My training for this race was not strong. I was injured during the Philly Marathon and had a very slow re-entry into running. While writing this, I went back to look at the running miles I managed to get under my feet. They are:
January: 2-8 (3.17), 9-15 (3.01), 16-22 (4.23), 23-29 (3.10). That gives me a total of about 14 miles for the entire month of January which was the first month I ran at all after the injury in November. I was also battling with PT for my hamstring and I promised my physical therapist that I’d be cautious with my return to running. I made good on that promise! The first two weeks of February I didn’t run at all, and then I managed to get 3-7 miles per week in the last couple of weeks. As March hit, I had an initial week of 17.26 miles, followed by 8.4, 0, and 19.79.
This led into April 2 when we were supposed to run the Skunk Cabbage Half. Luckily this race also has a 10k option and we chose to switch to that level. It felt nice to make that move. I wasn’t trained at all for a half, and while Scott could have done fine, we knew we had this race coming up in two weeks. The 6.2 of the Skunk felt challenging enough that I wondered about how I’d do with this, but I reminded myself that I had plenty of years of running to fall back on, my hamstring was solid now and I really should be ok. I would just have to accept that it was a year to finish the race, not to race.
The evening before, our family was playing Monopoly Deal, and discussing music for the race. I didn’t have a playlist yet, and decided I needed to take the time to make one. It was great fun to select music and it gave me something to look forward to listen to on the course.
Before the race
Scott and I used to drive up the night before for this race and enjoy a hotel stay. I’ve run it solo when we were already in Syracuse for a dance competition for Elizabeth, Scott has run it alone as well. Both the times we ran alone the day was cold and snowy! He ran the race in 2016; the year that they fondly nicknamed “Syracrazy” because it was literally a blizzard! The weather conditions made my 2015 solo run look positively balmy and they were anything but. In 2019 we did this race as a family which was SO much fun!
Today, we got up early and we got ready quietly before hopping in the car for the drive to the OnCenter. We routinely get up at 5 am now, and it wasn’t that much different to get up a little before 4. In my early years of running, I used to be so scared to have to get up really early when an event demanded it. But today, it felt peaceful and lovely. We connected in the car as we listened to music and talked about our prior runnings of this race.
Soon we were arriving to the parking area which was very well managed and we were off to stretch and wait for the start. The energy was wonderful, and because it was a warm day the waiting time was pretty relaxing. Of course that meant that running would be hot, but it was so nice that I chose not to worry about the heat.
Pre-race in the parking garage
And we’re off!
This is the 10th running of the event, so the energy was wonderful!! They celebrated some folks that had run all 10 times which was inspiring. We wandered into the OnCenter and even participated in the Orange Theory warm-up exercises!!
A music snafu
After one last bathroom trip, Scott and I headed to the start line. He lined up closer to the front than I did, and I didn’t try to start my music until I was set up in the start area. I was wearing my Shokz headphones and with all the noise at the start, I couldn’t tell if they were turning on. I panicked and called Scott to tell him that my music wasn’t working. Thank goodness he was close by and he helped me confirm that they were on and the music was working. I was certain for just a minute that I had forgotten to charge them and I’d be running a music free race today!
Grateful for my music!
The gun went off and I just settled into a comfortable pace. I loved cruising along with other people, while also enjoying my music and being in my own head. It was a lovely day for a run even if it was a little hot, and the course was well-supported. My mind wandered all over the place and my focus for the pace was to just be comfortable. I promised myself I would not care about my pace, instead I would focus on running strong and happily. I was able to keep this promise to myself and the entire 13.1 miles felt really fun!
Toward the finish line!
Scott and I took a photo, saw some friends and gave a quick wander around the finish area. I got my favorite post race food - pizza! Scott grabbed a bagel. Soon, we were back in the car for our drive home to enjoy the rest of the unseasonably warm day.
Official finish photo
Overall time: 2:05:09
Age 50-54: 20 out of 123
Gender: 255 out of 975
5K split: 29:46
10K split: 59:28
15K split: 1:28:59