After two weeks off, I raced again. And this time it was fun.
Just before the half I was convinced to run the Devil’s Chase 6.66 mile race. Honestly, it didn’t take much convincing. A bunch of friends do it every year and really I run to hang out with runners and bask in the glory of the finish line so it was an easy yes.
The race is in Salem, MA which goes cray cray in October because of the witch trials from 16-whatever. Or maybe it’s 17-whatever. Personally, I don’t really get the obsession and have never had any desire to visit Salem to celebrate Halloween. But I have friends that live there now and invited us to run the race and then eat/drink at their house all day. Yay Christine and Ryan on their new place (even with all the Cardinals stuff – GO SOX!) and OMG the baked french toast and adobo. I’ve now been spoiled and will expect a shower and a feast after every race. Please and thank you.
The race itself was in Salem. At 8 AM. In late October. That meant leaving Boston at 6:15 (Ok. 6:30. Kate and I are never on time to anything). It was pitch black and below 32 degrees. We joked about picking up our numbers, hiding in the car until near the end, and then sneaking into the finish. Of course we would never be dishonest like that. But the car! It was so toasty inside. And decidedly not toasty outside. At the start we ran into the one of the other cars of friends and headed in for packet pick up. There was frost on the ground. FROST! Gross. I wasn’t sure if we would head back to the car before the race started so I peeled off my warm layer before we walked over. Mistake. Not race ruining mistake, I just had to stand around freezing my buns off for a half hour. And still went back to the car to drop off stuff anyways. Whatevs. Lesson learned.
The actual race? Not too bad. The course is beautiful and the race was nearly the perfect size. And while I still came in pretty close to the back, I didn’t come in last. I didn’t come in last in my age group either. And. AND! I passed a lady in the final mile. If I hadn’t cramped in my ribs for all of the last mile I would have chicked a dude. Damn rubs and their insistence on being comfortable and ‘able to breathe’. Plus, I upped my intervals to 8:1 which gives me hope for a good race at the Feaster Five on Thanksgiving. And I trimmed quite a lot off my half marathon pace. Nearly 1:24 a mile. Yes, I ran my half slower because there was a lot more race, but this was still 6.66 miles; not insignificant. I did almost get lost at one point, but someone pointed me in the right direction. Also, there was a big ass hill running up to mile 5. Ok. Not really that big, but on a mostly flat course and that far into the race it seemed a bit beastly. I had 3 minutes left on an interval. And I kept going. And ran up the whole. damn. hill. Eff yeah! And on top of it all, the course sort of loops in and out several times so I got to see a bunch of my friends that were running and are super faster than I am. Plus all the costumes. Nearly everyone dressed up – most as devil’s, some as other things. I wish I had put together something, but I just wrapped up on of the biggest work projects of my life on Thursday and didn’t really feel like taking the time to put a costume together. Next year. Next year it will be epic.
I will add. Right after my half my body hurt, and though I finished, I sort of wasn’t completely pleased with my result and I wasn’t sure I would be able to commit myself to more training to try again in a few months/next fall. I knew I had this race coming and yet I didn’t run. I elipticaled and weight lifted but I didn’t run. With my better result yesterday I’m looking forward to lacing up my shoes and getting back out there. If only it wasn’t getting dark at 4:45PM starting next week…stupid late fall/winter. But that’s a post for another day.
Hearts and moar running