This past week has certainly been a loaded one. Sunday Jason and I flew from Harrisburg to Chicago to New Orleans to begin our vacation. I plan to make a separate post about that once I get all of our pictures loaded and sorted. It was a very enjoyable and much needed trip. We did plenty of walking but no running, and ate a ton of much-heavier-than-we’re-used-to foods.
Thursday morning we left New Orleans’ 70+ degree weather to fly back to chilly PA. Our plane was taxiing down the runway when I saw my mom calling. I quickly answered and said “We’re going down the runway, I can’t talk” to which she replied “Your sister is going to the hospital to be induced”. I told her I would call her back as soon as we touched down in Chicago. My sister was scheduled for a routine ultrasound that afternoon after measuring a tad small at her last appointment. Hearing that she was going to be induced had me worried though she was 3 days shy of 39 weeks. As soon as our plane touched down and we were allowed to use phones again I called my mom back. Apparently one of the fluid sacs around the baby was showing a bit low so the decision was made to induce.
I texted my sister to wish her luck and found out her water actually broke at the hospital which was better than having to go through an actual induction. I figured she would be in labor most of the night and the baby wouldn’t arrive until Friday. My parents picked us up at Harrisburg’s airport after being delayed in Chicago for an extra half hour. Until we arrived back at their house it was after midnight. I instructed my mom to text any updates and I would reply in the morning since I put my phone on silent at night, but if there was any medical emergency to call Jason’s phone.
Around 6:55am Friday morning I heard Jason moan that my mom was calling him and I quickly grabbed my phone. I had a few pictures texted and one announcing that my nephew, Weston John, had arrived around 1am at 6 lbs 4 oz and 18 inches. I was confused why she was calling if the baby had already arrived. I called back and apparently she thought I would’ve been up by then and she was concerned why I hadn’t texted back for a half hour. A bit frustrated I replied that we hadn’t gone to bed until almost 1:30am! I’m fairly certain she was just overly excited and wanted to talk to someone about the baby’s arrival. I visited Kasey, Erik and Weston later that afternoon and then returned home to run 5 miles on the rail trail, my first run since the previous Wednesday.
After all the excitement of vacation and a new baby I can’t say I went into the Dover 10 Miler too focused today. I treated it as a race to just finish with no time goal planned. I figured if I average a 9:30 or faster pace that would be sufficient. I lined up away from my dad, Todd and Armand to ensure I wouldn’t get caught up in anyone’s pace. Jason lined up beside me but took off quick at the start. I was reminded why if I ever choose to run a marathon, I will be running a low key one. I loathe being trapped in groups of people when I’m running and can’t wait until everyone has thinned out to the point that I’m either running alone or only around a handful of people.
Overall the race was rather uneventful. There was no rescuing of a kitten like the first year I ran the race. I had some slight stomach cramping/gas pains off and on which I attribute to eating lunch a bit too close to race time. That can be blamed on Jason who insisted we had time to watch an episode of the Prodigal Son prior to getting ready. Fortunately it didn’t really affect my performance. I definitely ran comfortable with splits of 9:05, 9:00, 9:09 and 9:27 for the first four miles. I couldn’t believe it when I saw the lead guy run by before I even reached the fourth mile (he would finish in a 57-something).
At the turn around I clocked an 8:59 and was happy to break a 9 min mile. The return was hillier and I slowed to a 9:31 for both the sixth and seventh miles. At the eight mile my Garmin beeped a 9:43 and I got annoyed. How dare I let myself slow that much when the hardest part of the course was behind me. I decided running 8 miles comfortable was far enough and I would try to race the final 2 miles. My feet, knees and hips were all a bit achy at that point – evidence of why one should not take a vacation the week leading into a long race. I figured whether I ran faster or slower though wouldn’t matter, the aches would still be there so I might as well run faster. I began picking people off and no one passed me in those final two miles. I finished with a 1:32:11. I didn’t even realize until after I arrived home and loaded my Garmin’s data that I ran an 8:14 final mile.
Jason had finished about 6 minutes ahead of me and my running buddies all ran well and finished much farther ahead of me. I was either 5th or 6th in my age group depending on whether the 2nd place overall female is removed from the group for the winter series. I’m trying to not focus on the fact that I ran a 1:21:40 last year. I was much, much stronger at that time and training a lot harder. I’m actually in about the same shape as I was in 2017 when I ran a 1:31:31. I’m considering using 2017’s results as a guideline when setting goals for each race this winter series and hopefully over time I will get back to the kind of shape I was in last year.