Sunday, May 3, 2015

Children's Museum of NH 5K

The Children's Museum of NH 5K wasn't in my plan until about 3 weeks ago when the Merrimack River Trail Race got postponed to May 9th. I was planning to run Seven Sisters this weekend, but after the postponement, I decided I probably shouldn't do these two killer races back-to-back with Vermont City Marathon coming up. I'm already racing every weekend leading up to Vermont, but I didn't want to kill myself. Six03 Endurance invited me to Children's Museum via FB, so I thought it would be a perfect way to continue my "speed work", and I signed up. After doing so well at the Rescue Run, I thought I might have a chance to win this race, but I was still a little nervous about it. My 5K days are WAY BACK in the past, and I really have no idea what I'm doing. I have just been going out fast from the get-go and trying to hang on. Seems to be working, I guess.

John and I headed down there early. He pretty much goes from being asleep to going back to sleep in the car, so for him, it's not too bad. I was actually nervous, and I hadn't taken it easy at all during the week. That usually seems to work for me, but I do sometimes wonder if I'm burning the candle at both ends. If I am, well then, so be it. It keeps me going. Once I arrived, I parked right in the lot by the start and finish. I kind of felt stupid since I had no idea where the bib pickup was and started asking around. I finally found someone who knew who walked me up around the pool building where it was. I found Jim Johnson, Melissa Donais and Nate Jenkins there and chatted with them a bit after picking up my bib. This was Melissa's first race back after being injured all winter, and she also seemed a little nervous. I headed back to the car to drop my stuff and get ready for a warm up. I was planning 2 miles, but just as I started up the hill, Jim caught up with me, and before I knew it, I was committed to the full course for the warmup. Ha ha. The pace was pretty fast, probably faster than I would have run by myself. By the time we finished, I felt like I had already raced. :) It was good to do the course beforehand, and I was thankful for it during the race since I knew all of the ups and downs. After the warmup, I got ready for the race and made my way to the start line. I ran into Darin Brown, another MWV runner, whom I've known (and somewhat worked with at the hospital ER) for the last 4 years. He was another runner on the injured list who is trying to get his speed back right now. Darin wanted to go sub-19. I did, too, so we lined up together. I chatted with Melissa at the start for a little bit, as well. I thought for sure she would kill me here, since this is her distance, so I started behind her when she moved up almost to the line. After the National Anthem, the race started.
You can see Darin and me in the Six03 red shirts and Melissa in between us in the CMS gear.
I went out hard right from the start. The race starts on an uphill that doesn't really let up until past the first mile, so I decided to just push the first mile. I passed Melissa and Darin right past the start line and never saw them again during the race. I kept getting nervous that every time I turned around, Melissa would be right over my shoulder, but by the time I made my first look back, I didn't see any woman at all. That brought me a huge relief, but I still didn't let up since I wanted to go sub-19. I hit the first mile in 6:04, which I was happy with, but the second mile was slower in 6:05. That was a bit surprising since it less of an uphill, but it was still ok. The third mile is much faster with a really decent downhill, so I was happy to see a 5:47 for that. I was also surprised because around 2.8, I was tanking, and the guy who had been on my heels for the whole race passed me easily. I took one last look back as we turned off the bridge and saw no competition, so I knew that if I continued to tank, I would still have 1st woman in the bag.
Just before the bridge around mile 2.7 or so
I wasn't looking at my watch at all for the last mile, so when I saw the clock at the finish, I was psyched. I knew I had a sub-19 easily. I made it through the finish in 18:47 on the clock (18:46 chip time), 1st woman, 10th overall. Darin finished less than 20 seconds behind me for 11th place and top master. Race Results. I was very happy with my run. I didn't expect to run that fast on that course. It is definitely not a fast course. I also didn't expect to beat Melissa, who came in almost a minute behind me. I think I'm going to try to do the Seacoast Series now (well, 6 out of the 8). I can't do Redhook, but I've been signed up for Market Square for a few weeks. I think I'll plan on the ones following it, except for the last one (day before the White Mountain Milers Half Marathon).
Absolutely horrid picture, but you can actually tell I was hurting. 
As soon as I finished, I was sucking wind and just had to keep walking, so I walked up the hill and then back to where I ran into a Foster's reporter wanting to interview me. Darin was there with me chiming in, but of course, my stupid comments are the only ones that made it in the article. I need to chose my words more carefully next time. Haha. Here's a link to the article: Children's Museum of NH 2015 Article. I really do sound like an idiot. Oh well. (It wasn't the only article I got a mention in in Foster's today, though. A few of us were featured as New Hampshire running bloggers. I like this article since I don't sound like a total idiot. Ha ha. Follow these four NH runners' blogs. Thank you to Nancy Eckerson for this one.)

After my interview (the water and mills are so pretty! Ugh), Jim, Darin, Eric Couture and Derrick Hamel were all headed on a cool down and invited me along. I had to check on John first but said I would try to catch up. John was happy where he was, so I bolted up the road trying to catch those guys. It took me over half a mile to catch them. I only ran about another half mile with them before turning back to the finish area for a 2.1 mile cool down. It was almost time for John's kid race. He was so mad that I signed him up for it. It was only a 1/4 mile race, and I knew that was up his alley. As much as he protests about getting out of the house or car, once he's out, he's good and hardly ever complains. I got his shirt and bib# and then we watched the younger kids' races. They were so cute. John was actually excited at this point so when it was his turn, he walked happily to the start line. He went off at a good sprint and raced hard for his one lap around the track. He ran hard the whole way. He didn't win, but it didn't matter. Just getting him out there and for him to tell me that it was a lot of fun afterward was all that I cared about.
John near the finish of the 1/4 mile kids race

I forgot to take a picture of him at the race so I snagged this one at the Albany Town Forest. LOL.
After his race, we grabbed more pizza and snacks. Nate Huppe was there and joined us. He lives nearby and came out to spectate. Nate brought his Super Soaker water gun that I was shot with multiple times by Nate and then John. Nate also tried to get me to try ghost peppers that he brought along, but I wasn't having it. Nice try, Nate.
The awards followed. I won 10 lobster dinners to the Weathervane. So I need 8 more people to join me when I do use them! Ha ha. John played on the playground for a bit; we said goodbye to Nate and hit the road. We went south for a bit to hit Trader Joe's in Newington and then back north for home. Once we were home, I grabbed the three dogs, and we all went for a 2-mile walk in the Albany Town Forest. That was pretty much it for the day. 

I decided to bag the local Spring into Spring 5k this morning. I just wasn't feeling up to racing hard again and didn't want to spend the money, so it ended up being my typical Sunday of Heavenly Hill repeats. I ran 4 of them today. It was actually pretty hot out when I ran them, so I was hurting a bit. I also realized that I cannot do them again without clearing the trail. The leaves are atrocious. It's like the end of Fall up there. So my plan is to clear the trail during my Friday zero day next week. It's time to get the trail work done. For the week, I ended up with 64 miles and over 6000 ft of elevation gain. I've been trying to get over 5000 ft of gain in a week to help prepare me for the Mountain Series. I've been doing pretty well so far. And just over 60 miles a week is where I want to be, also, so I'm hitting it right.

John and I spent the afternoon hiking up Mt Willard in Crawford Notch. The trail is still completely snow-covered, but we didn't need microspikes or any other traction. The snow is kind of sticky. John is funny. As soon as he saw the snow on the trail, he yelled out, "Snow?! It's Spring, goddammit!" Ha ha. Oops. I was glad no one was around to hear my 9 year old say that, but come on, we all know he's right, goddammit! :) It was an easy hike for us up to the top, where we stayed for about 10 minutes checking out the awesome view of Crawford Notch. 
John put his leg in a posthole

Obliging for the camera

After our hike, we stopped at Glen Fire Station so I could do some billing for the ambulance. It took a little longer than I planned, but we made it home a little before 7pm. John actually wanted to join me to take the dogs out (that never happens). He got a big kick out of me sliding into the brook from a rotten tree I was standing on. Good times. We had a great weekend together.
The brook behind our house

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