Sunday, July 4, 2010

Firecracker 4 miler report

I've mentioned before that I am training my friend Jenny for her first marathon (MCM). We work together in the summer at a camp for gifted children, so we've been running together for 2 weeks now. Her official marathon training won't start until next week, but it's been good to have her get a good base going before training. I've also loved having someone to run with. Generally (since my mileage is a little higher than hers), I'll run the first few miles alone and then "pick her up" for the last chunk. It works well for me too, since it's refreshing to get a distraction halfway into a run. And I can work with her on pacing, which is what I'll be doing when we run the marathon in October.

So, we had the time today to get away from work for a little while for Saratoga Springs Firecracker 4 Miler. While we weren't going to race it together, we were going to it together. I was so happy to have someone to warm-up with and just goof-off with before the race. They had some live music going, and lots of people from town were out and about to watch the race. And with a few minutes to go, we hugged and took our respective places for the start of the race.

One of the great things about racing a new distance is an automatic PR. I had never done a 4 miler race before, so while I had some time goals in mind, it would be a PR regardless. I also had a hard 15 mile run on Friday, and my legs were still feeling it a bit. The first mile was uphill - 7:10. A little after mile 1, someone had a misting station set-up - what a wonderful thing. I think misting stations should be mandatory in any race above 70 degrees. They also had some local bands Finishing mile 2 and knowing I was halfway done - felt great. Hot, tired, but knew I could sustain a relatively decent pace. Then there was a sharp downhill - I am not good at downhills. Uphills, I can pass people (which is a pretty good psychological play) and throw them off, but I take the downhills fairly slow. Then, just a mile to go - wahoo! I came through around 29 minutes, but didn't read my watch. Then it was time to wait and watch for Jenny to come in - I knew it would be easy to spot her in her red shorts. She finished very strong - I was very impressed. She's from Florida, where it is so flat, and she took to the hills very well given the fact that she only gets hill work when she's here in NY. Anyways, she came through the chute with a great stride - I was so proud of her.
We then had to get back to campus for work, so we dumped a ton of water on our heads and headed back.

A few hours later, the results were posted:
29:07 (7:17 per mile)
Division place: 5/53
Overall: 174/1301

Jenny's stats
34:01 (8:31 pace)
Division place: 13/91
Overall: 479/1301

Now, the thing that frustrated us was that while the race was chip timed, there was no mat at the start. Which means Jenny broke 34 unofficially and I probably ran 29 on the dot. Oh well. Still a PR! And, as I was telling Jenny, Saratoga is a good place to run - not only was it a hard course, but there are a ton of fast runners. And there were a ton of fast people today, so the fact that we did well in our respective age divisions meant a bit more, since we were in a competitive field. In the end, it's about breaking through boundaries and over hurdles:
*I had a good run in the heat.
*I passed people on the hills.
*Jenny ran her first hill race.
*Jenny PRed.

And we had a good time!

1 comment:

  1. Awesome! I ran about 5 miles at 2pm. Dumb! I'm sure you guys had MUCH more fun. I could have really used a misting station, though (I did run with water and dumped some of it on my head.)