It’s the time of year where I always think “Yay! I made it through another winter!” I lived in Arizona and California until I was 10 and have never adjusted to the cold and darkness at 4:45pm. Just goes to show, you can move a girl East, age her an additional 26(!) years, and she will still refuse to embrace winter. Or maybe it shows that I’m way too stubborn 🙂 The investment of a good winter coat (and two kids who absolutely adore playing in the snow) has gone a long way in making the winter at least bearable for me.
We hit 70 degrees here on Wednesday and it was just short of magical. This may seem extreme, but that first really beautiful day in Massachusetts after everyone has been hibernating during the winter is one of the best of the year. Everyone is in such a great mood, happy to be out, friendly, and talkative.
Shamrock Shuffle 5k Recap:
Wanting to see how I was progressing with my training, I had signed up for this 5k last week. Despite coming down with a cold a few days before the race, I PR’d and had a fun time. I got to the race about an hour before it started so I could pick up my bib and warm up. It wasn’t busy when I got there (not surprising since it’s a pretty small race and I was there an hour early!) and I had no problems getting my bib. Since the race starts & ends at the local high school we were able to wait inside the school and use the bathrooms there. After pinning my bib and using the bathroom I set out to do a short warm-up with strides at the end.
The forecast called for a high of 60, but it was in the mid-30’s and cold when I left my house so I wore crops and a mid-weight long sleeve pullover. After my warm up I was way too hot so I changed into a lightweight long sleeve shirt I had brought, although I was really wishing I had brought a tank top. By the time I was done with my warm up run, changed shirts, and re-pinned my bib it was time to head to the start.
The start was down a small path from the high school and ran alongside large fields and down a scenic road. It was a low-key race and I can’t remember if there was an announcement, bell, or what signaled the start, but soon we were off. I settled in to about a 7:35 pace and tried to relax. It felt a bit hard, but soon we hit the 1st mile marker and I thought, “Ok, I can do this for just 2 more miles” There was a water stop somewhere after the 2 mile point and I grabbed a tiny dixie cup of water. It was around here that I started feeling really hot in my long sleeve shirt and just focused on the reeling in the person ahead of me.
The course was pretty flat, but I noticed on uphills I would pass people and then get passed on the way down. On the plus side, the only person who passed me after I passed them was an 11 year old boy who I leapfrogged with for awhile. He passed me for the final time on the downhill into the finish. Pretty sure this same thing happened with a young kid at my last 5k! These 11 year olds are stiff competition 🙂
As I was coming in, I could see the clock approaching 23 minutes and my goal was to finish before it reached 23. I finished in 22:57 with an average pace of 7:23! I was pretty psyched that I’d shaved 2 minutes off my 5k time from November and beat my old PR by 1.5 minutes. Originally my husband and kids were going to come and play nearby while I ran, but since it was so cold at the start they stayed home so I headed out as soon as I finished. There were no medals at this race, but back at the high school they had tables of water bottles, gatorade, granola bars, and bananas.
Overall it was a really nice, low-key race. I tend to prefer longer races, but if I were looking to run another 5k I would do this one again. The logistics were easy, the course was pretty, and the streets were mostly closed. There was a very small stretch along a main road that wasn’t closed to traffic, but there were cones to block off an area for runners and a police officer nearby.
Weekly Training: March 7 – 13
Monday: Plan: 3 x 1600 @7:47 – Actual: 1M w/u @9:26, 3 x 1600 @7:49 w/800m RI, 1M c/d @10:17 – Since I had a 5k coming up on Saturday, I moved my speed days to a little earlier in the week so I’d have time to rest my legs before the race. Followed the run with 25 minutes of stretching & MYRTL work.
Tuesday: Plan: 6M Easy – Actual: 6M @9:32 – Felt comfortable
Wednesday: Plan: 1M Easy, 6M @ Long Tempo Pace, 1M Easy – Actual: 1.25M w/u @9:30, 4 x 400m @7:30 w/400m RI, 1M c/d @9:07 – Instead of following the training plan I switched this to short intervals at 5K goal pace.
Thursday: Plan: Easy Run – Actual: Shuffle shuffle shuffle – Wednesday night I started coughing and Thursday I woke up feel run down and congested. Spent the day shuffling around in a fog, downing Zicam and anything with a naturally high dose of Vitamin C.
Friday: Plan: Light Spinning – Actual: Light Spinning – Walked on the treadmill for about 20 minutes and hit the spin bikes to work on foot turnover. Kept the resistance light and just focused on spinning quickly. Thoroughly wiped down every machine I touched with sanitizing spray.
Saturday: 2.25M w/u @8:41 + 5K @7:23
Sunday: 6M Easy @9:35 – Since my training plan called for an 11M long run I figured I would split the distance up with my 5k the day before and an easy run on Sunday. My sister-in-law had asked about running together on Friday and I couldn’t so I suggested we meet up on Sunday. Given how crappy I was still feeling, I would have bagged running totally if I hadn’t made plans with her. I didn’t want to bail on her since she had moved her long run so we could run together and I was looking forward to catching up with her. It was a sunny and beautiful day, and the time outside seemed to help with some of my congestion.
Weekly Total: 27.35 miles