A New PR at the Delaware Downhill 5K!

This race almost didn’t happen. And no, it wasn’t because our area was hit with an ice storm the morning the race was originally scheduled for. That was easy to predict and the race organizers gave everyone plenty of notice when they (wisely) decided to postpone the race by a day. No, the reason I almost did not start today’s Inaugural Delaware Downhill 5K was that my CAR decided that it did not want to start!!

Saturday's weather

I think the race organizers made the right call by not holding the race Saturday.

As usual, I had my pre-race morning planned down to the minute. I woke up at 5:45, let Piper out, had a light breakfast of coffee, cereal, and a clementine, let Piper in, wiped the mud off Piper’s feet and belly for 3+ minutes (that I had not planned for, ha!), then foam rolled, stretched and read for a while before waking Matt up. The race started at 9:45 so I figured leaving the house at 8:25 sharp would give me plenty of time to get there and get warmed up. Until we went out to our (only) car, turned the key in the ignition, and the engine wouldn’t start!! Continue reading

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The Metal Fun Run and Chili Cook-Off

Yesterday I ran the Metal Walk and Fun Run 5K in Wilmington, Delaware with Matt’s brother, Dylan.  The race was pretty casual — no numbers, official scoring or results — but I knew that going in and decided to just enjoy myself and have fun spending time with Matt, Dylan, and Dylan’s wife, Jena.  Oh, and Piper, too!  This was Piper’s first time spectating a race and I think she really liked getting petted by dozens of race participants and spectators.  🙂

Annie and Piper Metal Run

The Metal Walk/Run benefited the ATI Foundation, a branch of Dylan’s employer, ATI Physical Therapy.  The 5K course looped us around the Wilmington Riverfront which is surprisingly beautiful.  (I guess I just think of Wilmington as a city that I pass through on I-95 on my way to somewhere else… but there’s actually a very nice city around the highway!!)  In addition to offering gorgeous views of the Christiana River, the Riverfront course also was extremely FLAT, a feature that I don’t see much of where I live in PA.

Going into the race I really only had one goal — run negative splits!!!  I wanted to run the first mile in 7:50 and then have enough energy left to pick up the pace in the second and third miles.  This seemed very doable on paper but, as usual, didn’t turn out quite how I had planned!

I don’t own a GPS watch but I set my Runkeeper app to notify me at every half mile split so I could (theoretically) use that data stay on pace.  I wanted to hit my first split at right around 3:55, so I started the race out at what felt like a nice, controlled speed.  Then Runkeeper cheerily told me that I hit the first half mile in 3:29!!  Shoot!!!  My plan for a nice negative split race was already out the window and, despite adjusting my pace down for the rest of the first mile I still wound up with a 7:22 split.  Darn!  {Side note — Runners, how the heck do you manage to maintain a steady, normal pace for the first half mile of a race???  This skill seems to elude me.}

Metal Run Runkeeper Stats

During miles 2 and 3 I settled into a 7:50 pace (if only I could have started here!) and took in the beautiful riverfront views.  The course wound around a bit more before finishing back in the parking lot where we started.  There was no official scoring, but the finish line clock and my stopwatch agreed that I completed the 5K in 24:18.  Significantly slower than my hilly 23:32 finish last week, but I think that knowing this was an un-scored fun run definitely made me feel a little less competitive during the race.

The fun didn’t end with the 5K finish… we had CHILI to taste!!  The Metal Walk/Run event also included a competitive chili cook-off and race participants were given tickets for 5 chili tastings.  Matt, Dylan, Jena and I enjoyed generous samples of several types of chili and all agreed that one of the classic chili recipes with cornbread was our favorite.  The judges apparently agreed too because that chili won second place overall!  (We didn’t make it to the winner’s tasting but it must have been yummy if it beat our favorite!!)  Piper was great during all of this commotion, allowing Matt and I to pass her back and forth between us as we ate.  She even dozed off in my arms at one point… race spectating is hard work for a little pup!

After yesterday’s fun run, I have now raced 8 out of the last 9 weekends.  That’s a lot of racing!  I’ll be taking a break from my 5K addiction until Thanksgiving day when I’ll run the Seven Summits Turkey Trot.  I’m definitely looking forward to being able to sleep in on the weekends until then.  (That is, of course, if Piper will let me sleep in!)   😄

Miles since last post:  17.8
Days since last post:  4
Avg. Daily Miles since 7/18/13: 4.87
2014 TOTAL MILES: 1524.7

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