One week ago yesterday I wrapped up running the York Winter Series for my second year. It seemed to pass by much faster this year for some reason. I can definitely say it’s the best way to stay motivated to keep running throughout the winter even when the temperatures are much more conducive to curling up on the couch to binge Netflix. I remained more consistent in my training and maintained some longer runs (over 6 miles) than I did the previous year. I also became a little more consistent in strength training. I completed 7 of the 8 races and only missed one due to taking the track team to an indoor invitational. This year brought about some very strong races for me and an overall placement of 2nd in my age group. Here is a list of the races I completed and blogged about throughout the series:
Dover 10 Miler – I still say the timing of this race in November worked out great as a follow up to running a half marathon in the fall. I’m glad I had Todd to help pace me as I risked going out too fast and burning out later. It was a solid race with no detour to rescue kittens in the road like last year.
Spring Valley 4 Miler – Although I was originally concerned about the slight course change I found the new course to be a lot better. I’m unsure if the race director will keep it or change back next year, but no matter what I’ll always have to keep up solid hill training to manage the course.
Wildcat 10k – I loved having “home course” advantage for this race. I think it automatically makes me biased in saying it’s a favorite race of mine. Getting to go indulge in holiday food later that day was a great reward for conquering such a challenging course.
John Rudy 5 Miler – I was very excited that the weather behaved this year to be able to run the race. I was not so thrilled to have to run it a few days after suffering from a nasty stomach virus. I ran it better than I expected, but I’m looking to really improve on this particular race next season.
Indian Rock 10k – I missed this race last year due to being sick and icy conditions, so I was glad to be able to complete it this year. Granted I found it exceptionally boring since I’ve ran that portion of the rail trail so many times in my life, but given the chilliness of the morning I’m glad it was an easy course.
Jacobus 5 Miler – I’m 2 for 2 on missing this race due to indoor track. The course was changed to a 5k this year due to construction work on a bridge that was part of the route. It still finished up a nasty hill though. I am making it a goal to run this course next year even if I have to miss a different race in its place.
Springettsbury 10k – I would argue this is the hardest race in the series due to the challenging course and the fact that it always seems to be super cold and/or windy. That may be why I’ve elected to prerun it the past two years. Fortunately there was no ice to tip toe across anywhere this year, and despite the wind exhausting me at times I had a solid finish.
Northeastern 5k – I’m still not as satisfied with my performance at this race as I should be. The course changing that morning threw me off my mental game, and I wish I had gone into the race truly determined to break my overall 5k time as I now know I could’ve. That said it was nice being able to break the age group tie and officially finish second overall in the series.
While running the series I had decided I wanted to run the Turkey Hill half marathon in May. After running the 10k course the Wed. before Northeastern, and running such a fast time at Northeastern, I began considering if the 10k would be a better option. I looked at last year’s times and though everything can change from year to year, I figured I would have a slight shot of placing in the top 5 women overall. That, coupled with the challenge to get in 3 runs a week during track season, solidified my decision to run the 10k instead of the half marathon. Jason has also decided to run it as his first 10k. We’re both signed up for a 5k in April as well, one my dad wanted us to all run since it supports cancer research.
The Dumb Dutchman half marathon in June is still on my radar. I feel I will be able to get in enough long runs by June to complete it and have been told the course is very flat and fast. I’m not sure if I’ll set a time goal for it, or if keeping up running through track season will make just completing it enough of a challenge. For now I’m enjoying backing off the long and harder miles for a bit and getting back into the groove of track season.