Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Snowflake Shuffle

Millennium Running's Snowflake Shuffle popped up on my newsfeed on Facebook some time in December. I think the only reason I signed up for it was for the hoody. I can't think of any other good reason really since it was almost 2 hours away and the day after Whitaker Woods. Maybe the free beer after? Yeah, probably one of the reasons. Well, the day ended up being chilly but beautiful. John and I headed down to Bedford and enjoyed a beautiful sunrise on the way.

I had jumped on the chance to have VIP parking for the race since John was going to be hanging out in the car. I didn't want him over in some lot half a mile away, so I didn't mind paying the extra $10 to have a parking spot right at the race site next to the Copper Door Restaurant.

I checked in and then headed right out on a warm up. As soon as I turned out of the shopping center onto the road that the course was on, I found the road covered in ice. This made me really nervous about the race, and I was hoping it would melt before the race start. I was still able to get in 2 miles at a decent pace, even with the ice. I came back to the car then walked over to Dunkin Donuts to get John a smoothie. It was about 15 minutes left until the race start, and since I wasn't waiting in a porta potty line, I ventured back out for another (short .9 miles) warm up to find some woods. I came back and got ready to line up at the start. I didn't recognize a single person lined up near the front. I saw two younger girls who were dressed to look fast in small shorts and tank tops; they were doing the typical "I'm fast" warm ups. I decided right then that I was going to beat them... just for that. It was way too cold for those outfits, first of all, and the warm ups just annoyed me. That was enough motivation to be sure I beat the two of them. Haha.

The race got under way after the National Anthem, and I went out fast immediately. I was 5th initially but quickly passed the 4th woman to set my sights on the two tank top girls. Another woman shot out in front of me and just by the looks of her, I had a feeling she was going to win this one. The first mile was a short uphill before a quick down. I hit the first mile in 6:01 and immediately passed the first girl in the tank top to move into 3rd. I stayed close to the other tank top girl and the other woman, who would quickly take the lead. The course stayed flat for a short distance before heading back up the hill we had come down in the 1st mile. I was gaining on the second woman (tank top girl) at this point and just past mile 2 (slow 6:18 mile for me), the course turned right onto another steeper hill. The second woman lost all momentum here and I was able to pass her easily. The first woman would continue to hold a steady pace in front of me after the course turned around to go back down the hill. It took a right at the bottom to head back towards the finish line. I was still holding 2nd, but I could hear 3rd place breathing behind me so I ran as hard as I could and found myself slowly gaining on the 1st woman. It wouldn't be enough time to catch her, though, and I ended up finishing behind her by 5 seconds in 18:37. I was super psyched to see a time only one second off my PR... until I realized that night that the course was short at only 3 miles. My time wasn't impressive, but my effort was 100%. I was perfectly content with that. This race was just speed work for me anyway...and to get a hoody. :)
Giving it my all to keep 2nd place
The first woman heard Jamie Staton call my name as I finished and just as I walked by her, she said, "I know who you are." And this is when I felt like a jerk because I had no idea who she was! I figured she had to be somebody fast, so we struck up a conversation and proceeded over to the Muscle Milk sponsor area to pose for a photo. I learned that the 1st woman was the super fast Tammie Robie. We had never met, but I had heard of her. She was cool, and I enjoyed talking to her. She's finally ready to get back on the Grand Prix circuit this year, so it will be cool to see how she does.

Top 3 women posing with a race sponsor
I did a short 1-mile cool down right after, stopping half way to talk to Andy Schachat for awhile. He had been announcing mid-race. I ran back to the start/finish area, picked up my award and free beer and some food.

Sam Adams Cold Snap morning beer
As soon as I finished my beer, John and I drove to Boston to visit the New England Aquarium. It had been two years since we'd been there, and John loves it. I figured he deserved some fun after putting up with my double-race weekend. The place was insanely crowded, and don't get my started on strollers. I'm just going to say that I think they should be banned from the place. Haha. We had a great time despite the crowds. John begged for the top-shelf giant $150 stuffed sea turtle from the gift shop on the way out. I compromised and got him a bottom-shelf  $12 stuffed sea turtle instead. He loves this thing, even 4 weeks later, and he's not really a stuffed animal type of kid.
Look! It's the hoody from the race!

Crazy looking eel

Posing with the fish

John with his sea turtle

Loves this sea turtle
 We drove back to NH right after we left the Aquarium. I was STARVING, but that was nothing a little Kelly's Roast Beef couldn't fix. I got a large sandwich and french fries and ate every bite. I don't think I've eaten that much in one sitting in a really long time. John was out cold and didn't eat his sandwich until we got home.

Once home, I topped my night off with my last Duck-Rabbit Milk Stout that I brought home in my suitcase from North Carolina. Sad to see it gone!

This would finish off my week with some decent mileage. It was only 52.9 miles, but with the two short races and the much needed zero day, I was pretty happy with it. Even in my best shape last year, I only ran just over 60-mile weeks, so I know I'm in good shape at this point if I'm up in the 50s. Building slowly still. Although I had some good races place-wise, it was somewhat of a disappointing weekend for me. It reminded me that I still have a long way to go, but it also reminded me that I'm back racing somewhat competitively, so I will get to where I want to be eventually.

1 comment:

  1. "I decided right then that I was going to beat them... just for that. It was way too cold for those outfits, first of all, and the warm ups just annoyed me. That was enough motivation to be sure I beat the two of them. Haha." Spectacular!!!!!! You are full of spunk and spirit and can't wait to see you get back to where you want to be. The aquarium sounded like fun too, cute sea turtle.