A few days ago I was looking to find a race that was a little farther away than I would normally drive. The front end of spring break seemed like a fun time for a short road trip. Well, this whole trip was a list of firsts, including a Red Wings hockey game on Friday night, visiting of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on Saturday afternoon, a wonderful lasagna dinner at an Italian restaurant, a 30K race, and even a visit to the Cleveland Auto Show on Sunday and a quick stop at the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. A great little trip all around.
Early March in Cleveland is not the nicest race conditions. A race time temp of ~35 degrees with a nice (not!) 5-10 mph breeze. The race meandered around a nice neighborhoods and a nice 2 mile stretch along Lake Erie. There were actually three races, a 5K (simple out and back) a 15K and a 30K that was just two runnings of the 15K course. During the first trip around I managed to see a few people as I was running, but once I rounded the start finish line for my second trip, I found myself on an island, not seeing another runner until the finish. It turns out the #3 finisher was 3 min ahead of me and the next person was 5.5 minutes behind me.
I really cannot believe how strong I felt and how well I ran. I only decided to run this race a few days before hand and was going to run it as a training run. After my first mile at 6:25 I thought what the heck, I will try to hold this pace for a while. With each passing mile I felt strong and solid. At mile 17 I started to get tired, but hey, I only had a little ways to go.
Taper schmaper. I ran hard all week, doing solid runs and only taking one day off before the race. Explain to me how I pull out a 6:31 pace for 18.6 miles which is a ~2:50 marathon pace. No taper. No resting the week before. No diminishing of mileage before the race. Could I have held that clip for another 7.4 miles? Just maybe.
Icing of feet and a solid cool down walk on a treadmill back at my hotel and I feel great. No worse than any long distance run I do on almost any weekend. A 3 hour drive home from Cleveland and I was home safe from my flurry of