|Who needs a picture of me running when you can look at|
this cutie finishing a 50 yard dash.
Because of these precautions, I awoke with 10 strong toes and a hankering to run around my neighborhood. I live basically next door to the Ravenswood neighborhood and can walk to the start line. An added benefit, my friend and morning running partner Sara always runs Ravenswood and she has the ability to push me to go just a bit faster.
I'm in taper for my half marathon coming up next week, so Saturday's mileage was an easy six. Only two people from the 10:30 pace group showed up, so we decided to run with the 10 min. pace group, who in turn, were running with the 10 min. pace group from marathon training (the only difference being they were going to run eight instead of six) - basically it was cold and rainy on Saturday and most of the people didn't come to the final Spring Marathon/Half Marathon training run.
Because I ran with the 10 min. group (and not because I didn't run at all during the week), my legs were a bit tired Sunday morning. Sara assured me this was OK with her because she had a couple more glasses of wine than planned the previous evening. I was determined this year to at least finish with her, not behind her. Now that she'd handicapped herself, maybe I had a fighting chance.
Our first mile was right at 9:30. Even though people actually seeded themselves pretty well and we didn't spend a lot of time passing walkers or those who were clearly going slower than the pace sign they were standing next too indicated, it was still a crowded race. Once the crowd thinned a bit, Sara and I were able to run slightly faster than 9s; our next two miles were 8:58 and 8:42. There were a few moments heading east on Lawrence in the last mile that I was thinking about giving in - the same place I gave in two years ago. But by focusing on the bike lane line and telling myself I just needed to make it to the turn onto Damen, and then the next and final turn onto Wilson, got me to the three-mile mark. The final dip under the el tracks at Ravenswood is always so deceiving. You get a nice down hill, but then there's that little bit of an incline before the finish line. Knowing this, I waited until we were just at the tracks to start as much of a sprint as I could. Sara and I crossed the finish line together...of course it was her name that was called out as we finished. (You realize this rivalry is completely in my head - Sara's the best running partner a girl could hope for.) Final time 28:11 (a full second in front of Sara!), 51/272 in my age group 1125/3171 overall.
But this race was never really about me. It was all about Baby H (BH) defending his win from last year in the kid's races. This year's distance of 50 yards was more than double the distance he ran last year. Watching little kids run is pretty much the best thing ever. They get so excited and really enjoy themselves, smiling the entire time. Of course, I'd enjoy myself a whole lot more if I was running 50 yards too.
BH didn't quite come in first - he finished just a hair behind two other little boys, securing third place. He was gaining on them pretty quickly at the end, and had he a few more feet, he may have passed them. Of course, he thinks he won the race. We keep telling him that winning doesn't really matter and that even though mommy and daddy never win their races, we still have a lot of fun. But apparently the only thing 4-year old boys care about is winning. He'll learn soon enough.
Next up: Wisconsin Half Marathon on Saturday. This is what I've been training for. The question is, can I keep a 10 minute pace for the entire race and set a PR? Check back next week to find out.