole race. I found the girls and ran the last mile-ish with them to the finish. Aimee met her goal of a sub 3 hour half! After the race I joined some of the girls for coffee and donuts at Tim Hortons and it started pouring again. My friends had some good luck with that weather – it may not have been ideal, but it sure beat running in the pouring rain. I love being a “race mom” and supporting my friends – especially at a race that holds a special place in my heart like Covenant Kids!