Hi There –
I have been all over the place this weekend. From running the Canterbury Road Race and the Fast Track 15k to attending a blogging event at Rooftop 120 (post coming soon) it has been a pretty active weekend.
First Up –
So I signed up for the Canterbury Road Race the winter – it is one of the few Spring 10ks in Connecticut (or for the entire year come to think of it), I thought it would be a good way to continue to build up my endurance, and as a member of the Run 169 Club – I had never run in Canterbury before.
Fast forward to Saturday morning and I was up bright and early to head to Canterbury, an hour away. Thankfully my mom (and co-running czar for the day) was nice enough to be my driver so I could zone out before the race.
The weather was gorgeous – much nicer than the Quarter Marathon several weeks ago. Sunny, cook and breezy, I could not have asked for better weather.
In speaking with my coach and sending him the elevation map earlier in the week, I had commented that the course was “not that hilly” to which he responded I was wrong (not in so many words though 😆 ). So the plan was to “work the hills” and open up on the downhill portions.
Ok – no problem. However, after my warm up and drills, I was still feeling a bit tight but there was no time to worry about that after the race director literally said “GO”.
That’s what I love about small races – no pomp and circumstance – just race and we’ll see you at the finish with water and snacks.
We headed out on what was an open course (meaning it was not closed to traffic) and after 1/2 mile I checked my watch to see a pace of 6:55. Whoops – I knew I was going to quickly burn out at that pace, so I slowed down and a 1/4 mile later my pace was an 8:30. Whoops – not fast enough.
So I picked up the pace and focused on a male runner with a blue NYC marathon shirt in front of me. He was running at a good clip and I settled in behind him. Checked my watch at mile 1 – 7:37. Ok – still a bit fast BUT I was feeling good and had worked out whatever kinks I felt before the start.
Music blaring – the minutes and miles clicked by – I climbed and conquered the first hill by focusing on my stride and not pace, powering up the hill at a good pace.
Everything was going well until…..mile 4 when in front of me I saw the second “Bolton”-like hill. Good grief, I thought to myself. At that point I had a decision to make – give it a try and if I did not feel comfortable – stop and walk to the top OR keep running and moving forward, not stopping until I reached the top no matter how much I wanted to.
In contrast to the Quarter Marathon – I chose the second option and huffed and puffed my way up that second hill. And you know what – I did not feel as bad as I did a couple of weeks ago. I think I can thank my training for that – it seems I am getting stronger.
Cresting the top of the hill at mile 4.4 the rest of the course was some more rolling hills but after the hill at mile 4, it was nothing I could not handle.
The course was well supported – I believe there were two water stations and as I crossed the finish, that bottle of water hit the spot.
And – I was rewarded for my efforts with 2nd in my age group F35-39 and got a cute medal.
So – what do I take away from this race
- Sometimes small races are the best races. I loved that my entry fee to the Canterbury Road Race went to support the 8th Grade Class trip for which I believe they raised $2,500.
- I love that it is getting warmer but I have to plan my race day outfits better. Luckily I brought a change of clothes with me or I would have died of overheating. I have to remember- always dress for running in weather 20 degrees warmer than what the temperature is.
- Connecticut needs more 10k races – it’s a great distance but does not seem to get the love it needs.
- Canterbury is hillier than I thought.
- I have to stop putting so much pressure on “having to do well”. I am only competing with myself, no one is going to criticize my performance accept myself. I mean – most people I know were probably still in bed when I was starting my journey to Canterbury
- Running friends are the best friends to hang out with after a race (and run a cool down with). It was great to catch up with Elizabeth Wright while waiting for the results to be read.