It’s been almost a month since my last race. I’m not sure I really like the marathon distance: the half is really attainable, but still a challenge. The marathon just took a lot out of me, physically to be sure, but mentally too. Which is not to say I haven’t been working out, but when I’ve had the opportunity to race, I’ve declined. Then there is the small thing of a late-autumn vacation to celebrate the inlaws 50th (50!!!) wedding anniversary.
10-days on what is essentially a floating buffet and inclusive drink package. A beautiful caribbean cruise over an extended period of time, but that does two things: makes you a little soft, and acclimates you to caribbean weather. Which is not New England weather. Today, Thanksgiving Day, was 12-degrees at race time. It’s November 22 and it’s 12-degrees. Seriously?
So the 40-odd miles I put on the odometer on the treadmill did help mitigate weight gain, but did nothing for my hill training. And Shrewsbury, Massachusetts is not flat. Needless to say, I was feeling a little less than prepared, but at least I knew it had the potential to be a clusterfluff.
The first two miles of this course are down hill. The next three are up. Guess which two were my fastest. It’s a super course in a super handsome part of the town. It was almost a pleasure that it was cold out – because it started off downhill, it kind of made for the lack of a warm up. Now almost exactly at the 2-mile mark, the UP started. The third mile was as steep going up as the second was going down. 85′ in gain vs. 86′ in loss. That mile wiped me out pretty good. I did the first two miles with a 7:41 pace. That third was a 9:00. I ran the rest of the race with a 8:37 – mile 4 had 11′ of gain, essentially flat, and mile 5 had 47′. Both were 8:37. Normally, that wouldn’t have been a deal breaker, but I really did feel underprepared after a month off from anything much more than treadmills.
All in all, it wasn’t the horror show I expected, but it was cold. I normally like cooler weather– my body isn’t expending energy cooling itself off — but when it’s so cold, I feel all those places where the blood flow isn’t quite what it should be. I feel good that this felt good.
Now, onto Thanksgiving!
WHich are unofficial because I apparently don’t show up in the results. Grrrrr.