Monday, July 04, 2011

Happy Fourth!

Today: Hingham 4th of July Road Race
Distance: 4.47 miles
Finish: 1:08:??

Yes I am enough of a nerd to think, "Hey, it's July fourth, I bet HBO w
ill be showing the complete John Adams
miniseries today. Let me see if 1776 is being shown too...." And yes, I am right on both counts. I was also right that I probably should have thought twice about doing a 4 mile race the day after running 4 miles.

I love this race. It's a mostly gradual down hill slope from the start at the Hingham Middle School to the finish under the big flag flying over Hingham Center. It's a friendly race. The annual parade rolls down the street a few hours later and people line the street. Often families set up unofficial water stops and stand with hoses for runners to run through. People play music, set out flags and cheer, cheer, cheer.

One of the sights along the way is a home owner who covers the front of his Colonial every year with the US flag. It's an amazing and inspirational sight shortly after the half way point as you make the turn from Main Street towards Hingham Center.

What isn't visible in the photo is the white chimney with black stripe rimming the top. In Revolutionary times, this was to show the home owners were Tories.

The first two miles went well. After a slow start (20 seconds before we even moved) I did a run 2/walk 2 pattern. I covered the first mile and half easily when my ankle began to bark at me.
I slowed down a bit from the 13 minute pace I was maintaining but quickly realized that running the rest of the race really wasn't in the cards for me today. I am not a DNF kinda gal, so I walked on.

I had the chance to observe the number of families around me. People with younger children being coached through by parents and family members. My favorite was a young girl running with an older brother. She was struggling so he started teasing her as only a brother could. He encouraged her, he scolded her and then, when she started whining a bit, he said, "Hey, you can run or I can throw this water in your face..." that triggered the "if you do, I'll tell mom!" threat. In the end, she ran and he didn't dose her but it was a wonderful set of moments to watch.

The most difficult part of walking was not the act of walking, it was hearing the Nike+ voice in my ear that kept calling the average pace. It continued to creep up until, just as I passed the four mile mark at the 1 hour point and it declared my 15 minute/mile pace.

After four and a quarter miles, the flag over the finish was clearly visible. I decided to jog to the finish, ankle willing. I was for a bit and I headed down the last stretch of road. I crossed at 1:08 and change.

In the end, I felt strong. In spite of the twinges in my ankle that required a bit of icing and rest. Tomorrow I will swim. A non-weight bearing exercise should further help things along and I'll test things out with a short run on Thursday.

Until then, I'll retreat into American history nerd mode watching patriotic miniseries and finally diving into "Plain, Honest Men: the Making of the American Constitution."

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