On Monday morning I ran the local Memorial Day 3.8 mile race. The last (and only) time I ran it was in 2011. It is NOT an easy course as there is much uphill and downhill running, though luckily the downhill is towards the end. On top of the difficulty of the course, no matter what the temp/weather conditions have been up until Memorial Day weekend, race day weather is inevitably hot and humid.
As I am a total weather weenie, I wait until the Saturday before the event to register and this is the first year since 2011 I thought conditions might be reasonable. It’s also the first year in a while that I have continued to run consistently enough that I felt I could reasonably deal with the course.
In addition to my multiple comments about the hills and difficulty, I should probably add that it’s also beautiful. It begins and ends in a small historic village and the hills are residential, mostly tree lined streets with folks cheering in front of their houses along the way. The two out and backs provided me the chance to cheer for the runners ahead of me and behind me.
I wore my TAPS (Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors) shirt from the 2014 Marine Corps Marathon. I was part of a Run and Remember Team which represented fallen Military personnel. It seemed an appropriate shirt to wear, with names of the many men in that particular unit who gave all listed on the back. You can see the TAPS pocket logo in this pic of the hubby and me before the race.
The hubby was out on the course cheering and taking pics, which was so great. He started snapping the pics when I was pretty far away but luckily I was wearing the easy to spot yellow shirt.
Before the start, we chatted with another runner and I ended up running the first mile with her, which was fun.
My race time from 2011 was 43:33 and in the back of my mind I thought that it might be possible to PR since I think I’m in better shape than in 2011, though I’m also 5 years older. We hit the first mile in under 12 minutes, which was good.
The second and third miles included the two huge hills. I dealt with the first one well and even the second one, though by the time I hit the turn around point I wasn’t thinking I could have continued uphill much longer. I didn’t use a standard interval, but walked 3 times when I felt I needed to walk. After the turn around on the second hill, the rest of the course is mostly downhill/flat and I ran it all without walking.
It had gotten very hot, very fast in the sun and if the course had more sunny spots I would have been toast. I don’t have a GPS watch and there aren’t mile markers on the course, so I really wasn’t sure how I was doing on time. As I made the final turn towards the finish, I looked at my watch and thought I might actually have a PR if I could keep the pace.
I finished with a 43:00 which was a 33 second PR. I was excited, but I was also crazy HOT so I immediately dumped some water over my head from the bottle I was handed by a volunteer. You can see me being happy and you can see that I dumped water on me in the finish line pic (and you can see the course photographer’s shadow 🙂 ).
33 seconds doesn’t really sound like a huge amount of time, but a friend whom I was texting with said that she thought it was a short race for that much of a PR. When I actually thought about it, I chuckled because I realized that my last marathon PR was only 18 seconds. I had an 18 second PR in 26.2 miles, but a 33 second PR in 3.8 miles. I’ll take it!
I don’t have any other events planned until October, so I’m glad I ran this one. It was a fun morning and a nice way to have a few quiet minutes to reflect and remember and be thankful.