So, I hit the big 2-6 later this week. However, I have already received a few birthday gifts of note from the ever-awesome Coach Mom.
The first: I was registered to run the National Cherry Festival of Races 15K. I've ran their 5K plenty of times, but never made the jump to the big one until this year.
The 15K is most notorious for the climb up "Mount McKinley". Not the real one, obviously, but this is a nearly mile-long climb up the hill on McKinley road, and it just happens to fall right around the halfway point of the race. Oddly enough, this is where I felt the best during this event. I took off like a rocket at the start (yay, forgetting my watch!) and was starting to bonk just a little at this point. Got to the hill, didn't walk at all, felt OK on the climb, threw up 2 rock on fists when I hit the top, coasted down... and then the bonk hit hard. Oh, and did I mention that it was already pushing 80 at this point and humid as heck? Considering the lack of summer we had to that point in Duluth, I wasn't ready for that. I took water and was sprayed with it every chance I had, but I way missed my goal of breaking 1:15 and finished in what was a disappointing 1:19:28.
Yes, I did just say I was disappointed with a race where I averaged an 8:33 pace. What a difference a year makes, eh?
The second came a few days later. I've now run 2 half marathons and earned this, so it was time to get my feet:
And, the third present?
Another half, another go at the course that started it all, another shot to break 1:45. 9/3/11. Let's do this! Also doing this: Coach Mom, Assistant Coach Little Sister, and my Little Bro! It will be his first, and I'm so proud of him!! :)
In other news, in my ongoing quest to "race the crap" out of the summer (as one of my co-workers put it), I took on Northern Minnesota's oldest road race, the Park Point 5 Miler.
This race should not have gone as well as it did. For starters, I had spent 11 hours the day before on planes and buses coming back from Traverse City to Duluth. While I was in TC, I had been running with the newly formed Traverse Area Running Club, and had just done a 9.5 mile interval workout the morning before flying home. Then, after a short night's sleep, I spent race day at work. Finally, just as race time approached, the cool day turned warm and sticky. I told Brandon to start watching for me around 7:10PM, or around the 40:00 minute mark, as I wasn't expecting things to go well.
37 minutes and 52 seconds later, I crossed the finish line. Boom. Despite the negatives, I feel that I sufficiently rocked that race's face right off. I didn't feel awesome at all, but I'm quite proud of that time all things considered.
So, yeah. I'm thinking I'm going to take a bit of a hiatus on the racing front until Marquette (though it is hard to turn down a comped entry, believe you me.) I want to break 1:45 so bad I can taste it, and I want to be as fresh and well trained as I can. If there's anywhere that I can hit that, it's Marquette. Here's hoping the weather is a bit nicer this year.
That's all I've got for now. Have fun, kids!