It has once again been far too long since I posted anything. The title pretty much sums up how I have been. My life has been extra crazy recently: my husband and I separated in February, and I moved at the beginning of March, so I have begun a new chapter of my life. It's a good thing, but not without some adjustments and growing pains. We have, so far, managed to keep things fairly amicable and have filed for divorce without the aid of lawyers. The dogs and I are getting used to apartment living - it has been awhile for me, and it's all new for them - and I am enjoying my much shorter commute to work. I think we are starting to settle into our new routines, and we're all happy the weather is finally starting to resemble spring!
Now, onto the belated race reports! Since my last report, I've knocked out three more:
Race #5: Fireside Frostbite Five Miler (2/22/14)
I had not done this one before, and was not aware of just how big it was. There were 1258 finishers, compared to Feel the Love with just under 300, or Shiver by the River with around 475 for the 5 and 10k combined. For a winter race, it was remarkably big. Even though I knew a handful of people racing this one, I never saw any of them in the crowd. I was running a little later than ideal getting out there, and parking was pretty crowded, but I managed to score one of the last spots in the parking lot of the school where the race was held. The high for the day was relatively warm, and it was supposed to be around 40 degrees by the time the race was due to start. However, as soon as I stepped out of the car and nearly slipped and fell I realized the ice had not all melted yet. The race organizers were working hard to get salt down along the course and school grounds to help melt it and prevent any injuries, and delayed the start by 15 minutes to give things a chance to thaw a bit more. But the sun was shining, and it was a nice day for a race (once the ice melted).
As I headed to line up for the start I realized there was a good-sized snow bank lining the street, between the sidewalk I was walking down and the road we would be running down. Others had clearly gone before me, so I thought I could safely step where someone else had stepped before to get across. So, I put my right foot into a shoe print in the snow bank to hop over, and as soon as I transferred my weight to that foot I sunk in, right up to my knee! I tried to continue forward by I was good and stuck and had to put my left foot back down on the pavement in order to free my right. It must have been pretty comical watching me flail around. My shin stung too, which I thought was odd - it was just snow, afterall - but I realized after I got home that it was icy and hard enough that my leg got scraped right through my tights. Attempt two got me over the snow bank and into starting position.
After that, the race was uneventful. The ice had mostly cleared and there were just a few slushy spots left. I finished in 50:25, neither my worst nor my best 5 miler. I don't remember anything noteworthy about the course, but the availability of indoor bathrooms at the start/finish (inside the school) is a definite plus in my book!
Race #6: Athlete’s Closet Winter Series March St. Patrick's Day Themed 5 Miler (3/1/14)
This one was another race I had not done before, and a bit of an adventure. A running store out in the suburbs organizes a winter series, and this was the last in the series for the year. Besides being inexpensive and closer than the Shiver by the River races, this one was dog-friendly, so I could take Pinky! My awesome friend, E, agreed to drive both of us out there. I was in the thick of packing and moving (moving day was the next day), so I almost bailed on this one. It was a nice break, though.
Race day morning she picked Pinky and I, and we made our way out to the race. Neither of us managed to come up with anything St Patrick's day-themed, but we made it out in plenty of time for the start. Pinky didn't know quite what to make of everything. Bib pickup was in the running store, and the start was around the corner in a residential neighborhood. This race was tiny, with just over 50 finishers. It was a great intro race for Pinky, not too big and overwhelming! We got to the start point and the block was lined with cars on either side, and the racers in the middle of the road.
Just as we were getting ready to start the race, someone from the Fire Department came through and yelled at the crowd and race director that we could not be in the road. Apparently the neighbors hadn't been made aware of what was going on either, because several people in front of their homes were confused and wondering what we were doing. A hothead or two in the crowd tried to engage with the fire department representative rather than just getting out of the way until they were gone. Finally everything got squared away and we lined up again, and this time actually got underway. The course looped around through the neighborhood twice to complete the 5 miles. We made it about 2 blocks when Pinky had to answer the call of nature and made a sudden stop right in front of E. It would have been a great moment for a video camera to capture, as E hurdled Pinky to avoid getting tripped. After that little snafu we got back to running and made it through the rest of the race without event. About a block of the course was along a pretty busy street and we were forced to run with traffic for it; that portion was a bit nerve-wracking, but we made it through alright. Pinky was thrilled to sprint it in to the finish chute, and I think we were probably quite the sight with her ears flapping and me trying to keep pace with her. The volunteers seemed pretty amused.
Afterward the three of us returned to the running store for refreshments and the awards ceremony. Overall it was a bit of an adventure and I don't know if I would do that one again, but it was a nice afternoon and offered a chance to catch up with E. Plus, 6 down, 24 to go!
I still owe you one more race report, but bed is calling. Next up will be the story of the Race #7: The inaugural Love Run. It's too good of a story to rush. Plus, this weekend I head to DC for the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler! I can't wait for that one; the weather looks good, a couple of running buddies are taking the same bus down and back with me, and another is rooming with me which should be a great opportunity for us to reconnect (it's been awhile) as well.
And as a reminder, along with the craziness of running thirty races in one year, I'm aiming to raise $3,000 for Girls on the Run Philadelphia. If you're feeling generous, please go to tinyurl.com/joy30for30 to donate. Any amount is very much appreciated, I still have a long way to go!