Summer is in full swing here in Pennsylvania, which makes it much easier to get moving and stay active. When the weather is nice, I try to get out and enjoy the sunshine & warm temperatures as often as possible.
On Friday night, I ran one of my favorite local races with my bestest running friend Emily– a 4th of July 5-miler. 5-mile and 10K are my favorite race distances to run! So I am always sure to sign up for this race whenever registration rolls around.
The weather here has been crazy lately. The forecast is full of both rain and sunshine, and you never know when each is going to hit throughout the day. I kept an eye on the race forecast throughout the day on Friday– there was a 40% chance of thunderstorms right at 7 o’clock when the race was to begin. Lovely. I don’t mind running in the rain, but lightning/thunder = different story. We decided to take our chances and head to the race anyways. Even if it was lightning, we had registered for the race and would at least get our race t-shirt!
There was sunshine at my house when we left, but by the time we got to the race the sky was BLACK. I knew it was going to storm. We had just enough time to pick up our packets and timing chips before this happened:
Total downpour– wind, thunder, and lightning included.
My optimism wasn’t deterred, though. We still had 1/2 hour before the race, and I was hopeful that the weather would clear up. And guess what– it did! We ended up having BEAUTIFUL weather for the race! Mid seventies, low humidity, and sunny. I was really glad that we decided to run.
The weather was ridiculously hot for this particular race the past two years (I believe it was 91 degrees and humid last year when I ran it), so I was anxious to see how I would do with more agreeable weather.
The course was challenging. It was mostly uphill until about mile 3, and then it was either downhill (although I feel the downhills weren’t nearly long enough to compensate for the uphills at the beginning) or flat. I don’t know about you, but if a race is hilly, I’d much prefer the hills to be at the beginning of the course– the hills were a great, er, warm-up and it made the last few miles seem like a breeze.
The finish line of the race was located on a high school track with spectators cheering on the runners, which always makes me feel like some sort of super runner rockstar. I always tend to sprint to the finish of my races, but even more so if they end on a track. So, when I saw the finish line, I took off.
When I started sprinting, I passed by one of my coworkers. I didn’t do it with the intent to pass her– like I said, I always sprint at the end of my races because I want to finish strong and know that I did my personal best. Well, apparently I struck a nerve, because once I passed her it didn’t take long for her to come storming by me. I knew immediately that I offended her. She beat me by 2 seconds; which I could care less about. Apparently that 2 seconds was important to her, because she had the nerve to tell me afterwards that she “saw me blow by her” and that there was NO WAY she was letting ME beat HER (in the most annoyed, arrogant tone you can imagine). Like I am so slow that she could never live with herself if I crossed ahead of her. I’ve never been so offended in my life. I feel like it’s terrible sportsmanship to run with the sole intent to beat others. It’s just my opinion, but I feel like recreational runners such as myself and my coworker should only be out to beat ourselves when it comes to races (What’s your opinion on that?). We aren’t front-of-the-pack runners. She should have been pushing her limits at the finish line on her own; I shouldn’t have been the driving force behind her sprint towards the finish.
ANYWAYS, I crossed the finish line at 44:08 with an average pace of 8:49. That’s five minutes faster than my time last year– wahoo! I was ecstatic when I saw the final results.
On Saturday, I woke up with one goal in mind = LEG DAY. You might know from my previous posts that I dread and despise leg day. If you don’t– well, just know that I dread and despise leg day. I have to talk myself into it every time. I decided that it had to be done on Saturday morning, and I forced myself to the gym. I did regular squats, front squats, squat jumps, negative hamstring curls, stiff leg deadlifts, regular squats (again), and lunges. Yikes. It was mentally and physically painful (especially after spin class Thursday and my 5-mile, hilly race on Friday), but I was glad that I did it once I was finished. I always feel stronger overall and thinner when I lift my legs consistently.
Afterwards, I went home and concocted a post-workout meal with things I had in my fridge (which wasn’t much– I needed to go grocery shopping!). I made an egg white “omelet” with garden-fresh tomatoes, onions, salt, pepper, and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese. It might look kinda, um, interesting, but it was delicious:
Sunday was going to be my “rest” day since my legs were throbbing from the activities of the three day prior, but I ended up going on a short bike ride with my older brother. We just went on our local trail, so it wasn’t too intense. It was nice to get some use out of my bike and to spend some quality time with my older brother, though. =)