What an amazing month. After months of off season training-racing season is finally here! I admit I’ve got some big goals this year and so far things seem to be falling into place, but not without lots of hard work, dedication, and even a few tears. I have a horrible habit of having Very high expectations for myself and I expect nothing, but results!
This past month I had 3 races: the Hot Chocolate 15k, Rutgers Half Marathon, and Riverwinds Sprint Triathlon.
Let’s start with the 15k, I’ve done this race now 4 times. Not the most exciting course anymore, but nevertheless a good test of how 9.32 miles feels at race speed. Coach wanted a sub 8 min/mile and when I tell you I doubted him with all my might, I was dreading the race. I was planning on drowning my failure in the chocolate that you get at the end of the race. But I managed a 7:52 min/mile that lead me into a 1:13 finish and 4 min PR from the previous year! Ecstatic! The weather was great and it was a good day for me, but I worked that race and the chocolate.
The Rutgers Half Marathon-the last half I ran was a trail race for fun last summer. I’ve never ran Rutgers as I rarely venture to central Jersey, but the timing of this race was perfect and my coach, his wife, my mom and another team mate were racing it. Great team dinner the night before. The forecast was calling for rain, but it held out for us! Holy hills!!!! I totally did not expect that. I ran this race with my coach and mentally I was fighting things after about 4 miles in. Rarely did we talk, but having his support definitely helped because I might have stopped to walk, but we had some motivation along the way (hahaha-inside joke). Happy to see the finish line and huge PR from last year. 1:46 finish and 4th place AG-that just puts in perspective how tough that race was.
After Rutgers my right hamstring really started to give me trouble. Like serious pain! With two 70.3 in the near future that I am hoping to PR at, I sidelined myself. I stretched, rolled, iced, muscle rub, massaged, you name it I was trying it. With a week of low impact; swimming and cycling-no running, I was finally starting to feel better. But the stretching really has played an important factor in all of this. Don’t forget to stretch kids!
And finally, Sunday, the Riverwinds triathlon. This sprint tri brings an amazing draw of local talent from the tri-state area. Since its early in the season the swim is done in the pool and then bike and run outside. The swim is serpent style, which means you swim up one lane, go under the lane line and down the next until you reach the finish. The bike course is still open to cars, which makes things a little tricky while there are cops at most intersections stopping traffic. After a week of not running, it took my legs a solid mile to settle into the run. I knew I was moving, but I couldn’t tell at what pace and I really didn’t want to look at my garmin. I knew when I reached about half way I knew I had to try to pick up my pace and I did comfortably. Negative spits! Yes! Solid finish, a 2nd place finish, and mostly importantly a 6 min PR from last year!
May will be my last push of 70.3 training as Eagleman is the 2nd weekend in June. I’ve never raced here, but I am certainly looking forward to a new course, change of scenery, and racing besides some of my Savage teammates. I’m getting pumped up about Eagleman, but trying to stay focused on the road ahead of me. Thanks to everyone who has been supportive along the way. My schedules have been less than ideal, and just trying to work and complete pieces of my dissertation along the way is tough. You all know who you are and I can’t thank you enough for your support and love.