In continuing to honor my commitment to racing more before Boston, I participated in the Cupids Cup 5k on Saturday for a little excitement and a good workout. With no idea what to expect I threw on my backpack Saturday morning containing my racing flats and short racing tights and started a slow jog from my house, up Little Sugar Creek Greenway, and onto East Boulevard. I felt so green and eco-friendly, neglecting the motorized transportation to travel to and from the race. It was just a hair under 4 miles to get there and I left my house just at the right time not to have to stand around too long waiting for the race, as it was a cool morning, temps just below 30 degrees. Arrived at the race, got my number and changed pants and ditched the jacket. Denise was kind enough to let me store my bag under her table and about that time I heard them announce 5 minutes to race time. Spotted J. Fish and took a quick jog with him and walked into the front of the field. After a couple of pictures and the race director walking us up to the start line, the bullhorn sounded and we were off. Aaron took off and gapped the field pretty good. I settled into a small pack for the climb up East Boulevard. I figured that I would just stick with that pack up the hill and then see if I could make a move later. My breathing felt off and I thought it wasn't going to be my day. Once we passed the Harris Teeter and turned right on Dilworth Road West I felt much more relaxed and in control. The race turned left on Romany at the bottom of Latta Park and I made a concerted decision to push the hill and see if I could break up the group of 5 or 6 of us that were running together. By the time we reached the top of the hill and turned left on Euclid the pack was split and I was sitting in 3rd place behind Aaron and the eventual winner. Back on East, I just focused on my breathing and keeping a good turnover. Before I knew it, Aaron was just steps ahead of me, but it seemed like every time I started pushing to get up next to him, he would push a little bit to. I came down the hill on East, glanced back to make sure no one was in position to out kick me and put it in cruise control to the finish line.
Finish time: 16:19. Place: 3rd Overall. I think I not only surprised a few people, but I definitely surprised myself too. It just gives me confidence that my plan is working and taking easy/recovery days is a good way to let my body recover and not try to run in the "grey zone" all the time, where you aren't exactly getting any benefit, but you are also not letting your body have a chance to recover. On Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays I run a 6-mile loop from work at lunch, purposely slowing myself down and trying to keep the pace anywhere from 7:50 to 8:30 per mile, taking it easy and enjoying a break from work. I think that is complimenting my workouts and long runs perfectly and allowing my body time to recover from Tuesday night workouts, Thursdays night optional workout or medium-longish run, and Saturday's long run. All cycling has been easy, with a good 40 mile ride on Friday and a 72 on Sunday. I think the increase in swimming is also affecting my running in a positive way. Swimming is the best aerobic workout there is without any of the pounding and breaking down of the legs. I've been swimming around 15,000 meters a week and I think that is helping my running more than I think it is.
On tap for tonight is another track workout, maybe 8-10 x 800m and then we'll see how the legs are for another workout on Thursday or Friday, followed by a long run on the weekend. I'll be in Atlanta next weekend and Keith and I have signed up for the Charles Harris 10k, a relatively flat and fast race about 20 minutes from where our parent's live. Looking forward to another race as these last two have been a lot of fun and that is precisely what I am looking for by doing more racing, FUN!
I'm trying not to get too far ahead of myself and start thinking about Boston, just taking it a week at a time and making sure to get in my quality runs, as well as all the supplemental stuff. Still have approximately 2.5 months until Boston and that is a lot of time! Last week was a down week in relation to mileage and I'll take another one in two weeks when I head to Utah for some snow skiing. Really looking forward to going out there and skiing, as I didn't get the opportunity to go last year, but it looks like I might be setting up to go twice this winter. Of course that will affect marathon training, but it will be a perfect excuse to take a down week!