This morning, I had the very distinct privilege of running my entire 14-miler with fellow FASTie and Stashie, Kristi. Kristi is a faster runner than I am, so I don't usually get to run with her, but she told me she wanted to slow down a bit for her long runs because she had been running them too fast. After this morning though, she may have decided that running faster isn't such a bad idea after all.
You see, I may have rambled on a bit too much about this and that and the other. The route we ran took us past my old apartment, my orthodontist, and even the beautiful park where my husband and I had our engagement photos taken many years ago... never mind that the park also happened to be a cemetery. There is, of course, a long story behind why we had our photos done in a cemetery, and I assure you, Kristi heard the entire story. Just know that you can't see headstones in our pictures, I swear! But I digress... and I may have digressed quite a bit during our run this morning. It will be very interesting to see if Kristi runs with me again. Let's hope, for her sake, that the next route doesn't take us past all those places where I did all those things....
Senseless rambling aside, we actually had a really great run. I can't speak for Kristi, but the 14 miles was over before I knew it and I felt good for the whole run. For the most part we got progressively faster as the run went on, which is really saying something when you look at the elevation profile. The out-and-back course was largely downhill going out, and uphill coming back. Our last mile was our strongest, at a blazing (for me) 9:24 pace.
As always, it was a pleasure to be part of the Stash group - their camaraderie, encouragement, and helpful advice break up the monotony of the long miles. Our fearless leader, Frank, has run over 100 marathons in his life and we are so fortunate to have access to his wisdom and experience. And today he was wearing these really cool funky purple shorts and you just know that in logging however many thousands of miles he's logged (no doubt, tens of thousands), he has enjoyed every step and maintained a sense of humor. I want to be like Frank when I grow up!
Now, before I forget, I do have a race report to write this weekend. Yesterday I ran the Limestone Rocket Run 5k in Bartonville, IL. I have told you all many times that I simply cannot run a race without racing. Well, as it turns out, I was wrong. I managed to not race yesterday, and you know what? It was liberating! That's not to say that I jogged it at a super-easy pace. I found a sort of middle ground - a pace that was not 5k race effort, but not easy-peasy either. In the end, I finished in 28:13 (a 9:05 pace) and felt pretty good. But let's talk about the actual race details...
This was the 11th running of this particular race, and it showed. It was well-organized from start to finish, and the swag was excellent. Our race packets included a nice non-white t-shirt (cotton, yes, but still, at least it's not white), and lots of samples of things like cereal, BioFreeze, and bandaids. Pretty decent for a small-town race (there were about 230 participants). The race was not chip-timed, but in an event this small, chip timing is probably not worth the expense.
When we arrived to the start location, we noticed the sky was looking rather ominous. And by ominous, I mean terrifying:
And yes, it rained. I got decently soaked for the first mile or so, and then I looked up at the sky and saw a beautiful full-arc rainbow. I think if I had been racing hard, I might not have even noticed the rainbow.
The crowd support was surprisingly strong - the local high school had their cheerleaders, sports teams, and marching band in various spots along the course to keep us pumped up. I got running high-fives from the entire girls' volleyball team - they were particularly enthusiastic.
The course consisted of a lot of rolling hills. Nothing terribly long or steep, although the finish line was essentially at the top of a hill. This made a finishing kick rather difficult.
The post-race refreshments were very impressive. The spread was larger than you might find in some buffet restaurants. There were pizza, bagels, cookies, bananas, watermelon, oranges, Twinkies, smoothies, and more. It was a veritable smorgasbord of post-run treats.
I did not partake of the pizza, nor did I taste a Twinkie, but I did welcome the watermelon (it was even seedless!) and chew on a chocolate chip cookie. (Do ya like my creative use of alliteration there?)
There were dozens of door prizes, which were given away randomly to race participants by bib number. And the race trophies were impressive too. Several of my friends earned age group trophies - and to them I say "Congrats!"
All in all, a very nice race - well-organized, fun to run, with lots of great goodies. I will definitely be back next year. I placed 5th in my age group this year - maybe if I really try to race it next year, I can take home one of those awesome trophies.
Peace. Love. Train.