(Well, not officially yet). On Tuesday night RVRR held their final Summer Series race of the year. This was also the final race for the race directors who started it all 30 years ago, and to go out in style they arranged a world record attempt for the “Shortest Chip-timed Cross Country Race”.
The kids races started at 6 as usual, and I volunteered to run the 1 mile as lead (seriously hoping that the fast girl that turned up last time I volunteered wasn’t there again – didn’t think I’d do particularly well that day trying to run faster than a 7 minute mile before the 5k race). I ran the quarter mile with my youngest, and then the half mile with my eldest, and then the mile, which luckily turned out to be a nice 9+ minute mile.
The kids had the lollipop race, then the pizza, and then we waited around for the 7pm 50 meter cross country race. I signed up the kids and fixed the chip timing tags to their shoes, and then Jose took this great picture of us:
I ended up running with the kids – there was a hay bale across the middle of the course, and the little one was a bit small to jump over it. He tried and stumbled, fell to the ground on the other side and didn’t want to stand up again (he was looking at his knee to make sure it was okay). Eventually I got him back on his feet and running again, but it meant we finished in 160th, 161st, and 162nd out of 169 people. (Full Results here). Pictures from the race are posted here and in photos 63 to 67 you can see the sequence of events from that hay bale jump (in picture 62 we’re about to negotiate it).
The 5k started soon after – all this race did was confirm what I already knew – I am a road runner, not a cross country runner, not a trail runner, but still I got third in age group for the whole series (although there were fast people out there that night, so for this particular race I think I was 4th). I really wanted this one to be fast – it looked set to be my fastest of the series given the other 2 I had run were in wet, boggy conditions. On Tuesday the grass was actually mostly dry for a lot of the course so you’d think it would be fine. It ended up as my slowest – not long after the start my legs were just feeling heavy and I just felt it was such an effort to move. I’ve never had a race where I felt quite like that so I think the 50m race beforehand must have just been too much.
No running for me this week, but something exciting did happen that is running related – I got my new license plates. I still can’t believe these plates were available.
Back to why I haven’t run this week, other than just because it’s been a busy week. Well, it’s been almost 4 weeks since I burnt my big toe, and on Saturday I was trying to get in a 12 mile run. I got to 6 miles happily but my toe was starting to hurt a little. Figuring it was just a bit of pain I pushed on, but by the time I got to 8 miles it was more painful. So, I stopped, took off my shoe, and found that my sock was soaked in blood. I was 2 miles from where I had parked my bicycle, so partly walked, partly jogged back, and then rode home. It turns out the healing blister was rubbed raw. Hence the decision to take time off (that plus my knees have been bothering me a little since I did that long run a couple of weeks ago, so it was probably a good idea to give myself a break).
This week has been a fun week with the club (RVRR) with the Holiday Party on Saturday night, and then a pub crawl on Wednesday (singing carols right before leaving each bar, and jogging/walking/whatever between bars) – both great nights.
Oh, and when I say I did no running, I did not include the run between bars on Wednesday night as evidenced below.
I’m going to miss the club run tomorrow in favor of a night and day in Manhattan – starting with taking the kids to see our friend Mercy Bell perform at the Folk Art Museum – I recommend checking out her music, and support an independent artist by downloading her album – mercybell.com – go on, she’s only asking for a minimum of $1 for 13 great songs, how can you turn that down?
This year saw my first half marathon (and my second – although I felt less prepared for the second), and my aim was to work towards a marathon in 2014, but today my facebook feed was full of updates from the Philadelphia Marathon.
RVRR puts on a strong showing for this event, with many people going down to cheer our runners, and they even arrange an after party. All of the excitement is enticing me to possibly do this next year, so maybe I should go on the record now, and say that, all being well, I WILL run the Philadelphia Marathon in 2013.
I’d already been planning ahead, and I was thinking that my first marathon might be the Reykjavik Marathon in August 2014 (Joy has always wanted to visit, and it would be a good stop on the way to visiting family in England). That would be a much smaller race, and it’s unlikely I would know anyone there, but I think that will still be a goal for the time I would like to achieve (under 3:30); now Philly will be a good start in getting to that goal with the support of the many friends I have made through running with RVRR for the last year.
If you’ve read any of my other posts, or my Past Races page, you will know that this year has seen my race calendar explode (from a couple of 5k races in my two prior years of running, to all sorts of distances this year).
This is also my first year as a USATF and Running Club member, and what I had no idea about early in the year was the USATF NJ NBGP Series. I only really found out about it when someone pointed out at the end of May that I was second in the Men 35 – 39 Age Group. Now, I knew from looking down the results that it was mainly because I had completed more races than some clearly faster guys, but who knew – maybe those guys wouldn’t complete them all. Points are gained from running 3 races in each category. Most races would give a maximum of 500 points to the winner, but championship races give 700 points, and you’re allowed two of those races in each category to count towards your score.
- THREE RACE DISTANCE CATEGORIES
- CATEGORY I 3K TO 4 MILES
- CATEGORY II OVER 4 MILES LESS THAN 15K
- CATEGORY III 15K AND ABOVE
Somehow I crawled into first place in early September by virtue of actually completing enough races in all categories when nobody else in my age category had. Still only a matter of time until I slipped down.
By October I had managed to gain more points simply by running the Newport Liberty Half and others started to fill in their races, but I was hanging in there and maybe, just maybe, with some luck, I could finish in the top 3 in the age group.
I planned ahead and looked at what races were coming up that could give me a few more points, and the only one is coming up on Thanksgiving – the Ashenfelter 8k (all other races were unlikely to give me extra points).
The latest standings however show that 3rd place is now out of my reach, and I’m likely to lose 4th too. I knew it would happen, and I can’t really be disappointed given that I’m still proud of what I’ve done this year.
Right now I’m not sure what next year will bring in this competition (I’ll be in the next age group as I will turn 40 during 2013, but then so will 2 out of the 3 currently ahead of me this year). My focus is going to be very different (see http://runninginnj.wordpress.com/2012/10/16/the-day-i-became-a-runner/), so even though I may do the races, I don’t think I’ll be so obsessed with checking the status of the NBGP.