As this is a running as well as a food blog – you get to (from time to time) hear me ramble about running, so settle in. 🙂
Earlier in the year, when I was injured and not running, I signed up for the Bolton Road Race. As many runner’s will tell you – those who can’t run…. sign up for races. I don’t know why we do it – maybe to make us feel better and give us a glimmer of hope that whatever injury or ailment we are currently dealing with will not last forever (although many times it feels that way).
Well, I am back to running and more importantly training for the Amica Half Marathon in June BUT I have just started doing “quality workouts”, so I was by no means ready to give this race an “Olympic Effort”.
Luckily I was told that this was going to be a quality workout session – phew – until I read the workout plan.
1 mile warm up
1×2 at easy pace
1×2 at marathon pace
1×1 at threshold pace
This might not seem like a problem – I mean I ran a similar workout on the track last Sunday – BUT the last mile, the threshold pace that I was to run – seemed (and was) difficult and nearly impossible.
Why might you ask – because the Bolton Road Race is “famous” for the hill. I mean the tag line for the race is “Come Run The Hill”.
Connecticut is known for what I like to call “rolling hills” and this race has a doozy and it’s at the end and (from the rumors that I overheard before the race started) the grade is from 12% to 40%.
BUT – I just wanted to get back out there – to see my friends – and to get that “race feeling” that runners get when surrounded my like minded people. I mean how many others do you know that would drive to Bolton, CT on a Sunday afternoon – to run up “THE HILL”. Well – about 300 this past Sunday.
I had never run the Bolton Road Race until Sunday but I have heard about it for years – it’s a really grass roots race, put on to support the Bolton Boosters and run expertly by Dani Kennedy – whom I have never met but silently cursed up that hill.
But what did I have to lose – I know I am working toward something bigger but nerves still took over. I wanted to do well, I wanted to run fast but I knew I had to stick to the plan.
And I am glad I did – the Bolton Road Race course is a figure 8 loop and there are some pretty steep declines, even one before the hill, but I kept telling myself over and over – stick to the plan, stick to the plan.
And for the most part I did. I am not going to lie – the hill sucked and I did not hit my pace for the last mile but I ran up the entire hill. I did not stop and once I saw Dani – asking her if she was the race director and she confirming – I knew I had nothing but sweet sailing down hill to the finish.
The time was not what I wanted BUT I got back out there and saw some great people in the process. I “speak” to them often on Facebook throughout my non racing months but it was great catching up and knowing that for the next couple of months I will be seeing some, if not all of them, often.
And really isn’t that what running is about – a sense of community.
So – would I run the Bolton Road Race again next year. Definitely – the hill and I have some unfinished business.