Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Fox Point Sunset 5 Mile Road Race 2015

The Fox Point 5-mile race was on Saturday evening down in Newington, NH. It was kind of nice to sleep in and take it easy on Saturday morning, but I'm still not a huge fan of these evening races. I haven't done exceptionally well in any of them this year. A lot of the previous ones could also be due to the heat and humidity, but I really don't think I run my best in the evening no matter what the weather. In fact, I rarely ever used to run in the evening, so it's taken some getting used to over the last year. I'm just tired at that time of day, so having to push myself in a race is the last thing I want to do. Nonetheless, I had to do Fox Point to count for the Seacoast Series, so I was going down there no matter what. I had two races left to complete for the Series, and I can't do the last one (Great Bay 5K), so it was a done deal. No backing out, even though I will admit to dreading the weekend a little bit. Not only did I "have" to do Fox Point, I also "had" to do the Kismet Cliff Run the following morning (only 17 hours in between the races). I never miss Kismet, so that was also a done deal. I was happy to have Fox Point first, though, because that was the one I needed to be the most fresh in if I wanted to finish first woman.

John and I headed down around 2:30pm to get there early enough for the Kids' 1-mile race I signed him up for. As always, he fell asleep for most of the ride down, so when we got there, he was grumpy and said he was not doing the kids race. I told him that was fine but that he still had to get out of the car and come up to the finish area; he couldn't hang out in the car during the race. I gave him some time to wake up and stay in the car while I walked up to the registration area to pick up our bibs and shirts. I ran into Melissa Donais and Nate Jenkins, so I talked with them for a few minutes. It was nice to see them so much less stressed than they had been at York Days; they're starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel with all of their home buying/selling mess, and you can definitely see the difference. They seem way more relaxed, and I'm happy for them.

I went back to the car to grab my stuff and John, who still said, "I am not running in that race." Ok, fine by me. Two minutes later, as we're walking back up to the finish area: "I changed my mind. I think I want to do that race now." ha ha. I don't know what changed his mind, but it was nice to see the turnaround. We didn't have too much time once we got up there. He wanted me to run the race with him, so I had to quickly put myself together. I never show up at a race ready to go. The kids race ended up being loops around a big field out back. The kids were told they could choose how many laps (1 to 4) they wanted to do. I'll admit that I thought he would choose one and be done, but he said that he wanted to do all 4 to finish the full mile. I was shocked, but still unsure whether he would change his mind mid-race, but it didn't matter. He was out there because he wanted to be, and that's all that mattered. The kids race began, and John shot off like a rocket. It literally took me almost the first lap to catch him; I was thinking, "This is way faster of a warm up than I wanted to do." I finally caught him as he slowed. He passed through lap 1 and kept going. Same for 2 and 3. I was shocked. And he was telling me that he was trying to hold a steady pace. Very cool. By lap 4, he told me he was getting tired and his throat was burning, but he just kept running. I mentioned sprinting through the finish, and he said he was already planning that, and sure enough, about 20 yards before the line, he kicked it in gear and sprinted through the finish in 10:10. It was awesome. I started talking to him about how he started off really fast and how I couldn't catch him, blah, blah, blah. He said that he had planned it that way, to start off fast, slow it down to a comfortable pace and then sprint through the finish. It was awesome. He actually had a race strategy! That was more well thought out than anything I ever do! :) Maybe he will get into running some day? I don't know. Maybe not, but it was still cool to see him out there going from grumpy head to smiling and pushing himself hard.
He wasn't too thrilled about the race yet.

Lap 2. Good sign if he smiles for the camera.

Serious business

Blurry as we ran.

Lap 4

Done! Popsicle in hand.
John and I walked back over to where we had set up "camp". He sat in his lawn chair, and I went out for another very short warm up. I didn't have a lot of time left, so I just settled on another mile. Despite it being cooler and drier, it was still too hot and humid for my preference. I was informed by many people that the year before was extremely hot and humid, so I tried to keep my this-is-way-too-hot thoughts to myself. Ha ha.

At the start, I chatted with Melissa and Jessica LaFleur and some other people I knew. It was a nice group of people. The Stoneface Brewing Co guys tried to recruit some of us from Six03, but we told them, "Not without free beer." They were cool and had a really decent-sized group out there racing. I eyed the crowd a little bit, and other than Melissa and Jessica, I saw no one who looked like competition. I knew someone could be hiding, but I didn't think so, so I decided before we even started that I was going to win this one. My next goal would be a sub-31.

After the National Anthem by a very cute crowd of kids, the race started. It immediately starts on an uphill, which was probably a good thing. I went out fast, just like John haha, but the hill probably helped me from going out too fast. It was a pretty short hill before it descended down the other side, and I waved over at John, who waved back as I passed by. I felt surprisingly good and just kept cranking it out. My first mile split was right where I wanted it to be right around 6 even. The race continued downhill for awhile and then took a sharp left onto a bike path. I took a look back and saw Melissa way too close for comfort, so I picked up the pace in hope of dropping her a little more to my comfort level. Strava is off a bit; my second mile was 5:55. I didn't take a look back again until mile 4.5. For some reason, I just felt pretty confident that I had a decent lead. I came through the 5k mark in 18:53. I was happy with that, but I knew I had two decent climbs up ahead for the last two miles. They're nothing compared to what I'm used to, but I had a feeling they could slow me just enough to not meet my goal of a sub-31. I started adding up time in my head and realized it would be REALLY close, and sure enough, the hills really slowed me down on both miles. 6:22 and 6:29 splits. OUCH. I felt like I was moving faster than I was, but when I turned for the final stretch on the last hill (the same hill we started on), I had a bad feeling. The clock came into view, and yep. There it was ticking away just under 31. I tried to push harder, just focusing on the clock. So close! But then it moved on past 30:59. I didn't make it. It said 31:06 when I crossed. My chip time ended up being 31:04. SO FREAKIN' CLOSE. Ugh. I'll admit I was disappointed. This explains why I'm not smiling in my finish photo. I came through 11th overall and 1st woman.
Not quite hitting my goal time. Yes, those are supposed to look like denim shorts, but they are in fact running shorts made my Ink'n Burn.
This race probably sealed the deal on my Seacoast Series win, unless something crazy happens or I'm injured and can't do the Great Island 5K. But that hopefully won't happen. I'm really looking forward to Great Island and finishing out the Seacoast Series. I had no plans to even do it, but I'm really glad I did. I've met a new crowd of people and gotten to know the Seacoast a little bit better. It's been a great experience. I'm not sure I'll do the whole Series next year, but we'll see.

I made my way over to John right after I finished. Well, actually, he came running and jumped ON me first. Haha. Nearly knocked me down. He doesn't realize I can barely hold him up anymore. :) It was funny. I watched Melissa and Jessica finish from afar and then made my to the bathroom. When I came out, there he was! The reporter for the Portsmouth Herald (!! I immediately got nervous since this could be strike 3. I managed to sound like an idiot (Dover is so pretty!!) in the first interview, then like a total asshole (I don't do workouts) in the 2nd one. What would #3 be?! I was not letting that happen, so I really tried hard to pay attention to what I was saying. Fortunately, I hardly got any quotes. I assume I really botched it, and the writer took pity on me. Here's a link to the article: Fox Point Race Article.

After the interview, I came back to John, who was ready for some food and the playground, so we moved our stuff over to one of the picnic tables by the post-race BBQ. John only wanted watermelon and then went out to the playground. I needed to get my stuff from the car, so I decided to just do an easy 1-mile cool down while I was at it. I wasn't thinking when I ran down towards the car and ended up running against the racers still out on the course. It was fun to smile at them and cheer them on, but I kind of felt like an asshole once I turned around and started passing them all. I don't think I'll do that again. I felt bad about it.

I got my clothes to change into and ran back up to the picnic area. John was still on the swings, and I went down into the woods to change. Once I was done, I grabbed some food. It was a great spread, and the volunteers were so nice. It wasn't long before Andy Schachat started announcing awards. I was pretty surprised to win $150, since I didn't even know this one had a cash prize. We also won these light up arm bands which I can definitely use; I could have used it on Monday night's run for sure!

John played on the playground for awhile. We both finished eating, then headed for home. It wasn't too late of a night since we were back not too long after 9pm, but then I had to start thinking about the next morning. I had to race AGAIN, and I was tired.

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