You just can't beat a beautiful Fall day in Central New York! Days like Sunday were the reason I wanted to get married in the Fall. Although there was frost on the car when the family left to head to the LaFayette Apple Festival Sunday, the weather turned out absolutely beautiful for the Apple Festival and 5K Run.
For some reason, I haven't been sleeping well and the night before the race was no different. I would think that all my training would make me sleep great, but something is going on that is making me wake up numerous times throughout the night. Hope it goes away soon.
This race was a bit different because the start line was about 1/2 to 3/4 mile away from the finish line. Runners could either walk/jog there on their own or take a shuttle bus. Didn't see the point in taking a shuttle, so I used this to warm up the legs with a jog. And boy did they need warming up because it was still pretty chilly. When I got to the start line, I ran into a triatlon friend Michelle and we chatted while we waited for the horn to sound. Next thing I knew we were off!
Although I had warmed up my legs, my legs seemed heavy the first part of the race. I noticed that they had marked the 1/2 mile mark and when I looked at my watch it read 6:00 even. What?!?!? That means I'm running at a 12:00 mile pace!!!! I want to make my 5Ks faster, not slower! But, then I remembered the race website not only had the race route, but also the change in elevation and I recalled that the first part was pretty much all uphill. I wasn't sure how much longer I would be going uphill and hoped I could overcome the slow pace. Next thing I know I'm sensing that we're going downhill and pretty soon I'm at the 1 mile marker. I prayed that the time would be good...and it was. My watch read 10:39 which meant I did the second 1/2 mile in 4:39 and a 9:18 pace. Cool!
When I got to the mid-way point, they were handing out water and Gatorade. My mouth was a little dry and I wanted to take something, but I felt pretty good and didn't want to slow. It was right around this point when I really took in some of the beautiful scenery surrounding us. There was a farm to our right that had 5 horses out and 2 of them were very excited by all the runners. They kept running up and down the fence looking like they wanted to join us.
After that, I looked in front of us and all I saw was this solid wall of red/orange/yellow/green trees. Just breathtaking! Another runner and I were talking for a minute about how beautiful it was and that it was nice to have that to keep our minds occupied.
This runner that I was talking with was someone I was with pretty much the first half of the race. Next thing I know, I'm pulling away from her. Then I start catching other runners ahead of me. The second half of the race I was only caught by one person which is rare for me. Usually people start blowing past me and I catch one if I'm lucky. Maybe things are starting to change for me!
Up ahead, I'm now seeing runners turn right into the parking lot to head to the finish line. And at that corner are Dan and Alex cheering me on. I gave Dan my camera hoping he could get a shot or two of me running. The second one below is Alex giving me a high five as I'm running past him.
As I crossed the finish line, I looked at the race timer and with that, I would have had a new PR. Since I timed using my own watch, I did even better: 31:19 for a 10:06 pace. Woo hoo! I would love to get under 30:00 soon, but my first goal is to get under a 10:00 pace. Shouldn't take me too long for that.
The nice thing about having a race associated with the LaFayette Apple Fest is that you get apples and cider as a post-race snack and then you get into the Fest free with your bib. So, we went in for awhile then headed home before the crowds got too crazy.
Well, that's it for today. Next race was supposed to be the Wounded Warrior on Nov 7, but that's the only day I could schedule Alex's friend b'day party. So, it looks like the Bruegger's Bagel Run on Oct 31 will be next.