Happy Wednesday! Last week I was in Chicago for a conference. I got home Friday evening, unpacked, and then got ready for my double race weekend. I definitely do not recommend doing two races after working long hours and not a lot of sleep, but live and learn right?
This weekend I ran the Fairfield 5K on Saturday and Fairfield Half Marathon on Sunday to complete the Lucas Challenge. This was not a new race to me as I did the 5K last year and the half marathon in 2014 and 2015. I was registered for the Half last year but took a DNS due to my runner’s knee. Luckily I was able to transfer that race registration to this year (the race organization is pretty awesome). You really never know what you’re going to get on race day, and these two races were no exception.
I woke up to a pretty bad rainstorm. The race organization had posted on their Facebook page that the event would be on, rain or shine. I decided that as long as it was just rain, and not thunder and lightning, that I would run the race. I arrived to the race around 7:15 am (the race start was 8:00 am). Luckily the race offered same day packet pickup and it was easy-peasy and only took about 2 minutes. I waited in the car until 10 minutes before the start time. I was really hoping the rain would stop, but it didn’t, it actually got worse. Oh well, let’s do this!
The race started 5 minutes late due to cars on the race course. Honestly it wasn’t a huge deal. Everyone was already drenched so what’s another few minutes?! We finally started and I was able to get into a great groove automatically (that never happens). The race had approximately 1,000 runners but the course never felt crowded and I didn’t have to do too much weaving around runners. The course was flat (hooray) so I just kept a steady pace the whole time. I definitely was not “racing” this race as I knew I had the half marathon the next day.
What’s great about this race is that you start and end at Jennings Beach. Any other day it would have been a great time to finish the race, enjoy the post-race food and the beach. Unfortunately because it was still raining and I was soaked, I left right after I crossed the finish line. Of course the sun was out in FULL FORCE by the time I got back home. WTF?!?
Fairfield Half Marathon
Even though it rained the entire time for the 5K, it was still fun! The half marathon..not so much, lol. This race also started at 8 am. It wasn’t humid, but it was very sunny and pretty warm. I also had a headache (which ended up lasting the entire race). I thought to myself “this isn’t gonna be good”. The race started on time and we were off!
Miles 1-3 – I found a good pace after the first mile, but we hit the first hill right before mile 3. I told myself to run at least half of the hills and then walk the rest of the way.
Miles 4-6 – Overall, pretty flat, but some smaller hills to conquer. This was when I first started to feel dizzy so I slowed down my pace.
Miles 7-8 – Flat with great scenery, but not a lot of shade from the sun. I was very thankful for all of the cooling stations (sprinklers) on the course. At this point I was running under all of them because I was still dealing with a headache and some dizziness.
Miles 9-13.1 – This is where the wheels fell off, completely! There were two very steep hills that seemed to take forever because I walked the whole time. I also had a sharp pain in my left butt cheek for about 2 miles. It was hard to run so I ended up having to walk most of those miles. Honestly this whole section is a blur between the hills, heat, headache and butt pain, but I do know that I finished the race, lol.
Although I was just treating this race as a training run, I was still disappointed to be so off from my normal long run pace. I know that the work travel messed with my normal routine, especially when it came to my diet and hydration. I’m sure those were factors in my performance, but I’m just chalking it up to a bad race day and moving forward.
If you’re looking for a half marathon to do in Connecticut, I would highly recommend this race. It’s just SO well organized from start to finish and the post race spread is great – water, bagels, pizza, watermelon, breakfast bars, animal crackers, UCAN recovery drinks, etc. They really go all out. Also you can enjoy the beach until Noon. Here’s a look at the race swag.
A HUGE thank you to all the residents that come out to cheer us on and to all the police, EMT, fire department and volunteers that helped to keep the roads safe for us during the race. It is much appreciated!
Do you like “challenge” races? Have you ever done two races in one weekend?