This is my fourth year racing and my fourth year winning. As I posted on Instagram, it’s my slowest year yet, but I’ve been running less this winter as well.
The race started, and 10 and my husband and I arrived around 9. We picked up our bibs and warmed up. We had gotten a lot of snow and rain the week prior, so the course was torn up. The course itself is an easy trail, but after weather, the path can be flooded muddy, and slippery.
At 10 am, we went off. There were a few men, including my husband, that took off in front of me.
Before entering the trail, the race goes around a huge loop in the park. This particular year, some barricades crossed the regular path. The first 20 people or so, including myself didn’t think much of it and just kept going straight.
You would think running the course four times; I would know that’s wrong. All of a sudden we heard yelling and saw other runners going the other direction. We cut across the field and got back on track. The field was muddy and with plenty of potholes. I didn’t sprint because I didn’t want to misstep into a pothole.
Messing up the course messed with my rhythm but I found it again around mile 1. I hit the first mile in 6:31 which was slower than I wanted to be but put it in the back of my mind.
The next mile headed straight. At this point, there were two males in front of me, including my husband. I was essentially running alone. I hit the second mile in 6:26.
The third mile had a turnaround, and with the mud, I took that extremely slow. Slow enough I know I lost a solid 5 seconds. Doing a 180 in mud, I could visualize myself falling into the canal next to the path.
I caught the second place male and found myself second overall. The third mile goes straight back, so you see everyone running in the opposite direction. I appreciate this aspect because I like seeing other racers and friends. It also lets you know where you stand in the race. I hit the third mile in 6:26.
For the fourth mile, I just focused on getting back. We got off the path and ran towards the start. About 40 seconds in front of me, I watched my husband break the tape. I sprinted towards the end and finished the last mile in 6:31.
I’m happy with my effort. It can be hard not to compare yourself to previous fitness levels, and I’m trying not to do that. I know it will take a long time for me to get where I want to be. After any of my marathons, I’ve felt like my speed has taken a hit and it takes me a lot longer to gain it back. Finally, many people asked but after the race, there is an unlimited grilled cheese and tomato soup buffet. Plus all racers get a free tomato soup/coffee mug. (one of the reasons I enjoy the race is how unique it is)/
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Questions for you:
Have you done a 4 miler before?
Would you rather run in mud or sand?