Classes have started again. I'm taking Research Methods in Healthcare and Nutritional Epidemiology & Health. and Well, technically they don’t start until Thursday, but the courses are open and I have a discussion post due Thursday, so I’ve begun working. This week shouldn’t be too hard but once things really get going I’m sure I’ll be back to my routine of sleep, run, work, study – repeat (with meals and snacks in there of course). It may be less intense than last semester but the stakes might be higher because this sounds like it's going to really be the groundwork for my thesis.
Between my last long run and the race yesterday I came down with a cold. It pretty much took over my Labor Day weekend. I had a sore throat on Friday, felt kind of ok on Saturday morning, but felt a lot worse by Saturday evening, all through Sunday and for most of Monday. I skipped running Monday morning, but by Monday afternoon I felt good enough to tackle some yard work that really needed to be done. Once I got started on that I decided I felt good enough to get the mowing done. That went ok, and by Tuesday morning I was back to running. Since this was the week before my half I was tapering I kept it short. Because I’d been sick I also kept it easy.
Thursday I worked in some fun when I went to dinner and visited the Missouri Botanical Garden’s special summer event “Garden Party Nights” with a college friend who has just moved to the area. We went to a tapas (and pizza, and Italian) restaurant. We split four different plates of tapas, the most interesting (adventurous) was the charbroiled squid. The squid itself didn't actually taste like much, but the seasoning was excellent. The texture was well, chewy. Not bad, but I’m not going to seek it out in the future.
Mmm (?) Squid...
Friday I had to get everything packed for an overnight trip out to my parents’ house because I was staying out there since they are 12 miles from the start of the race vs. 60. That’s worth an extra hour of sleep. I also ended up doing a lot of work to help them out, since Friday nights mean getting ready for Saturday morning farmer’s market. So I ended up standing and walking around for 3 or so hours I more than I would have at home. (I don’t think this really hurt my race much.)
Flat Angela is ready
Saturday was race day. I got up at about the same time I do to get ready on a weekday. I had laid out my “flat Angela” the night before so I got ready quickly and was at the start an hour or so before the race started. It was clear and cool, but it warms up fast this time of year so I knew I’d be hot by the end of the race. My friend Margaret and her husband were also running (she was doing the half, he was doing the 5k). We don’t run close to the same pace, so we weren’t planning on running together but it’s always nice to have someone else you know at the race. The race started right on time with just under 200 runners.
Pre race. Totally the opposite weather of last year...
It’s a small race on country roads. They don’t close them, but there isn’t a lot of traffic. You still had to be more alert for cars than most races. I went into this race, even before I caught the cold, knowing a PR was out of the question. With the cold I decided was just going to run, and not push too hard. It was a beautiful day. This time of year there are lots of flowers (mostly yellow) blooming along the side of the road and much of the race was just lined with flowers.
TONS of yellow sunflowers (and other yellow flowers) along the route with a few purple flowers like the second picture thrown in...
At one point we ran past a pasture with a few cows, and they were some of the biggest crowd support we had – it was funny how intently they were watching everyone run by. Since I kept it relatively easy I felt really good until about mile 11 when I started to get hot. But I was also trying to increase the pace just a little at this point. This is a fairly hilly race (for around here). I think we had over 900’ elevation gain (with 900’ loss as well since it’s a looped course.) I finished in 2:21:45. A personal worst for the course by about 6 or 7 minutes. The first three years were all within a minute of each other. I really hope this slower time was because I wasn’t pushing as hard – otherwise I’m slowing way down, and way too soon. This is probably the best weather out of the 4 years – last year was crazy rain and strong winds.
That is a BIG medal.
I wasn’t at all sore today, so that was the good side of not pushing too hard. I have another half in 5 or 6 weeks. I would like to push harder on that one. A PR still is going to be out of reach – I’d need faster than 1:59:10 to do that. Right now I don’t think I could hold that pace for much more than a 10k.