Sunday, February 24, 2008
Today was a glorious day on the Cape once again for the Hyannis 10k, half marathon, marathon and marathon relay.
This is my first race since Labor Day and I wasn't sure I was going to run until we were actually in the car and on the way. I signed up for the 10k and I was feeling strong and confident until a week ago when I was felled by a nasty cold going around. I spent Tuesday ensconced in my chair wondering if I'd have the lung power to make it. By Thursday I felt better but I took a spill down a handful of stairs in the house, landing on my right knee and left hip. I lay on the floor in the entryway swearing and asking who I pissed off to have this happening.
But this morning I woke up at 6, took some ibuprofen and packed my bag to head to Hyannis determined to walk the race if necessary.
It was cold - no two ways about it, but I shed my track pants - wearing my running tights, an underarmor long sleeve t and my oversized Dice-K shirt and was glad I had shed the pants the moment I stood in the sun. I would have been too hot and they would have been too heavy for me today.
I met up with Kristen from the Runner's World beginners forum before she went off for the early start on the marathon.
The mix on my iPod: the Apple commercial play list on shuffle mode.
It took a couple of minutes to get across the start line, but it wasn't long before I was off with my recent strategy of run a song/walk a song and the first 3 miles flew by. My goal was a 13 minute mile and I was pretty close to that for the first half of the race. After the first water station, I could start to feel the lingering effects of the cold but was able to keep pace until mile 4.5 when my knee began to stiffen up so the strategy became run a song, power walk a song, walk a song. By mile 5 I was pretty much down to power walking with the occasional jog for a few minutes before dropping back to a power walk again. In the final quarter mile, I was able to break into a jog to the finish for a time of 1:28:02 - which is certainly a respectable enough time.
There are a lot of reasons I love this race course, the main one being I just love the smell of the salt marshes as you run past them and the views of the ocean along the route. The relative flatness and tree lined streets are a bonus. It is certainly among my favorite races and I look forward to returning to this course for the Johnny Kelley Memorial race at the end of May.
So that first time returning fear has now been stared down. I have the Running of the Irish (Ras Na Heireann) in 3 weeks which is a 5k through Somerville in honor of St. Patrick's Day.