Wednesday, July 29, 2015

York Days 5K

Saturday- I wasn't feeling a run, so I opted to take a zero day. My legs were still feeling Friday's run over the Moats, so I wanted to rest up for the race the next day. John and I enjoyed sleeping in and taking a nice lazy morning. Then we went to the Cranmore Adventure Park. I'd snagged a Groupon with a 20% coupon for the both of us, so it was actually worth the cost. The place wasn't too crowded because it was actually cloudy and chilly (yes, I was cold), so we didn't have to wait in any long lines. It was fun, and that's pretty much all we did that day.

Sunday- I was up at 4am, way too early. The York Days 5K in York, Maine started at 8am, so it meant an early start. John went right from the bed to the car and back to sleep. I so wanted to go back to sleep, but York Days is part of the Seacoast Series, so it's one I "had" to do. I had actually planned a crazy morning. I was going to rush right to my car as soon as I finished York Days and then drive over to Dover to jump in the Six03 Summerfest 10K which started at 9am. It would only work if everything worked out perfectly. It was a dumb idea, but I still thought it would be cool to do. I had everything ready to change clothes real quick, and Tom Hooper was going to have a bib ready for me at the starting line. In the end, it didn't work out. York started about 5 minutes late, and I ended up getting snagged for an interview at the finish by the Portsmouth Herald. By the time I got to my car, it was already too late. I actually felt relieved. It would have hurt to sit in my car for 25 minutes then jump out and go right into a 10K. Probably would have injured myself, too, so it was all for the best.

Anyway, we got to York High School around 6:45am. Hardly anyone was there, so I got a parking place easily, then grabbed my bib# and got ready for a warm up. John was still sleeping, so I woke him to tell him I was warming up, and then he just went back to sleep. Since this was my first time doing this one, I decided to run the whole course for the warm up. It wasn't completely flat, but for me, it was flat. The first mile had a slight incline. The second had a downhill, uphill and then a downhill, all very small. And the third was pretty much pancake flat. My warm up was effortless, but when I got back to the car, I was pouring in sweat. The temperature was fairly cool, but the humidity was still there. I had planned to wear a regular shirt, but opted for the singlet after that. We really did luck out weather wise, though. Cloudy, temps in the low 70s. Couldn't beat that in July, really.

I woke John up at this point since I wanted him to know where he was and where to go if he needed someone, then I headed down to the start. I lined up next to Melissa Donais. She and Nate had both come to race this one. The only other people there I recognized were the usual two guys, Eric Couture and Derrick Hamel. I didn't recognize a single other person there in the group of over 600 people. Not a single one. Most of the Six03 people were doing the 10K that morning or else York probably would have had much bigger numbers. I talked to Melissa for awhile, then the Bow Tie Guys sang the National Anthem. Best National Anthem EVER! Seriously.
Bow Tie Guys. What a treat.
Immediately following the National Anthem, the race started. I went off fast (like always). I wanted to get a good lead right off the bat. I didn't know who any of the women were besides Melissa, so I wasn't holding back. But, damn, if this little girl didn't give me a run for my money off the starting line for longer than I was comfortable with. Ha ha. I have to say I was impressed, though. And I think it's awesome that they captured a photo of her totally schooling me.
Getting my ass handed to me. :)
It still took me about another 100 yards to pass her. Phew. Ha ha. From there, I just kept up the fast pace. Just past the 1 mile marker, the course takes a sharp turn right. I took a look back to see the closest woman probably about 20 seconds back. She was the only one I saw, and I knew that if she was 20 seconds back already that she wasn't going to catch me. I knew I could hold a pretty even pace for this course, so I just kept hammering it out, passing a few of the men, including a younger guy who had shot out way in front of Eric and Nate at the start (guess he needs to work on pacing a bit better), and playing leap frog with two others. We hit mile 2, and I knew the rest would be a flat run into the finish. My third mile was slower than the first 2, but not by a significant amount.
Around mile 2.5
I gave it a little kick for the last .1 to make sure I hit a PR, and came through 1st woman, 10th overall in 18:35, 5:59/mi pace. Not a huge PR, though, so I wasn't hugely excited about it. Maybe if I did speed work and trained for 5Ks, I could get it lower, but I'm ok with leaving that part out and running an 18:35. Ha ha. If you follow my blog, you know how I feel about the track (see Boston Twilight post). The second woman came in 43 seconds back, followed closely by Melissa, who was 55 seconds back, so I won by a good margin, but not a huge one. This keeps me in the lead, so far, for the women in the Seacoast Series. The next 3 won't be so easy, so I don't necessarily have it in the bag or anything. Eric Couture and Nate Jenkins had a good battle the whole race, with Eric pulling off another win for the Series. Congrats to him on that! Race Results.

As soon as I finished, the same guy who interviewed me after the Children's Museum of NH 5K stopped me for another one. I was immediately thinking, "Oh no. I sounded like such an idiot in the last one. DO NOT SAY ANYTHING STUPID THIS TIME." Did that work? No. I still sound like a moron. "... I haven’t been doing a lot of workouts..." I swear I said "FAST workouts", not just "workouts". Makes me sound like a total asshole without the word "fast" in there. This might as well have been my quote, "Yeah, like, I don't really workout or train, but I still come out and win this shit easily." Ugh!! Here's the article: Portsmouth Herald Article.

I went right to my car after that to give John some food and change shirts, then I ran the whole course again for a cool down. It was actually much faster than the warm up. Ha ha. Ended up with 9 miles for the day. I got back a little late for the awards and missed being called, but I made it in time for most of the rest, then grabbed mine after they were done. $100 and an actually cool award (I'm not into trophies or medals, normally). It's hard to tell from the pic, but the shoe is floating in the glass. Really neat. John liked it so much that he wanted it. It's his now on his table with his XBOX (and other nik-naks).

I talked with Melissa and Nate a little bit then went back to the car. The beach was right around the corner so we drove over there. Overcast skies meant no problem getting a parking space, so John and I took a short walk on the beach.
John after chasing seagulls on Long Sands Beach in York, ME

The kid has an eye for the beauty of nature (Finally!)
As with most far-off races, I usually have something planned for John to do, and since we were in York, York's Wild Kingdom seemed like the place to go. We were already planning to go since my Fun Pass booklet has a free kids pass in it, but winning the $100 made it even sweeter since I was able to use that to pay my admission. I'm not a huge fan of zoos, but this place was cool. The animals were just so awesome, and the place was very clean and well taken care of. I hated to see the animals in cages, but at the same time, it was neat to see these animals, especially all of the primates. I probably squealed louder at the cuteness than any little girl there. Yes, I'm one of those. Cute animals make me melt. :)
John with a primate (can't remember the name)

My life isn't complete without a llama sighting

Prairie dog about to mow us all down

My big kid!

Us on top of the ferris wheel
John loved this place. He even wanted to go back in the zoo to watch two of the coolest primates one more time while he ate his cotton candy. It was a mama and baby. They were swinging all around the cage. Just amazing to watch.

We headed out after that, and I had this bright idea to go up Rt 1 to go home. Might as well have been in Conway Village on a Friday with stand-still traffic. I stopped in Ogunquit at the Backyard Bakery for a coffee and sandwiches for us then checked Google Maps for a way out of this mess. My out was only a quarter-mile away. Yay! We ended up going back via empty back roads all the way through Maine, even getting off of 109 for a long time to take even emptier back roads by lakes I'd never seen before. I just followed where the Google voice took me since I have it set to take me the fastest route (which takes me around traffic, too). It was actually really pretty and a nice way to go; we ended up right at the Poor People's Pub in Wakefield, NH. I knew where I was at that point and got right on 16N. The traffic going south was unreal; I was happy to be going the opposite direction for the quiet of home.

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