Monday, March 12, 2012

Super Sunday: Wearin' of the Green 7k and Wonderful Weather

Yesterday was the day I've been training for since January. Wearin' of the Green 7k at Maumee Bay State Park. I was nervous for several reasons. I posted HERE about the weather warning from the "head leprechaun". Basically, this race is NOTORIOUS among local runners for its crap-tastic weather. Luckily, we dodged that bullet. It was already in the low 50s when the race started and was almost 60 by the time I headed home. The gorgeous weather brought out a significantly larger number of people than expected. According to a conversation I heard the day of, they had at least 30% more people pre-registered. I know there were at least 230 people (mainly because I saw someone with that stick). The more people, the less competitive I can be with other people. I realized this quickly and had to force myself to focus on my own race.

Despite the increase in people, the registration table and shirt pick-up went amazingly smooth. This COULD be because I went up to the lodge almost an hour before the race, but they had a great system that would have easily dealt with a bigger crowd. Once again, we were given numbered bibs that don't really mean anything. We just wear them so Toledo Roadrunners knows there are no bandits running the race. It's a gun start and as you run through the shoot at the end, you're handed a numbered stick and a computer system is clicked. You go back to the registration table and turn in your numbered stick, which is then coordinated to the number in the computer system (after the last person has crossed the finish line). A printout of stick numbers and times is taken up to the registration table and everything is filled in by hand. Inefficient, yes, but it works for our smaller local races. Anyway, the shirts were pretty awesome. Neon green Brooks tech shirt. One thing, though ... it's BIG. I wear medium shirts in just about every brand, but this shirt isn't just big around the middle, the arms are long too. Oh well. It's another tech shirt. If I really want to, it isn't a big deal to make alterations. I'm pretty nifty with a sewing machine.

The race itself wasn't bad. I started out faster than I wanted to, but it worked out. Instead of focusing on my mile times, I just focused on the next person in front of me and picking them off. My first three miles were run at 10:33, 10:39 (when I decided I ran the first mile too fast), and 10:19 (when I decided I wanted to run faster anyway). Mile 4 was a bit of a grind; I ran it at a 9:51, but I thought I was going to throw up for the majority of it. I had to focus on my form, the scenery, ANYTHING but how I was getting THAT feeling. When I saw the marker for "1/4 mile to go" and realized how close I was (remember, I know this park and it's trails pretty darn well from my masters field research), I said screw it and just pushed myself. I figured if I was going to puke, I was going to do it after the finish line. The last 0.37 miles was run at a 9:02/mile pace, according to my garmin. So, by garmin time, I ran 4.37 miles in 44:46, which is a 10:14/mile pace. Not too shabby for my first attempt at racing something longer than a 5k. :) I'm sure the official results will be up within a day or two and then I'll get into the nitty gritty of the stats.

After getting the results (didn't place in my age category), I decided to enjoy the gorgeous day. I had purposely packed extra clothes and food, so I changed out of my sweaty clothes and drove over to the beach. There's just something so calming, so centering about sitting on the rock and log break wall and staring out at Maumee Bay and Lake Erie. It was so clear I could see 3 power plants and the water intake for the City of Toledo. Oh, and my favorite little lake island ...
Taken June 2008
I had a bit of an epiphany while I was sitting there too ... I've been trying to figure out how to get in some hill repeats without running along some seriously dangerous roads (narrow, blind corners, distracted drivers), and I may have come up with an answer ...
Known as the "big hill" in the park, it's actually just the material that was dug out to create the inland lake [of course, found out after spending 2 days of trying to get ground-penetrating radar and electrical resistance images of the darn thing for my masters thesis]. There is a trail that goes up and over it, along with a bench and binocular station at the top. Those black dots on the right side, above the tree and bush? Those are people. I realize this isn't the best option, being as steep as it is, but it's something. There's another hill about the same size on the other side of the inland lake and a paved trail along the beach between them. I could easily log a couple miles just going back and forth. Along with the dune trail out at Oak Openings and the smaller hills of the canal towpath, I have something to work on.

When I got home, I didn't really feel like doing anything. One of the neighbor kids was laying out on the driveway reading, so I got the idea to take my old yoga mat out on the back deck and relax. I didn't want to go all the way out into the yard because the ants are already going crazy and I know there are at least 3 or 4 sand burr plants out in the yard that I haven't found yet. Every time I walk out to the pool or the back garage, I end up with a burr or two on my shoe, but I can't figure out where the heck I'm picking them up. Anyway, It was blissful sitting out there in the sunshine, relaxing, listening to the neighborhood kids running around playing tag. One of the older girls saw me out there and came over to talk to me. She's working on a photography project for a class (their current lesson is on perspective) and wanted to ask if she could take some pictures that *might* have me in them. I told her sure, as long as she sent me any that she took of me. :)


  1. Great job on your 7k! Sounds like you had a pretty good day. I know I have been soaking in all this sunshine and warm temps! About time for it, winter was starting to make me mad.

  2. I love her perspective pic of you :) the shadowing is perfect!!!!!

    I hate big hills....especially when people put them in quotes and belittle them ;) lol Great 7k Jess!!!!!

    and thanks so much for posting about mad abs - I've been loving it!