Two Days, two races, total loss of sanity….

Spoiler alert- I ran two races in two days.

It turned out to be fine.

It’s Tuesday, and my legs are starting to feel like legs again- not just pillars of jello. So that’s a plus.

I mean this all started after Kalamazoo. I pr’d my half time, but it was a tough course, so I figured if I could pb on that- what could I do on a flat course?

Thus started the search for a half I could run, prior to starting this training cycle for Chicago. And also a “local race” so either Chicago or Mid-Michigan. And of course a flat course.

I found one that fit these requirements- The Curwood Festival Half Marathon. It was June 6, a half marathon, near my dad’s house in Michigan, and heck in the description it even said its a “fast flat course”. And it was only $25 to sign up.

Hell to the yeah.

I didn’t sign up right away…. I toyed with the idea for a few weeks. Meanwhile one of my cousins had started training for a 5k- the DeWitt Summer Fun 5k, and invited myself and our other cousin to join her.

So that’s the story of how I signed up for two races, within 24 hours of one another.

I knew as I actually went through with signing up for the both of them that Sunday would be hard. I also told myself that I’m crazy.

I will say up front, I ran two great races.

For Saturday I was very nervous.  I drove into Michigan from Chicago Friday night – so my legs had that nice stiff car feel, when I got into bed.  As I had eluded to on here – I had been VERY careful with my diet over last week to limit any possible bathroom complications.

The forecast was supposed to be 70’s and humid.  Fortunately it was just mid-50’s and kind of humid- perfect weather for me.  I was cold at the start, but warmed up pretty quickly.  My mindset for this race was: “I know I can run 2:11 and I only paid $25 to do this – let’s just roll the dice”.

Let me back up here real quick – again I paid $25 for this.  But there was MINIMAL info about this race on their website, part of me was worried I’d been scammed – except the race was on the festival’s event schedule.  I didn’t know what the course was, I just knew “fast and flat” (I like to google street view any unfamiliar courses)… but I had nothing to go off of.  I just kept taking comfort in “it was only $25”.

  

I was extremely pleased when I got there- they had a nice little set up (it was not a big race).  They had porta-loo’s, bibs, and a course map- with plenty of marked water stops on it.

So back to me rolling the dice- I went out at a pretty liberal pace.  Again that mentality of “I only paid $25” was maybe making me a bit more reckless than normal.  Within the first 2 1/2 miles there is about 50-75% trail running.  So that forced me into a more conservative pace, and allowed me to settle into a better rhythm.

I was impressed by the amount of volunteer support they had – 8 water stations and past the halfway point they gave out mini water bottles.

HOWEVER.  The course was NOT flat.  Between miles 5 and 8 there were steady rolling hills.

 Not.a.fan.

But again – it was only $25.

My watch was dead on for about 85% of the run, and I was expecting to come in at 2:05 (another PR).  However I noticed at mile 10 – I was off a bit- my watch was behind the mile marker.  So kind of knowing about where I was at, once I got to the last 1.5 mile I pushed it.  Then in the last half mile stretch – once I got off the trail, I laid it all out there.

I mean….it was only $25….

Came in at 2:02:43, a 9 minute improvement from Kalamazoo, and a 13 minute improvement from my best time last year.

After that I grabbed a popsicle (they gave out popsicles- this made me so happy)- and checked on my place (they awarded top 3 in age group)- I was fourth.  I was not upset in the slightest- places 1-2-3 were all well below a 2 hour time (1:40’s).

After this my dad and I hit up Big Boy (so many waffles), and then I went home and napped.  Saturday night I went out with Pat’s parents we ate, we drank, I went to bed late.

Heck I didn’t care that I had a race Sunday “It’s only a 5k” I told myself.

And I was there to have fun, after all two of my cousins were doing it with me.  We met at my cousin’s home – her, and her family live in Dewitt – near where the race would be.  We chit chatted, and posed for a few photos and were off.  This was my cousin Makayla’s first 5k and she did amazing.  Jenny is a seasoned 5k-er, I actively try to deprive her of her sanity, and coax her into longer distances with me (not there yet- but a work in progress).

  

Except I’m a competitive little jerk. (Mostly with myself).

home alone

Well I mean, I’m not really a jerk.  I’m more like a self saboteur.

I drank the night before.  I had tired fatigued legs.

I told myself “Sarah you don’t need to go out hard”…

That lasted about 10 seconds after the gun went off.

Again- the mindset of “well it’s just a 5k and if I have to walk- I’ll walk….” (it was also a cheap race).

Went out at a 7:20 pace.  It was humid.  I was dehydrated, my legs felt like lead.

Horrible choice.  Just horrible.

I was ready to projectile vom by the first mile – that was when I had a mental “Come to Jesus meeting” with myself.  That I could seriously slow down.

That was finally when I did something sensible.

For having tired legs, I ran a really solid 5k – 25:53 (my pr is 25:46- and on fresh legs).

That was good enough for 2nd place in my age group.  Which earned me a really nifty glass/trophy.  And they had really good cookies.

  

After that I went back to Makayla’s and we all had breakfast together – her hubby made us bacon (BACON!!!) and eggs, while her daughters provided the entertainment.

Both races were quite small, but small is not necessarily bad (it can be) but in these cases – they were both well marked, well organized events with adequate volunteers.

I would definitely do them both again and found them both on runningintheusa.com

For both races I would have preferred more details on the event site – but I still survived.  I definitely hated myself a lot – as I forgot to pack compression socks. 

The ride back to Chicago felt like it took forever…. My legs were just done by Sunday afternoon. 

I took yesterday off, and as I said before – my legs are feeling normal again.  Just normal enough for some speedwork tonight.

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