Hi there! Remember me? Yeah, I didn’t think so. It’s been awhile. 😉
The craziness of the end of summer and the insane schedule my family is juggling for September left me exhausted and overwhelmed a good amount of the time. Blogging, as much fun as it is for me, had to slip a little on the priority list. But I finally feel like I am getting my groove back. At least enough to update you on two fun races that I participated in over the past few weeks.
First let’s back up to Labor Day weekend. For months, my husband had been training for an endurance swimming event. His goal was to swim the straights of Mackinaw, or, put another way – from the upper peninsula of Michigan to the lower peninsula. That distance, as the crow flies, is just shy of five miles. But he knew going in he would likely have to swim a bit further with currents, wind, etc. Well, he ended up swimming over 8 miles (!!!) in the open water, with waves up to 7 feet tall. He was in the water for almost six hours, which I just can’t even imagine. And, he and his teammates were also swimming to raise money for Habitat for Humanity. They raised close to $400,000. Basically, the summary here is that my hubby is AWESOME. He did so well.
Now, it turns out there is another way to get across the straights – a suspension bridge that is only open to walkers/runners one day a year (Labor Day). I was lucky enough to get selected in a lottery to be one of the 600 runners this year, and while the event was billed as a “non-competitive run approximately five miles in length”, I covered those miles pretty fast. Whether it was the thrill of running solo over the bridge (minus all the national guards that were stationed every few feet) or me trying to get warm on a chilly, damp morning, I don’t know. I didn’t intend to run fast at all, because I was adding on a few miles once I was over the bridge for a long run, but my splits were: 7:31, 7:16, 7:36, 7:12, 2:46 (the distance my Garmin said we covered was 4.4 miles). SO much fun!
Fast forward a few weeks. On Sunday, I ran a ten mile race. I hadn’t planned to run this one at all, but got talked into it, and I haven’t been feeling the long runs lately, so I figured the atmosphere would help me cover the distance more easily. I was right. For whatever reason, I get so much energy from running with other runners. I tried to start conservatively, and didn’t look at my watch for the first couple of miles, but I eventually figured out I was running around an 8 minute pace. I held that for awhile, and then still had lots to give, so I ended up with negative splits. My final time was 1:15:43 (7:34 avg) which makes me laugh. I haven’t run double digits in months, and have been doing zero speed work. How does that happen?! It gives some serious credibility to the theory that we run our best when we don’t put pressure on ourselves, that’s for sure. I ran a good bit of it with a friend who ended up with a PR by a single second (and she took third place in her age group!).
Also exciting is that I was finally able to submit my application for the Boston Marathon yesterday. I was feeling pretty confident about my time, but registration numbers are up quite a bit this year, so who knows what the cut off time will end up being! I’m trying not to think about it, but I have waited 11 months just to register, so I can’t wait for the final verdict!!! Enjoy the rest of your week, my friends.
What’s been on your schedule lately? Do you run best with a goal in mind, or when you don’t have a time in your head?