I have a problem. I want to race again. Like right now. The issue is that I’m not in shape – and I really only like racing when I can be competitive (with myself). Racing is fun and I know I could just race “for fun”, but racing is also expensive. I have a handful of races I’m considering doing before NYCM. I guess only time will tell if I toe these start lines or not!
1) July 4th Spectacular 4-miler – July 4.
I’ve run this race the past two years pushing Wyatt (recaps here and here), and we won the stroller division both times. I wanted this to be our tradition and push him every year until he got too big. But he’ll have zero shot of keeping his winning streak alive if I push him. Plus, I’m really out of stroller running shape! So, do I push him and be miserable just to keep the tradition alive? Do I let Jeff push him so he has a shot of winning? I could run alone in that case, or try to keep up with them. My parents will be in town so they could watch Hadley, so the rest of us could race. It’s a new course this year, which makes me really want to do the race since the old course had a killer hill.
2) Turkey Swamp Race Day – August 17.
This is my favorite trail race, and it just happens that I’ll be home in NJ for it this year. It’s a 2.5mi looped, flat course and the event is so laid back – the perfect “no pressure” race. I ran the 10-miler in 2009 and the 20-miler in 2010. This year, I’d likely do the half marathon distance because it would fit in nicely with marathon training.
3) Carowinds Half Marathon – October 5.
I really wanted to do a (road) half marathon before NYCM – preferably in September – but there aren’t any nearby. This half is in the beginning of October, so not too close to the marathon. It’s in a theme park and it’s a two-looped course with a lot of turns, which I’m not thrilled about. But it’s a local race and a flat course, which makes me happy enough to overshadow the negatives!
Decisions, decisions! If anyone knows of any fun Charlotte- area races between now and November, send them my way!
I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving! Jeff and I kicked off turkey day like we have every other year we’ve lived in Charlotte (except in 2011 when I was in the hospital with my one-day old) – with the Charlotte Southpark Turkey Trot!
Hiding from the cold in the car.
It was 21 degrees out this morning – COLD! I went outside my house at 6:30 am and saw there were ice patches. I seriously considered DNS-ing this race. I wasn’t sure if Wyatt would stay warm (Jeff planned on running with him) and I didn’t think it was the best idea to run a potentially icy route during pregnancy.
But since the sun was shining and the wind wasn’t blowing we decided to go to the race – and I’m so glad we did! We stayed in the car until the last possible minute, bundled Wyatt up, and headed to the start.
Every year, I forget how crowded this race is! There were 10,000 participants and chaos at the start line. There were somewhat hard-to-see signs with anticipated paces, but no announcement to line up according to your pace. Still, we lined up in the 8-minute group and it took about 15 seconds to cross the start line.
It. was. packed. The entire way. I ran much faster last year and only remember it being crowded the first mile. But this year, there were still some areas in miles 3 and 4 when I still couldn’t get around people.
Still, I think the crowds helped my time. Jeff and I planned to run together, but I quickly realized it was too hard to concentrate on not tripping and not losing him so I said good-bye to him in mile 1 (ironically, I caught up to him and then lost him several times). He was timing the race on his watch, but once he took off, I was naked. There were no clocks on the course, so I had no idea what my pace was. At mile 1, I heard some guy say he ran a 9:20. That kind of surprised me – with all the crowds and weaving, I thought I had run much slower.
I aimed to pick up the pace a little bit. My original goal was to finish within 10 minutes of last year’s time – 34:55 – which meant I had to take it down to a 9-minute pace.
The rest of the race was kind of a blur. I really appreciated the volunteers pointing out where the ice on the course was. I had to pee (shocking), but never found a porta-potty. I remembered feeling strong and not needing to walk up hills which was odd since the course is so challenging. And I also didn’t need stop at any of the two water stations, which was really unusual since I usually carry water and drink some every mile or two.
Right after mile 4, I caught up with Jeff and he told me there was a chance we could come in around 40 minutes. What?! He had to be kidding. So, even thought he told me he’d stick with me the rest of the race, I did what any competitive wife would and sprinted ahead.
I ended up finishing in 40:14 – an 8:06 pace which is my fastest pregnant run ever by far.
Jeff and Wyatt came in 2 seconds after me. We got our medals, grabbed some water, and then let Wyatt stretch his legs out.
And then we realized how cold it was and hightailed it back to the car before we got a family photo. Oh well!
I used to love this race, but the crowds really are an issue. I wish the race had corrals or the announcers at least encouraged people to line up with their anticipated paces. We found out last week that there’s a 5k turkey trot in our new neighborhood, and I’m tempted to go that route next year if it’s offered again.
Regardless, I love turkey trots. I can’t think of a better way to kick off a holiday with my family.
I can’t wait for the year when Wyatt and the baby in my belly are running beside me. Actually, I hope they run way ahead of me!
I’ve been running for ten years, but I didn’t run my first 5k until I was pregnant two years ago. My first road race was a 10k and I just “went up” from there.
Truth be told, I always thought short races were kind of a waste of time and money. I’m weird and I rarely ever run for fewer than 30 minutes in training. So why would I get up early and pay to race for “only” 20-something minutes?
Now that I have a few 5ks and 4-milers under my belt, I totally get the appeal of shorter distances. Not only are they super tough – I only ever feel like I’m going to during after a 5k – but they’re a great way to check in with your ability, tune up, and train for longer goal races.
I’m on such a high from the 4th of July Spectacular 4-Miler last week. I thought about registering for another short race to do in the next few weeks, but my calendar is jam-packed.
Instead, I’m going to give you the chance to run a short race! I know a lot of you are just starting half and full marathon training for Fall races, so I thought it’d be a great idea to throw a 5k, 4-, or 5-mile race in there to break up your training.
Leave a comment below telling me what short race you want to run -- and I'll pay for your for your entry fee! It can really be any distance, just as long as you consider it short (and as long as registration is $50 or less -- sorry guys, I have to draw a limit somewhere). Entries will be accepted until 11:59 eastern time on Friday, July 12, 2013. A winner will be randomly chosen and announced in next Monday’s post. Good luck!