Hi friends! Well yesterday marked my 4th consecutive year running the Forest City Road Race. The 2012 FCRR was my 1st race ever, and I did the 5km distance....and it SUCKED big time....but none the less I was hooked - I caught the running bug.
You may (or not) remember that I ran the 1/2 marathon at this race last year. I had a lot of knee issues last year, and coming back to this race my only goal was to finish feeling good! (Something that I hadn't ever experienced at the end of a 1/2). After being at the RunDisney marathon back in January, and then doing some research, and ordering Jeff Galloway's book on the #runwalkrun method, that's how I've been training this year. Other then a little knee issue I had about 6 weeks ago, training this way has been going awesome!!
I was running this race with my MIL (her 2nd 1/2 marathon ever), and she had asked me earlier in the week what my goal was for this race...and in all honesty...I was really just looking at this race as a training run for my upcoming 1/2 that we are doing in Niagara Falls the 1st weekend in June. This distance fit in nicely with our training plan right now, so I had decided that although it would be great to PR...that's not what I had my sights set on for this race...I just wanted to DO, and more then anything FEEL, better finishing this year than I did last year (which ended up being 2:58:57)
Mike and I were up bright and early, and after a 1/2 a bagel, Mike taped my knee up for me
we were off to the races (literally)
We met up with my in-laws once we arrived at the park and chatted with a few fellow runners that we always tend to run into at local races. After our pre-race photo we headed to the start line
And we were off...we started all of our gadgets (gym boss, watch and iPod) and then right away we settled into a comfortable pace, ensuring we weren't too quick out of the gate only to lose momentum later. It was nice to have someone to chit chat with along the course, allowing me to not stress about pace or how far I still had to go etc. Before we knew it we had passed the 2km mark, and I spotted a friend up ahead that had come out to cheer us on...this was especially a nice treat 'cause I knew we wouldn't see another cheering squad for us until the 20km mark
I knew that at the end of this race, we would be asked to vote for our favourite "water" station, so I really made sure to pay attention to each and every one of them...my fav was the London Pacers station. They had music pumping, great race signs that made me really chuckle both times we passed their table, and were just super encouraging to each runner as they came through! With doing our run/walk/run (3/1/3) it just so happened that our walk breaks for the most part always corresponded to the water stations - which worked out really well!
It was my MIL's first time running this race, so she got to run in a lot of places/paths that she had never been on before, and couldn't believe how many really nice running paths our city has to offer. You know it's funny how we can get "stuck" running the same thing over and over again (ahem...cough...all of my training has been on the treadmill), so it was so nice to be out enjoying ourselves!
At about the 14km mark, we needed a port-a-potty stop...but they were both occupied, luckily though, just up behind them there were public bathrooms...which happened to be open! After a 2min pit stop, we were on our way. While on our pit stop, I was calculating our pace etc. and knew that we were going to have a great race if we could stay on track. With the Jeff Galloway training plan the goal is for race day, that you should be feeling good still at the end of your race that you can run through the last number of km's. We had decided at the beginning of the race that we would talk about it at km marker 17, and decide how we felt at that point. My MIL was having a toe issue, so we decided "hey today's a training run" and we want to finish feeling as good as possible, so why mess with what was working for us...so we kept on with our 3/1/3.
We high-fived each other at each km marker (one of the best marked courses I've ever run, with each race's km markers in different colours to easily distinguish your race), and I was thrilled when we reached the 20km mark, we rounded the corner into the home stretch, and I immediately started looking for my FIL, Michael and Jackson...to be honest, I knew that we were running faster then Mike would expect us to, so I wondered if they would even be there yet...but lo and behold they were and we were able to get a few high-fives in with them
Now we were in the final block, turned a couple corners, and I asked my MIL if she knew what we were at, and she said she hadn't been looking on purpose...well we headed down the final stretch and the announcers announced Sue and Michael (yes you just read that right...Mike will have more on that story this week), and we crossed the finish line 2:27:36....what?!?!? That was a 31:20 improvement for me over the same race last year, and a 12:28 PR for both my MIL and I!!!!! Wowzers...I wasn't sure that I would ever break 2:30:00, and here we did...and more importantly I felt great!!! I am thrilled and so happy to have finally found a plan that seems to work for my body.
It was a GREAT race, great weather, a great day to be out there running!
Thanks again to the organizers and volunteers of the 2015 Forest City Road Race!!!
What's your go-to meal/treat after a race?
Ours is always pizza