This was the second year I’ve run the Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup 4 miler.
In case you wondered, you do get both grilled cheese and tomato soup at the end of the race. Not only are there a lot of extra race perks, but the race is a flat and fast course. In ideal conditions, it’s a great PRing course…This year, however, it was 15 degrees. In fact, this is 1 out 3 races that I’ve run in pants!
Since I spent the last 8 weeks in 70+ degree weather with high humidity, I wasn’t acclimated. After returning to New Jersey, there have been a few cold days but not many. When I saw the weather report, I was loathing running outside.
We got to the race start around 9 am and did a quick warmup. Even after my deep tissue massage, I didn’t feel as bad as I anticipated. My body was still stiff, but I felt comfortable.
The race went off promptly at 10 am. The first mile was chaotic with people. We went around a big loop with uneven pavement. About 1k into the race, we went on Washington Crossing Towpath. I ran with a big group of men for the first mile.
My husband was further up ahead. I crossed the first mile in 6:10 which I was disappointed in. Effort-wise, it felt like I was running faster. My strategy for 4-5 milers is to race them exactly as I would race a 5k…just go.
Washington Crossing is a narrow path, so it made it difficult to pass anyone. During the second the mile, there was more headwind. It was a boring middle mile, and I just focused on chipping away. I crossed the second mile in 6:07.
During the third mile, we made a u-turn and went back where we came. Personally, I like out and back courses because I find it motivating to see and cheer for other runners. I got to see one of my good friends and coworkers, Anita, as she ran to a PR. I caught two more people and ran a 6:03 third mile.
The last mile of a 4 miler is always tough because if you treat it like a 5k, the final .9 is just a bonus round…I just focused on finishing. I was surprised that my legs weren’t as tired as I thought they would. During the last .1, I felt someone on my heels. After being passed in the final strides of the Pensacola Bridge Run, I didn’t want that again, and I surged. It turns out, it was a male behind me.
I crossed the finish in 24:13 and as first female and fifth overall. I was able to break the tape again which is always a fun experience. My husband was third overall which is impressive because he only started running again last week after his marathon.
Afterwards, I had a workout. Since running with Mckirdy, I’ve slowly gotten used to doing workouts after racing. I changed into the Saucony Freedom ISO trainers and ran 2×2 miles (6:43, 6:53, 6:49, 6:53) which I’m happy with.
This is one of my better races and workouts I’ve had lately. I haven’t run a shorter race in a month, so it was nice to get faster turnover in my legs. Despite the weather and how I personally felt, I was happy with my effort.
Questions for you:
What is the best grilled cheese you’ve had?
Do you run the same races yearly or do you like to change it up?