Thursday, November 24, 2011

A Thanksgiving Tradition: Race with Grace 10k

Since I started running, I have a few races that have become tradition.  It's very fun to return to the same course year after year, seeing the same people, racing on the same course, aiming to better my time, remembering the past races (I am a historian after all!).  The Thanksgiving Day Race with Grace 10k in Rochester is one of those traditional races for me.
I was a little apprehensive about how I would feel, given that it was so soon after Philly.  I had been moving rather stiffly for a couple of days after.  I did a 6 mile run on Monday that eventually helped.  I took Tuesday off as a complete rest day (first one since Halloween), and did my 3.4 mile shakeout around my house on Wednesday.  I told myself that I would just aim to run my best and just enjoy the whole thing.  It has been 6 months since I've run a race in Rochester, and it is definitely fun to run in my hometown.
First thing I was grateful for - a 9AM start.  That was the latest start I've had in a while - even with Boston's 10:20 start, you have to be ready for the bus at 7.  So, I was pretty excited to "sleep in" until 6:45.  The sun was starting to come out, and after a small breakfast, did a 2 mile warm up around town.  It is so funny, being at home in Spencerport, rather than Rochester - just how quiet things can be.  I have never been in DC at Thanksgiving, but I am sure things were bustling -- not here.  So quiet and peaceful.
I got to the race with enough time to spare and do a couple of strides.  The announcer said how beautiful of a day it was (and it was true - the weather tends to be pretty dreary), said a prayer, and we were off!
I felt pretty good, and I actually got through the first mile in 6:34.  Whoa, a bit fast - was not aiming to PR.  I had run my 10k PR on 11/13, my half PR in Philly on 11/20 - it just seemed unreasonable to try to do it again on 11/24.  I did want to run at least faster than my Philly 10k split (43:17).  I got through 2 miles around 13:28 - still holding a fast pace, but unsure what the rest of the race was going to look like.  I was running primarily with guys - someone shouted I was in 12th for the women, and I was just trying to hang on.  I hit three miles in 20:12, and the 5k in 20:56, but unlike at the Veteran's Day 10k, I did not think I could do a negative split.  While the sun was out, it was also fairly windy (12 mph), which is always an underestimated challenge.  I saw the 11th woman in front of me, and worked my way to get right behind her and whoosh - 3 women blew past us!  And kept going and going - they clearly had a second wind.  I kept at it, just worked on passing a few guys.  So, if you look behind me, you will see an older guy (65), who was ahead of me for a while, and I was very determined to eventually pass him.  It took a long time, but I finally did.  Maybe it is the same idea as being chicked - I didn't want an older guy passing me.  So I kept going and going, and finally passed him. The nice thing about doing a race like this is knowing the course.  And so, as I returned to the church parking lot, I was very relieved to see the finish and that final .2.  I could hear my parents cheering, and I made my way to the end.
15th woman
5th in age group
89/1011 overall
I was really happy - that was my second fastest 10k ever, and 2.5 minutes faster than my race here last year.
Here is me with my parents at home after.  It was a nice way to start the day and to continue my (somewhat new) Thanksgiving tradition.  We had a great day as a family, and it has been a nice weekend in general.

1 comment:

  1. Good race, homeskillet! 65 years old? Wow, there is still hope for me.