On Sunday I ran in a 7 1/2 mile hilly race in Aurora. I signed up for this race as a way to help me get in one of my long runs. Sunday was set to be an 11 mile running day. So, my plan was to arrive early, run 3 miles, do the race and then cool down with another 1/2 mile. I'm quite happy to say I almost stuck to my plan perfectly!
I arrived at the race site, Sunny Lake Park, around 7 am, got checked-in for the race and took off on my warm-up run. The lake has a 1.7 mile path around it, which was perfect for the first part of my run. It was also a beautiful day for running - partly sunny and mid 70s. After circling the lake one time, I realized I didn't have enough time to do the full 3 miles I had planned (or I'd be late for the race.) So, I stopped at 2.7 miles, pinned on my race #, made a stop at the "Aris" port-o-pot (my friend's brother's company :-) ), and then got to the starting line with about 5 minutes to spare.
It's not a "huge" race; there were maybe 50 to 75 people lined up for the 7 1/2 miler. (There was also a 5k that started a few minutes earlier.) The official results have not been posted, so I don't know the exact numbers.
The started said, "Go!" and we were off. The run was a rectangle, clockwise on the roads around the park / lake, and then we re-entered the park to run the last mile and half around the lake. I knew it was going to be hilly, but wasn't familiar with the course at all. We started on an uphill, but it wasn't too bad. Most of the race was either up or down; not much flat at all, but I think I did pretty well. I let myself run hard on the downhills, and I passed several people that way. I tried to stay strong on the uphills (short fast strides with my arms pumping) and that seemed to work.
On my long runs for the past few weeks I've been keeping about a 10:45 to 11 min per mile pace. I thought I'd be around a 10 min pace today, but surprised myself with a little better than that. Here were my splits on my garmin:
1 - 9:22
2 - 9:26
3 - 9:43
4 - 9:46
5 - 9:15
6 - 9:20
7 - 9:20
.5 - 3:38
The last half mile was fun. Back in the park, was the only close to flat part of the race. I like to finish a race as hard as I can, and I really did that at this race! When I saw the 7 mile sign, I took off. I tried to get the two men around me to join in, but they just said, "Go!" to me. :-)
Final time: 1:09:53
Awards were given out to the top two runners in each 10 year age group. I didn't get one, so I know I wasn't in the top two for 30 - 39 yr old females, but that's okay, I'm quite happy with how I did.
After the awards I did my last .8 miles so I could get all 11 miles in for the day. That was a VERY slow .8 miles.
The day's totals:
2.7 miles - 28:46
7.5miles - 1:09
.8 miles - 10:36
Equals 11 miles in 1 hour and 49 minutes
This coming Sunday is the Greater Cleveland Triathlon at Mentor Headlands and I'll be doing the Olympic Triathlon. So far, the weather looks like it will be great - 80 degrees and mostly sunny.