I GOT TO WEAR SHORTS TODAY! I GOT TO WEAR SHORTS TODAY! For some of you, this may not seem like a big deal, but to a girl who’s been wearing three layers on top and sometimes 2 layers on the bottom to run through this winter, this was freaking awesome!! We had two days this weekend of 50+ degree weather. Oh, how I love it!  (Right now, the sun is welcome. By May, I’ll want it to be overcast when I run races.)

And to prove how long it’s been since my skin has seen the sun (other than when it’s reflecting off of the sun, that is), here’s a picture of me and my friend and coworker, Meg, who ran the Claddagh 4 Miler earlier today. 

You may be wondering where my friend Lis was. I have bad news.  Those of you who have been reading my blog for a long time know that she has suffered off and on from shin splints.  That’s what she thought was bothering her again a few months ago, so she stopped running for a bit to give them rest, as everyone always prescribes. She then got really busy with work (I mean, insanely busy.) She ran the 3 mile race last Sunday, and by Tuesday she was in a lot of pain. Enough for a CPA to get herself to the doctor during busy season. Turns out that her doc thinks she’s got Lateral Compression Syndrome. I think that means her muscles are too big for their compartments?  Anyway, she’s been told surgery should make it all better. Some folks in her running club think physical therapy will make it better. All I know is, it sucks. It’s been killing her that she can’t run so much due to work, but now, to be really sidelined?  I mean, this REALLY sucks. She loves running and she’s an avid hiker. She basically can’t do anything if it involves her legs. Ugh.

Which is why I really wanted to get a PR today.  If  couldn’t do it for myself, I could do it for her.  And I did!! By a whole 2 minutes, and 9 seconds, per the official times.  I was so happy when I finished – I feel like I’m running strong this spring during my races, and I’m not sure how long it will last, but I am just going to go with the flow. And keep on thanking my guardian angels for giving me that little extra push whenever I need it. I will also continue loving my playlist of feel-good songs. They’re not always the fastest tempo but they lift my mood and that does a ton for me.

Now, before you read my stats for today, I’d like you to please see the elevation map on the USATF page.  Go ahead, click on this link.   If that doesn’t work, then click this link, and then click on the link that says “course map.” From that page, click on that little box that shows the elevation chart. That should explain my difference in splits for mile 2.

  • Mile 1: 8:15
  • Mile 2: 9:41
  • Mile 3: 8:06
  • Mile 4: 8:04
  • Official overall time: 34:31, 8:38 average mile pace
  • Official distance: 4 miles
  • Garmin distance: 4:07; 8:29 average mile pace (same time)
  • 288/909 overall
  • 43/179 in my division, W30-39 (I’m 37, hopefully the older I get, the faster I’ll get?!)

 Yes, Mile 2 has a killer hill. It’s bad enough that even over my headphones, I heard the “holy s56&#* and f$%@&” remarks fly out of people’s mouths as soon as they turned the corner, after already climbing for a bit. I kind of laughed inwardly because that’s exactly how I felt last year when I saw it. This year, I expected it. And this year, I also expected to have to walk it a bit. But I didn’t! (Well, unless you count the water stop where I then proceeded to suck in air, and panick a bit when I couldn’t catch my breath, thereby thinking that I was going to have an asthma attack and realizing my inhaler was nowhere near me. Hey, only one pocket in my shorts, and it was filled with sports beans. A girl’s gotta have her sports beans.)

Anyhoo, the course’s 1st and 4th miles are blessedly flat.  Mile 2 has the aforementioned hill/mini-mountain, and mile 3 reminds you that what goes up, must come down, and thank God, quickly so. It was about mile 2 that I decided, yep, it’s time for the shirt to come off. I almost couldn’t believe I was doing it myself. After all, this morning I was still debating the shorts vs. capri tights issue. (Carol, aka ridgeley on twitter had told me this week to wear shorts and a short sleeve shirt, and I was having trouble believing it, just because I’ve been so used to wearing so many layers, it takes some mental adjustment every year at this time.)

Anyway, I finished in just my shorts and running bra. Did I also mention I was wearing my spring/summer running shoes, the Brooks Adrenaline 9s? (I wear the Brooks ASRs in the winter, as they’re warmer and more water-resistant.)  It feels SO GOOD to not have to wear warm weather gear just for once.

I know, I know, this weather is a big tease. We’re very likely to get more snow or a hard frost before spring really comes.  Just let me enjoy it for a little while….and my PR until next week, when I do the 5 mile race (never done that course before, but the elevation chart does look a little bit more forgiving.)

I do need to give a shout-out to my coworker, Will. He was excited for most of last year to move into a new division.  Go figure why:  Will’s stats: 1/27 M60-69; time of 27:21, average pace per mile: 6:51.   Sometimes good guys do finish first!!

#1 and #2, done!!

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