Today we’re recapping a race that almost didn’t happen.
On Saturday morning we were all packed and ready to head out for Syracuse, we were just waiting on our babysitter to arrive. When she got to the house, she didn’t look well at all. Turns out she had the flu. There was some initial panic.
We went back and forth on a couple of different options- not going all together, trying to find back up last minute etc. the best option seemed to be that we brought the kids along for the weekend and one of us ran while the other hung out with the kids. Travis insisted that I be the one to run this one, despite my protests (I felt bad that he was going to give up his race to let me run).
Once we were in Syracuse, we headed for Fleet Feet Sports first. The packet pickup for this race is always so easy- in and out in 5 minutes.
We spent some time at the mall that afternoon. We left to check into our hotel around 4:30 and to grab some dinner. This proved to be a challenge. The Landmark Theater was right next to our hotel and with the Lion King show in town every restaurant was putting up wait times of nearly two hours (this was for pick up, not dine in!) We finally had to make a decision and wait it out in order to get some food. We were finally eating around 7:00 with enough time for me to inhale my dinner and head out the door to make the show.
I initally had intended on taking Parker with me, but I’m glad that I changed my mind. One, I didn’t make it back to the hotel until 11PM and I don’t think he would have made it that late and two, there were a couple of kids in the audience that were around his age that were scared during some parts of the performance. The show was amazing, definitely one that I would love to see again. I couldn’t believe how much design went into the costuming.
The morning proved to be a little hectic. We were told when we reserved our hotel that there would be a hot breakfast provided for the runners. I planned on taking advantage of this so I didn’t make other plans for food that morning. I got downstairs to eat and found that there wouldn’t be hot food until 7:30. They had some quick grab options out, but didn’t have things like hot water for oatmeal, or milk for cereal. I grabbed some oatmeal and took it back up to the room to make. Thankfully there was a Starbucks a few doors down so I was able to get a bagel on our way to the Oncenter.
This race start is really convenient. The start line is right outside of the Oncenter so you can wait in the warmth until a few minutes prior to starting. The weather for the race was actually pretty great. At the start it was in the mid 30s with sunshine and virtually no wind. I thought I was going to be cold but ended up being pretty comfortable for the entire race.
I had mentioned last week that I didn’t have high expectations for this race. My runs leading up had felt fine but the volume just wasn’t where I’d have liked it to be. The week of the race I had only managed two runs. My plan was to just try to find a comfortable pace and knock out a finish. I was pleasantly surprised to feel great and was able to run a very consistent (for me, I’m awful at pacing) pace. Now, the Syracuse course is definitely not easy. The first half is very up and down with some significant hills before leveling out for the back half. I normally really struggle with the hills on this course, but they didn’t seem to be affecting me this time. The miles were ticking by really quickly. Before I knew it I was over half way done and well on track for a PR. I was able to keep up my momentum until about mile 10.5 where my pace started to drop a little. This is my least favorite part of the course. Starting shortly after mile 10 there is a really long out and back before heading towards the finish. Even with the slow down I was still on track to break 2:40, something I’ve been trying to do for a long time. I ended up crossing the finish just over 2:38, leaving me with a nearly seven minute PR for the day!
A race that I wasn’t expecting much out of ended up being the strongest race I’ve run, in terms of both time and mentally.
I don’t have anything on my schedule for 2018 yet until Ragnar Niagara Falls the first weekend in June, but I’m really excited to work towards some big goals for next year!