Technically, it was five and a half miles though the half mile was a warm up with some slight cross training (for lack of a better phrase).
Mom mentioned wanting to walk together so I met her at her house before my run. Before we left for our walk I carried some concrete stepping stones that she had purchased into the backyard. They weren’t heavy, just cumbersome and she had already loaded the car and unloaded about half of them; the remaining three were just a enough too much for her to do alone. After I placed them where she wanted them, we walked to the end of the street and back. It wasn’t a particularly fast walk, but it was a nice warm up for me.
Once I started out on the running portion of the morning, I stuck with the plan from last night and did my five miles. Well 5.3 according to Strava. I was pleased with my 1:02:43 time. I kept a solid 11:45 average pace and even noticed that Strava recognized that I am going faster. For some reason seeing the little teal triangle with the statement trending up made me incredibly pleased. While I didn’t have negative splits this time, they more like alternating splits, I was pleased with how comfortable the run felt. After Thursday’s less than positive feeling run I was happy to have a run that allowed me to just run and be.
I did stop at a few points to take a couple photos of the iron fence outside of the Maryland School For The Deaf. I have run past the fence countless times, but there was something about today that just made me want to stop and take a photo. The impact on my time was minimal, but the joy was exponential.
After I showered and changed we headed to the Expo. We technically didn’t have to go to Annapolis today since the race did allow for morning of bib pick up. However, doing that would have precluded me from receiving the hat AND customized bottle opener. Both things that seemed to strike Jesi’s fancy. So away we went. Doing some errands before we hit the highway.
The expo was small but well organized and laid out. The organizers were smart to put the bib’s in the back which made you walk through the various vendors to get to the bib pick up.
There were the usual clothing and local businesses there. Everyone was friendly but more than anything no one was pushy. I have had the experience in the past that the vendors can get a little pushy with people if they just happen to glance in the general direction of their booth.
One thing that is different about this race than others I have participated in is the premium. You don’t receive your shirt until after you FINISH the race. Despite paying the race entry your premium is only given once you cross the finish line. It’s kind of a cool concept. Aside from cutting down on the cost of having to give out a shirt AND a medal, receiving the premium once you finish is comparable to the concept of a medal. It also keeps people from paying the entry fee in order to get a normal expensive piece of running gear at a discounted price.
The extra drive down did throw a little wrinkle in our Saturday plans-but the weather was beautiful and time spent with Jesi is always fun. We listened to music and talked and made our plan for Sunday. I texted with Regina a little bit since she had some concerns about the hills on the course. It was understandable. She has a lot of experience with John and hills but has been running tired. I have a bit more energy but lack any experience save for pushing John into traffic.
We have a two and a half hour cut off, given my pace today I think that it is doable. If we maintain the course required 15 minute pace we will come in just under the wire. Regina and I chatted that we would go with a conservatively fast pace to start in order to give us some padding in the beginning under the hills start at mile five. After that we can utilize our strength to get us through the hills.
I’m excited about tomorrow. I am incredibly nervous as well. It is a different pre-race anxiety than I’m use to. I think it has more so to do with not wanting to let John down. I feel honored and humbled to be able to be his legs for this race and I want to do him proud, especially given what lovely legs he has.
Tonight will be a pasta and early bed night so that I can meet Regina and John at 4:45am. Fingers crossed that it goes well tomorrow and we finish strong!