Hello official PR that I don’t have to put “Post baby” in front of. I’m officially back to my pre-pregnancy level and have surpassed that. I honestly thought it would take me well over a year to get to this point. It just goes to show what hard work and having a fantastic training partner can really do for you.
Race the Landing is a series of 5 races that take place over the summer at historic Charlestowne landing. The course is absolutely beautiful, the race director is awesome, the food is delicious, and the beer is cold. There honestly isn’t much more you could ask for in a race. When people ask me, I always recommend this series because you get the most “bang for your buck.”
When you register for the entire series, you get one race free. On top of that you get a nice shirt, dinner each night, beer, live music, a finishers medal, something special if you were one of the first 200 people, and if you place (which it is 5 people deep in 5 year age groups) you get a cool award. I don’t know about you, but I don’t know many other races that offer that many perks.
Early in the week I saw the weather forecast calling for an unseasonably cold day for Thursday. Perfect, I thought. This was going to be my one chance to hit a course hard before the sweltering summer heat. Race the Landing is a race that happens on Thursday nights at 7 pm which means most of the races are a sweat fest. Once I realized it was going to be super cool out I decided to go extremely easy on my legs to prep for this race. I’ve learned over the years that I happen to be a runner who needs to take 2 days off before a race in order to have fresh legs. Some runners can run 6 days a week and still race their best. I’m not that runner. I actually took off since Sunday because my long run destroyed me and I had 0 energy in me to go out on Monday for a run.
So with fresh legs, Lana and I carpooled to the race. We got our awesome purple top for registering for the whole series. Our goodie this week for being one of the first 200 was a purple turvis. After getting our bibs and watching the kids run, we headed out for a warmup of a mile and a half. It was absolutely perfect weather. We were slightly chilly and we weren’t being destroyed by the sun. I was getting super excited that we were going to get one solid race in. At the starting line we saw some familiar faces. My friend William who ran Lifepoint 5k and i5k was there. I told him he needed to stick with me and Lana as long as possible. If you remember, at the i5k, William stayed with me the first mile and a half and having him by my side helped push me through that race. Lana, myself, and William were all lined up at the start. Game face on.
Away we go. Lana and I had some goals for this race and had somewhat of a strategy going in. This was Lana’s first race in years so she was just excited to get out there and see what she could do. We stayed together for the beginning half mile but Lana had told me that if I needed to, to take off. I’m not going to lie, I was gunning for a top 3 finish. I’m getting frustrated at fading in the final mile and getting passed at the end of races. I find myself ending up in 4th place at races that I held on to top 3 for the majority of the race. Lana and I have been working hard on pushing me by repeating “I can do anything for two minutes” when we do speed work. So when the girl who ended up winning took off, I saw Amy take off after her. I looked at Lana, gave her the nod, and off to chase them I went. Amy and I hung with each other the whole race. Having Amy running side by side with me pushed me hard during the race. Her pushing me to keep my place helped me get to that PR. It’s also more fun when you have someone to run near you rather than being all alone on the course. But once again, I failed to keep my pace even splits for 3 miles and I faded in the last mile. I faded HARD. Amy got the boost towards the end and took off for the finish that I just didn’t have in me but I was happy to see the PR and place 3rd overall female.
Mile 1: 6:48
Mile 2: 6:52
Mile 3: 7:26 (Seriously, this embarrasses me)
After the race was over, Lana and I headed for a cool down of just over a mile.
Now I need to take a second to brag hard about my training partner. This girl hasn’t raced in forever and when I started back running post birth of Valerie, Lana and I were running the same paces. So all this progress I’ve made in the past 4 1/2 months, Lana has made too! That rockstar crossed the finish line just after me with a time of 21:40 and she was the 4th overall female ( First in her age group). I could not be more proud of her. She actually executed this race much better than I did. I’m so proud of her and I’m SO happy that she’s my training partner. She teaches me more and more about myself as a runner every single day. My accomplishments would not be anywhere near where they are if I didn’t have her pushing me to be great.
After the cool down we headed inside for food and celebratory beer. This weeks theme was “southern.” That meant dinner was BBQ (pulled pork, bbq chicken, and hot dogs), mac & cheese, cole slaw, potato salad, corn on the cob, and buns. We enjoyed some Holy City beers and listened to music. Our awards were squirrels this week! My cute squirrel matches so well with my other Race the Landing animals on my shelf. I also received a ticket to the Beard and Mustache competition! If I let Tony get crazy he could easily grow a beard that could be braided all silly like those in the competitions.
With all of this said, the best part about this race wasn’t the PR, it wasn’t placing top 3, it was watching Lana crush her goals and enjoying a girls night of beer, food, and running. I can’t wait for this weeks race to do it all over again with Lana!