Milwaukee Lakefront Marathon Recap

The Milwaukee Lakefront Marathon was my 3rd marathon and it was the first time that I ran this race.  My goal for the race was to pace well and not experience a big slowdown in the second half of the race, particularly in the last 3-6 miles.  My previous marathon PR was 4:25.  After some deliberation, I set my target pace for 9:50, about a 4:18 time goal.  I had the feeling I could run faster (my goal pace runs were done at 9:40 pace) but decided that being conservative and making this a positive race was the way to go.

The marathon is the crown jewel of the Badgerland Striders, a local running group.  Until a few years ago it was Milwaukee’s only marathon.  October in Milwaukee is generally perfect marathon weather.  The course is fairly flat, the only significant hill being a downhill.  Total elevation was 405 ft on my Garmin with 603 ft of elevation loss.  Net loss, you can’t beat that!  The course is point-to-point.

Packet pick-up at the Italian Community Center was smooth, there was a small expo.  Race swag included a long sleeve tech tee.  Race morning starts early, with shuttle buses to the start of the race at Grafton High School.  The school is open so runners can wait in the cafeteria before the race.  Warm gear can be kept on and deposited into a UPS truck while headed to the start line.  The race increased the number of runners to 3,000 this year but the race was not full.  Porta-potty lines were pretty long at the race start.  One bathroom was open indoors.

The race start is fairly congested and the pacers were very close to each other.  My plan was to start and stay in front of the 4:20 pacer.  A few feet separated the 4:10 and 4:20 pace groups.  The first 2 miles are a net downhill so my plan was to run a bit faster than the goal 9:50, but a controlled pace.  I caught up to the 4:10 pace group so I moved to the side and slowed down.

Drizzle had started as we rode the buses to the start of the race and the first 20 miles of the race were in drizzle and light rain.  The starting temperature was close to 60 degrees, so the rain felt good.  I felt OK, but not particularly strong.  As the race went on I was surprised that I continued feeling good.  I was tracking at an average pace of 9:45 but my Garmin was slightly ahead at the mile markers.  The 4:20 pace group was close behind me and even passed me at a water stop.

The race starts in a suburban neighborhood then heads onto some country roads.  Most of the course is not closed, there are cones to separate the runners from traffic, most of the roads were just one lane in either direction.  Though it is called the Lakefront Marathon you don’t actually see the lake until the end of the race, when you head onto Lake Drive and also see the spectacular lakefront homes.  Spectators were plentiful despite the rain.  Our names were on our bibs, so cheering was done with our name.  Volunteers were also plentiful and were very friendly.  Water stops had the usual water and Gatorade with 2 stops also offering gels.

I walk through water stops since I cannot drink and run.  I stopped at every water stop except the final two.  I was able to easily speed up after the stops.  I was always passing people and kept the 9:45 average pace.  I knew I would have to speed up eventually, my Garmin was still tracking ahead, but I figured I would save it until the end.  There is a slight uphill at mile 22 and 23 and I knew that after that it was pretty flat, with the big downhill at mile 24.  I had run this part of the course often so it was great, familiar feeling.  I felt surprisingly strong and started to push the pace heading to the downhill.  I finally lost the pace group.  My final miles were 9:25, 9:35, and 9:37.  I ended with a time of 4:16:56 and an average pace of 9:48.  The most important thing was the race was fun!  I never thought I would say that about a marathon.  🙂

The finish line area was very muddy due to the rain.  Collecting checked bags was quick and easy.  A small changing tent was provided.  The post-race snacks were in a paper bag, which was handy.  Beer was free for runners and spectators.  Some hot food was also available for purchase.  Shuttle buses were provided for the short ride back to the parking at the Italian Community Center.

Overall this was a very enjoyable race.  It’s very well organized, with a small city of volunteers.  I can’t count the number of times that spectators cheered for me by name.  It’s a great feeling!

Time: 4:16:56, 9:48 pace

AG: 44/120

Gender: 394/1001

Overall: 1031/2032

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HFM Maritime Half Marathon Review

The half marathon in Manitowoc in June was my 8th half marathon.  My previous PR was 1:59:45 at Fox Valley in September.  I knew that I was in better shape for this run but I wasn’t sure how much better. So my plan was to start conservatively around a 9 minute mile pace and see where I ended up.  🙂

We arrived in Manitowoc Saturday afternoon for the Sunday race.  Packet pickup was at the Maritime Museum.  We parked right in front of the museum.  The volunteers were very friendly and helpful.  Race swag included a cotton tee, running socks and a GU packet.  I now have a lot of tech race tees, so the cotton tee actually was appreciated.  The shirts also were sized for women which was nice.  The museum is actually larger than it looks and there are some interesting displays in it as well as a US submarine outside that can be toured.

We stayed at the Baymont Inn right next to the museum, formerly the Best Western.  The hotel is on the course so it is ideal for spectators.  I had a craving for Prime Rib, so we had dinner at the Harborside restaurant, close to the hotel.  The restaurant itself is very casual and not especially nice in terms of decor, but the food was good and priced well.  I was very lucky with the weather, Saturday it was in the 90’s and very humid.  Sunday the highs were in the 60’s and more typical of the weather at that time of year.

Parking was plentiful at the race start at UW Manitowoc.  The full marathon and marathon relay started 15 minutes before the half.  The race course starts on neighborhood streets and makes it way to a bike path on the lakefront.  The path is about 3 people wide but passing is not difficult due to the small size of the race.  There are no pacers for the race.   Both courses are out and back.  The course is mostly flat, there were no significant hills on the half marathon course.  We had a slight headwind going out.

There are not a lot of spectators but they are loud.  A lot of cars also honked as they drove down the street.  Water stations were well stocked and were manned by friendly and enthusiastic volunteers.

My friend Sally decided to also run the half marathon.  She didn’t tell me ahead of time but she planned to run the race with me.  She is normally faster than I am but had come back from an injury at the beginning of the year.   I don’t usually run with anyone but it worked out well.  We were on the same wavelength and ran side by side the entire race.  Our finishing time was exactly the same, down to the second.

I felt really good for the entire race.  I knew that my pace was well below a 2 hour half.  The last few miles were hard but it was nice to have Sally at my side.  The finish line is a slight downhill sprint down a grassy slope.   We finished in 1:56:32, an 8:53 pace.  Due to the small size of the race my time was also good enough for 3rd in my age group (there were ten year age groups).  Sally finished 2nd in her age group.  We received pins for the AG finish as well as finisher medals.

Food was included in the race price, a hot dog/hamburger/brat, soda or beer, and an ice cream sandwich.  It was nice to sit in the grass at the lakefront and watch other runners finish.  The school was open and the facilities could be used for a shower after the race.

Overall I enjoyed this race quite a bit.  The race was small but well organized and the course was scenic.  The out and back course was nice, other runners cheered us on as we passed them.  If I had a complaint, it would be a small one.  There was a storm before the race and there was some debris on the course.  It was in the beginning of the course so to avoid it you had to run into the street.  Not a big issue, as there was not a lot of traffic.  I would consider coming back to do the full marathon.

Time: 1:56:32

Age Group: 3/31

Gender: 20/118

Overall: 59/190

2016HFM4

 

Winter Running (For Beginners)

A topic that always seems to come up on various running forums during the winter is what to wear for winter running.  While everyone is different, here are some of my tips.  Keep in mind that I live in Wisconsin and I am a skinny woman that is normally cold unless it is 70+ degrees.  🙂

If the temperature is gradually changing then it will give your body time to adjust.  As long as you keep running as the temps start dropping, it will not be a shock to your system.  However, if you stop running outdoors when it’s below 40 and then try to run a 5K race when it’s in single digits, you will feel very cold!  Your lungs may feel like they are burning and your feet feel frozen.  It seems obvious, but it’s something to keep in mind.  The coldest weather that I have run and raced in is single digits with negative wind chill in the -10 degree range.

I have found that insulated/windproof clothing is the key.  If it is sunny with no wind then it’s actually very comfortable.  Brand names that I like are Athleta (for women), Under Armour, and Nike.  If you are shopping online then look specifically for insulated clothing or Polartec.  There are many different ideas about what winter means.  🙂   If you get a good insulated top or jacket then that is most likely all that you will need.  You just need to layer appropriately for the weather (long sleeve, short sleeve).  Some people like wool underlayers but I am too warm if I wear wool under an insulated top.  This is an individual thing, but make sure the base layers are wicking.  An insulated vest is also a good purchase.  It will keep your core warm but allow your arms to breathe.

 

Sierra Trading Post is an excellent online shopping site for running gear.  Make sure you get on their mailing list for additional discount coupons.  I purchased Craft winter running tights there and they are my absolute favorite for winter running.  They are warm and comfortable and they do not slide down my waist as I run.  I recently purchased a second pair.  I have worn them in single digits with negative wind chill and have not needed to wear a second layer. I also purchased a pair of Lole running pants and a Lole winter jacket for a great price.  Normally winter running clothes tend to be pricey.  The good news is that they last awhile.

Another necessity is a neck/face covering.  I like the Buff neck wraps with the fleece/fabric combination.  Fleece is normally too thick to have over your face constantly as you run.  It just gets wet and gross.  If it’s not windy then I pull up the neck warmer as I need it and do not run with it over my nose/mouth.  I also love the Turtle Fur double layer neck warmers.

My ears get very cold and the thin winter running hats are sometimes not warm enough.  I have some thicker hats that I use if it is windy or especially cold.  Smartwool makes a warm hat that is still thin.  Some people just like to wear ear warmers.  Smartwool ear warmers are warm and comfortable.

Thicker, wind blocking gloves are also a necessity.  I scored a warm pair of Nike gloves from TJ Maxx.  If it is over 20 and not windy then I will just wear some knit gloves.  They can be taken off and stuck into your waistband.  I usually pick up some inexpensive ones from Target so it doesn’t matter if they don’t last (frequent washing) or get lost.

I find that Merino wool quarter height socks work well with tights and they keep my feet warm.  Smartwool, Feetures, and Balega make similar socks.

Another question is whether everyday running shoes will work in snow or ice.  Some trail running shoes are more waterproof (for slushy conditions) and offer more traction.  Some of the major manufacturers offer a Goretex model of their popular shoes.  For additional traction you can put screws into an older pair of shoes or purchase Yaktrax type products to wear over your shoes.  If it is too icy then I will run indoors rather than risk falling.

Off season is the best time to buy sale winter items, so February is a good time to stock up on your winter running needs.  It will take some experimentation to figure out what works for you.  Keep in mind that you will feel cold for about a half mile.  Then you will quickly discover if you overdressed.  🙂  I find that I am more likely to overdress than underdress.

Some examples of clothing mentioned in this post:

  • Insulated tops: Athleta Plust Tech Hoodie, Nike Pro Warm Half Zip
  • Insulated vest: Athleta Polartec Alpha Slice Vest
  • Insulated tights: Craft Active Run Winter Tights
  • Base Layer (warmer):  Craft  Pro Zero Extreme Base Layer Top
  • Socks: Feetures! Elite Merino+ Light Cushion Quarter Socks
  • Neck Covering: Polar Buff
  • Gloves: Nike Element Thermal Run Gloves

Don’t be afraid to give winter running a try!  You won’t regret!

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Icebreaker Indoor Marathon Relay Recap

This weekend I ran the Icebreaker Indoor Marathon Relay race at the Pettit Center.  The Pettit Center is an indoor ice skating/speedskating facility with a running track around the perimeter of the ice.  The running track is a 3 lane track with an odd length of 443 feet.  It is quite large for an indoor track and it is touted as the largest indoor running track in the US.

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The relay race is held separately from the full marathon.  There is a maximum of 100 teams.  Teams can be sized from 2-4 runners though I believe the majority of the teams fielded 4 runners.  The relay race is popular and fills up quickly.  There are a wide range of teams, from college track teams to first time relay teams.  The winning team this year broke the track record with a 2:09:33 time (a 4:57 pace!) while the slowest team clocked in at 5:16:40, a 12:05 pace.  Some teams wore costumes.

The approximate 26.2 mile distance (it was slightly short) can be broken up between the team members in any way.  The only requirement is that the current runner wears the timing chip.  The team receives a singe timing chip that is attached to a velcro ankle bracelet.  It seemed that most of the faster teams have runners switch after 2 laps (a little over a half mile).  So the race is basically an interval workout… on steroids.  🙂  I read a race recap that recommended having a third person switch the chip and we used this method.

The air in the Pettit Center is dry and it is a cool for the ice skating.  I thought that I would be colder while I was waiting to run but I was actually fine.  It did take awhile to adjust to the dry air.  I have run in the Pettit Center before and did not have an issue with breathing but you do notice a difference when you are running very hard.  We were hacking after our initial lap.  I adjusted to it after a few laps and drank a lot of water.

Each team sets up camp around the perimeter of the track at the curves.  Most teams brought blankets or yoga mats to “mark” their territory.  Some people brought folding lawn chairs.  We had a chair but we didn’t use it.  The start line is at a different location than the finish line.  The mat at the finish line had a screen next to it that displayed your team name and the total number of laps completed on the top of the screen as you crossed the mat.  A large screen on the wall scrolled teams and the number of laps in the order of the least number of laps.  With close to 100 teams, it was luck if you happened to run by while your team name was displayed.

I actually used a knitting row counter to keep track of the number of times that our lead runner ran.  We split the race into 2 laps each, so we would each run 12 times.  We were situated at the turn close to the finish line, so to allow our anchor to run a full 2 laps at the end one of our runners ran 1 lap on one of her turns.

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The race actually went pretty fast.  2 laps was a good number, you had to run hard but you didn’t have to wait too long to run again.  The announcer notified you when your team had 10 laps to go and also with 1 lap remaining.  I did not have much difficulty passing, most runners ran in the middle lane and the very fast people ran in the inner lane.  There were some walkers in the outer lane.  You had to watch for traffic when exiting and re-entering the track, but with less than 100 runners on the track it was not difficult.

We had a fairly old team, with our ages at 57, 54, 51, and 46.  I joked that we would easily win a Master’s division if they had one.  We finished in 3:25:48, a 7:52 pace.  That was good for 49th out of 95 teams, 16/32 for mixed teams (we had 3 women and 1 man).  There were medals for the top 3 teams in the womens, mens, and mixed categories.  Everyone received a long sleeve tech shirt.

Skating was allowed during the race and occasionally the Zamboni made it’s way out onto the ice so there was a fair mount of noise.  They also played very loud music during the race, which you may or may not appreciate.  🙂  A DJ played the music and you could make requests before the race.  The music was louder than it normally is inside the Pettit.

I found that this race was pretty hard on my legs, perhaps due to the lack of active recovery after the hard running.  I hadn’t been that sore after a race in a long time!  The team aspect was really fun and it was cool to be able to cheer team members.   I would recommend this event if you enjoy running with a team and want to try something a bit different.

Grand Rapids Marathon Recap

Grand Rapids was my second marathon.  My first was the Chicago Marathon, so it was quite a different experience.  I was looking for a smaller race, with a course that was not completely urban.  I found the Grand Rapids website and I appreciated the race director’s humor.  You can’t be completely serious and run a marathon!

Packet pickup was at the YMCA.  It is a beautiful, huge building, easy to find and there was plentiful parking.  There was a midsize expo and pickup was smooth.  There is a half marathon and marathon relay that starts at the same time as the full marathon.  There is a one hour earlier start for “Velocity Challenged” runners, runners that expect not to finish in the 6 hour cutoff.  Unfortunately you would have to start in the dark if you opt for this.  The regular race start was 8 AM.

The weather had gotten colder again, last weekend it was close to 80, but temps at race start was a calm 32 with temps not reaching 50 by race end.  I opted to wear mittens, a short sleeve shirt, a Nike vest, shorts, knee high compression socks, and arm warmers.  I figured this would give me the most options to shed clothes.  I also had a sweatshirt which I handed off to my husband at the race start.

We stayed at the Amway Grand, which was super nice and easy walking distance to the race start.  Lineup was not by corral or expected pace, you could start wherever you wanted.  I found a spot behind the 4:29 pacer.  My goal for this race was to finish by 4:30.  The pace groups were named after celebrities (and based on their marathon times) and the 4:29 pace group was the Oprah group.

The first part of the race is through downtown Grand Rapids.  Then you head out towards Millennium Park.  Most of the race is then on paved trails that wind through the park.  It was sunny but the park offered a lot of shade.  The course was fairly flat, there is one small hill before mile 12 and some gentle, long slopes at the end.  There are beautiful views of lakes in the park and the fall colors were spectacular.

The number of runners is perfect, the half marathon split off around 8.5 miles and it was very clear for the end of the race.  The only issue I had passing was one set of 3 runners that were walking in the middle of the path, and the runners that would suddenly stop and start walking wherever they were, instead of moving to the side.  There are people riding bikes on the path, probably there to spectate, so I would stay on the right.  There is a long out and back section, which I didn’t mind.  It was motivating for me to see other runners coming in the other direction.  Even the fast ones, I give them props.  It was interesting to have relay teams, occasionally someone would go flying past me, I assume that they were fresh relay runners!

There were a fair number of spectators on the course and they are friendly.  The volunteers were also great, cheering on the runners.  There were a variety of food and drinks at the water stops, which were spaced about 1.5 miles apart.  Gu, oranges, bananas, pretzels, gummy bears, and cookies were available.  Two of the later water stops had pickle juice (believed to help with cramps).  I did try the pickle juice, since I had cramps.  I don’t know if the pickle juice helped, but I can now say that I had pickle juice during a race.  🙂

A thing that annoys me is runners that throw their garbage (cups, gel packets, etc) wherever they want.  This is not Chicago, where street sweepers will come along and collect all the trash after the race in one swoop.  This is a trail in a park.  Someone else has to pick up the garbage.  Seriously, all runners should just throw garbage away properly.

I tried to stay around 10 minute miles, which worked for most of the race.  Until the end.  Then I was a little over a 10 minute mile pace.  The last 3 miles were hard.  Really hard.  Probably the hardest 3 miles that I have ever run.  Everything hurt, my middle back, my calves, the bottoms of my feet.  I skipped the last few water stops since I walk the water stops.  I figured if I started walking then I wouldn’t want to run again and I wouldn’t be able to make the time up either.

I had headphones on for music, but I took them off at the end of the race.  The spectators near the finish line were crazy!  They yelled for everyone.  Two turns away from the finish, some guys came out onto the course to give me high fives.  They announced names at the finish, and the race director was in the middle of the finish chute, shaking hands with finishers.  He shook my hand and gave me a hug.  A guy sprinted past me at the finish.  I assume he was a relay runner.  If you can finish a marathon at a sprint, at close to 4.5 hours, then something is wrong.  😉

I don’t eat a lot after a race, but there was a variety of food, including Wendy’s chili.  I grabbed a bottle of chocolate milk and sat down.  There was a beer garden, with unlimited beer from New Holland Brewery.  The Beer Garden was very crowded, though I did find a seat there.

Overall, it was a great marathon experience.  The email communication from the race director is fun.  I would recommend this race if you enjoy a smaller marathon in an area with paved trails but with also a city atmosphere.

Time: 4:25:33

Age Group: 27/55

Gender: 279/581

Overall: 797/1332

Grand Rapids Marathon 2015_1

Fox Valley Half Marathon Recap

This was my sixth half marathon.  In this race I set a goal to finish in under 2 hours.  My previous half marathon PR was 2:04:56.  I followed a McMillan custom plan for my training.

The race starts in St Charles, Illinois.  There is also a full marathon and 20 miler, all starting at the same time.  St Charles is a small town along the Fox River. Packet pick-up was in a building that looks like it was converted from a church.  There was a small expo and the pick-up was quick.  Free public and street parking around the area was not difficult to find.  The race shirt was a nice women specific long sleeve tech shirt. Not many other goodies, just a Clif Bar sample, sunscreen spray, and lip balm.  Everything was in a durable backpack type bag that doubles as the gear check bag. I stayed at the Best Western on Main Street, about 1.5 miles from the race start.  St Charles, Geneva, and Batavia all have many small shops, bars and restaurants.  It’s a nice location to make the event a weekend getaway. The Baker Hotel looks very nice and is very close to the start line. But there are many inexpensive options within close proximity.

On race day, the weather was perfect for running, a cool, sunny 50 degrees with no wind with a race start of 7:00 AM. Parking again wasn’t difficult to find and we walked a few blocks to the start. I had a “disposable” sweatshirt from Goodwill that I picked up for the occasion.  Instead of ditching it, I gave it to my husband before the start of the race. I noticed that they did gather the discarded clothing and put it into a pile near the finish, so it could be retrieved. There were no corrals but the start chute line-up was by expected pace.  My only complaint about the race were the people that arrived late and felt compelled to push their way forward to get where they wanted to start. I got into position as soon as I saw the corrals starting to fill to avoid that. Anyway, with a race this size and with the wave start, there is no problem with running your pace even if you start a little further back.

There was an informal wave start, about 200 people were allowed to go at a time.  There were about 3,000 total runners for all 3 races.  Volunteers held up a rope to stop each wave.  There was just a few seconds between waves.  I started with the 9:15 pace group and I crossed the start line about 5 minutes after the clock start.  As usual, everyone started out fast.  People were passing me in droves and I found that I was running under a 9 minute mile. So I just moved to the far left and slowed down.

The first part of the race is along a 2 lane street.  The road is closed off.  The course does a little bend through some side streets which were also closed, then eventually went onto a paved bike path along the Fox River.  There were very scenic views along the river, and even the section along the road gave nice views of old homes.  The bike path is standard width but it never felt crowded.  The race materials suggested running 2 abreast at most on the path and the majority of runners did that, or they were single runners so passing was not a problem.  There are a few odd loops thrown in, more on that later.  Water stops were plentiful and the volunteers were all enthusiastic and friendly.

I noticed that my Garmin was tracking ahead, as was the Nike+ app on my phone.  So I knew I had to run faster than a 9:09 average, but I wasn’t sure how much faster.  I was averaging close to a 9 minute mile so I figured that should be safe.  As you head to the finish, there is a crossing over a bridge and an oddly configured loop where you run right past people running in the opposite direction, then back over the bridge.  Only the half marathoners do this additional loop. Then there is a final bridge crossing with the finish line in sight. The finish is near the start (around the corner from it), but closer than running back to the start.

The last 3 miles were hard work.  I focused on just trying to keep pace for the current mile.  My Garmin screen showed the current lap distance, total time, and the lap pace.  I looked at my watch as I saw the finish line, 1:59.  I didn’t realize I was that close to 2 hours!  I finished in 1:59:45. The announcer read everyone’s name at the finish, always a nice touch.  The finisher medals were heavy and large.  They were simple but attractive, one of my nicest race medals.  There was also an additional medal for repeat runners, and even larger medals for those that ran this race in conjunction with other marathons.

The food at the finish was quite varied, the typical fruit and chips but also macaroni and cheese, bread pudding, and small plates of barbecue beef. However, even though the bib has a drink ticket, there was no beer.  I don’t usually drink beer after running, but I figured I should mention it for those that do.  🙂   I skipped the food since I am not hungry immediately after running. I think they were trying to discourage people from getting food multiple times, it was a bit tricky to re-enter the food area, but it can be done. My husband complained about the lack of beer and the fact that there was no post-race entertainment.

Overall I was pleased with my performance in this race. I never doubted that I could accomplish my goal. The last 3 miles were extremely hard, but I felt that I was prepared for it by all the fast finish type runs in my training. I expected the end to be hard and I think that the mental preparation is important. I divided the race into segments, 3/4/3/3 miles. Then I just focused on finishing each segment. The race seemed shorter to me that way, and I was almost surprised when I saw the 11 mile marker!

This was a great race. I find that I enjoy smaller races and this was the perfect size. It was very well organized and the location was beautiful. My husband rode his bike to make spectating in different locations easier and he really enjoyed riding his bike in the area. It made it a little more interesting to him as a spectator.  I am thinking or returning for the full marathon.

I would recommend this race for anyone looking for a half marathon, full marathon, or 20 mile supported run.

Finished: 1:59:45
Overall: 468/1542
Female: 175/952
Age Group: 26/162

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2015 First Call 5K Recap (Waukesha, WI)

The fun thing about 5K races is that as long as you can run 3 miles, you can run one on a whim.  My first race of the year is a 5K in May but some friends were running the First Call 5K and they invited me to run with them.  I really had no excuse not to run it.  The race was about 2 miles from my house, the weather was nice and I had no plans for that morning.

The First Call event also offered a 10K and half marathon.  It was the inaugural running of this event.  It was unique in that there were 2 different half marathon courses available.  Unfortunately, heavy rains that week caused flooding and one of the courses was not available and the 5K course was also modified.

The event is run by Silver Circle.  Their events tend to be small but well organized.  I was not pre-registered for the 5K but registration was offered on the day of the race.  Since the location was so close to my home I arrived when registration opened, registered, and went back home since the race was not for another hour and a half.  I relaxed a bit, did a quick warm up on the treadmill and returned for the race.

This was my first race since running the Chicago Marathon in October and taking a nearly 3 month break from running to recover from foot issues.  I had only been running 3 months prior to this race and half of that was just getting used to running again.  So this race was going to be interesting!

I knew from previous experience that Silver Circle events are gun timed, there is no starting timing mat.  That was not an issue at this race because the size was small and it was easy to be near the front.  The first part of the course was on the street, then it turned onto the Glacial Drumlin trail.  The trail is paved, it is not very wide but it was fine for this race.  It was out and back, sweet and simple.  Not the prettiest course, but by no means the worst.  There was a building to wait inside and refreshments after the race were also served indoors.  The only restroom facilities were inside the building and the line was long.

The 5K distance is my least favorite to race.  It is just not fun.  Well, it is fun for the first 1/4 mile.  Then it it is hard work and it is painful.  I could tell that I was not going to PR but I pushed as hard as I could.  I finished in 26:50, quite a bit off my 5K PR.  But I was happy because I was racing again and more importantly running without pain.  Due to the small size of the race my finish was good enough for an age group 2nd place medal.

Finish: 26:50 8:38 min/mile

Age: 2 of 7

Gender: 8 of 55

Overall: 14 of 78

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