Humid, Hot, Hilly, Happy – 4 on the 4th

Hello my midweek holiday celebrating friends!  That was a tough one for me. my brain could not understand that it was Wednesday and not Saturday.  and that everyone was off from work. very difficult. we pulled through. the Wednesday wannabe Saturday was exacerbated by the fact that I ran a race. because races are always on the weekend. but this was a Wednesday. a Wednesday race was a first for me. what was also a first was running a 4 mile race. but now we are getting ahead of ourselves. let’s backtrack and talk about some workouts leading up to and through today. that’s a lot of running, so I’ll try to keep it brief. which shouldn’t be a problem because I quite honestly can’t remember much past yesterday anyway.

Tuesday – 6.25 miles easy. truly, it was easy. I kept it just under 8 minute miles.  because I was running a race the next day. and because it was getting late in the day and it was really hot. my legs wanted to go more like 7:20-7:30ish pace, but we persevered and kept 8 near and dear.  trying to conserve as much energy as possible.
Wednesday – 1 mile w/u plus 4 mile race plus 6 mile recovery run = 11 miles for the day. 
I ran with my watch for the 6 mile recovery, but didn’t look at the pace, just ran comfortable and it was right around 7:45. good.
Today – 6 miles really easy. 8:20 pace easy plus 3 treadmill miles for 9 total in 73 minutes. My legs were really tired from yesterday. I put very little effort into this run and just let it be what it was. It was very pleasant, but also SUPER humid and hot at 5:30am when I left.  I needed to get about 10 miles.  instead of getting up when my alarm went off, I chose to lay in bed and not sleep but think about how much of a bad mood I would be in if I didn’t get my bum out of bed. It took about 10 minutes for me to firmly decide that a foul mooded mama was not in the best interest of anyone today and it was now or never.  at which point I only had time for 6 miles before I had to be back for the hubs to hit the gym. hence, the undesirable little 3 mile stint on the home mill.  It had to be done. I’ve got to sneak those miles in somewhere.  It’s not easy to get 50plus miles in a week.  for me. I feel like I’ve been running a TON and I just hit 36. not complaining. just think I should be able to add some honorary miles for feeling like I’ve been running more.

My crew. love them to death. 
This was a last minute race. my kind of race. I was told it was hilly. I already knew it would be hot and suffocatinlgy humid. none of those H’s failed to represent. although, I feel the hills were a little misrepresented. agreed, this was a very hilly 4 miler –  but we were not climbing everest. some expreienced looking runner tells me this is the hilliest race you’ll run and I think, good lord what have I gotten myself into. he obviously didn’t run the colchester half. that was hills. these were significant rollers, the whole time.   and one or two real hills.  enough to make it very challenging. but not killer.
Before we get into the race, let’s take a look at what happens behind the scenes for the lucky spouse that doesn’t get to race…hanging out with 3 little cherubs with sassy attitudes in hot temps…
no explanation

that didn’t happen for very long. he doesn’t like containment. 

little knuckleheads. 

post race crazies. heat was getting to them. and possibly the sugar from the free soda. that we let them have. 

# 1Goal was to RUN MY BEST RUN

I would have been ecstatic with a 6:15 pace. I had no idea what that equated to for finish time, and I have no idea where that number came from. completely arbitrary. and very aggressive. I thought. for a hilly run. on a hot day. with high humidity. 

Aggressive pace or not, I knew I would have to hold back for the first couple miles because I always go out way too fast. and was capable of doing a 5:40s first mile and a sub 6 second mile then crashing. I didn’t want to crash. I wanted to run my BEST run that I had in me that day. and that was a smart run. and a run that was going to be good practice in mental strength. I truly wasn’t concerned with the outcome. I just wanted to run well, and strong. 

I was dripping sweat at the start. It was about 80 degrees and 80% humidity.  I did a 1 mile warmup. and waited about 10 minutes for the start. I LOVE seeing all the different people toeing the start line. 8 year old boy kept shoving me out of the way and two men in their 70’s were chatting up a storm next to me. behind me were a group of goofball high schoolers that would run sub 25 with ease. 

Horn blows.  Runners start cruising. 

holding back. staying in the low 6’s. I kept seeing 6:06, 6:04…slow it down a tad

I was in the front. with a pack of guys. no idea who was behind me. 

I LOVE these short, fast races. so hard from the start. so beneficial to the grand scheme of distance running. so mental. 

Miles 1 and 2, I felt like I was on cruise control. very comfortable in that pace. 

6:19, 6:12

 Hills started within the first 1/4 mile.  I didn’t let the hills psyche me out. I took them head on. 

Mile 3 was equally strong.  I felt good that I hadn’t wasted all of my energy in the first two.  but I almost blew it on this one. at the end of mile 3, you come back near the finish and EVERYONE is cheering. There were a lot of people. something about a lot of people cheering in a small race seems to give the runner some sort of magic ability to grow wings and just soar. effortless. I think I even saw fairy dust. maybe a unicorn.


5:54 is never effortless. for this girl. people are gone just as fast as they appear. crowds die and mile 3 is over. and you find yourself smack at the bottom of a hill after running a 5:54 mile. not cool. my legs felt like lead. I saw 6:40 on my watch and for a split second thought I blew my run. a split second later I got back in it and didnt care what my watch said. I was running. and I was going to bust out whatever I had left. pants peeing, dead leg running, gut it out pace.  one mile.  and more rollers.  I tried to start picking off the guys, which is tough when they are all running sub 6 minute miles. I didn’t know who was right behind me. and at this point, I didn’t want some girl taking my first place when I had worked for this position. 


Before I knew it, the finish was ahead and I could see 24:42 on the clock. I had no idea what my time was until that point, and I sprinted to get in under 25. done. 


1st female

17th overall out of 730 racing peeps

6:15 average pace

2nd girl was just over 2 minutes behind me. glad she wasn’t nipping at my heals.

I ran my run. I couldn’t have done it better. Happy I won, but happier I ran smart and strong. in heat, humidity and hills.

These short runs are purely mental for me. right now. the pace is what it is and I push myself, but i want to feel strong and present and in control when I run.  you start out hard and finish hard. and strong. physically and mentally.  I lost my mental edge a bit these past few months. I’m going to get it back doing races like this. 

Lululemon speed skirt and cool racerback top. that speed skirt is my favorite skirt. they don’t carry it now. but you could probably find it for twice as much on eBay. 

and that’s my last minute race. onto the next one.
By the time we got home, I put Luke down for a nap and scootched out the door to finish up my miles for the day. before it got too hot. it was already in the 90’s. I really do love running in the heat. that is why I love fall marathons. you have a full summer of hot running and training and then ease into some nice fall weather. if all goes according to plan.
but the heat takes everything out of you. my body wanted to be doing this…
seriously. give me a binky and a bath and let me chill out on a giant stuffed animal.  wrapped in a towel. rough life. 
not moving a muscle.  at all.  But my kids wanted to be doing this…

running around like maniacs, slip and sliding all over the yard. they win. 
moving. a lot. and it was the 4th of July.  meaning we had a long day and a later night ahead of us. and we would be bad parents if we made the kids leave the partay that night before te fireworks.  we played. and played some more and hung out with friends and watched some fireworks. perfect ending to a hot, hectic, hilly, fantastic day. 
and I pay for the late night and early morning, today.
they chose to ambush me at the grocery store. 3 on 1. no fair. two of my three decided to have a little soliloquy of screaming throughout. delightful experience.  we quickly moved our way through the store, as to ensure that I did not choke my kids out in the cereal aisle. surprisingly, I remained calm despite the ear piercing notes coming from their sweet little mouths. oh, stare all you want. I really don’t mind. I ran this morning. and I might have perused lululemon this afternoon.  always a mood lifter.  especially with all of their fantastically bright and exciting new colors. nothing can shake me. I can’t hear you, little screamers. but it was slightly exhausting.
somehow I managed to come home with something for dinner. Go me. randomly throwing items in a cart works. we had chicken and a nice little tomato/white bean/scallion salad. yum.
tomorrow will be a different story. I’m pretty confident we will be back at the grocery store. hopefully fully rested and with our happy pants on.
How was everyone’s 4th?? 

Who got some running in?  Racing?  

How do you stay sharp in a race or a long run?  Mantras?  Mantras really work for me. love ’em.

About msfitrunner

I am a 29 year old stay at home, hardworking mom to my three little loves! My oldest little darling is 5, little sis is 4 and baby brother is almost 2. I have been married to my Mr. Wonderful for almost 7 years (ahhh!). My faith and my family is my rock, and I have a newfound LOVE for running. Maybe it's more of a necessity at this point - to maintain household peace and my own sanity, but whatever it is, it's working for me and I'm loving the racing. The vegan world has been calling my name, so I am testing out those waters as well! That's a tough one with three little picky eaters at home, but I am having fun coming up with new recipes and trying out new things. Follow along as I chronicle this crazy running life, and ALL the craziness that goes with it!

32 responses »

  1. Congrats!! That is awesome. Gotta change your name to Ms.Speedy! Also slightly glad to hear my kids aren’t the only ones cramped and screaming in the car carts 😉

  2. You are so fast! CONGRATS on your win!! The 4th was pretty low key; lots of grilling and outside time with family/friends. No racing, but did a quick 3 miler before eating my weight in roasted corn and quinoa salad. If I really start to fall apart during a long run I think about each member of my family for a mile. Favorite memories, holidays spent with them, what their lives are like now, etc.

  3. wow!! Congratulations….you are so fast!! I managed to fit in 4 miles on the treadmill on the 4th. We had a busy, fun day!

  4. Way to go! I’m embarrassed to even talk about my slow marathon yesterday compared to your speedy times! But I did qualify for Boston which has been a lot of work and long time coming for me, so for that, I’ll be proud. Definitely need some tips from you to hopefully get faster for my future races.

  5. You are amazingly fast! I was actually the second place girl. 🙂 I added your blog to my google reader when the skinny runner linked you and I thought you were mssfitrunner when I saw you at the race but I wasn’t sure. I agree with you about the hills. I haven’t run many races but I am training for my first-half and feel like running in this area involves a lot of hills in any route.

    • Oh my gosh!!! Hi!!! Do you live down near Chester? It was a really good race, I had fun. I always look at past years results to see where I might fall, and I didnt expect to be in the lead. What half are you training for? Your little guys are adorable, how old are they? I love having the fam there. Sorry so many questions:) have a great day!!

  6. Wow, congrats on the win, that is so awesome! You are super speedy. Fo’ sho’. Next time you should have your little devils push you around in that car at the grocery store 😉 Congrats again on the great race!

  7. My running goals are to one day be as fast as you! Don’t know how you do it! I ran a 5 miler on the fourth for a race and my average pace was a 7:05..with some hills, but not too many! Your amazing and you need to share your secrets on how you get so darn fast! How are the shins holding up after your race? I found mine to be sore after pounding the pavement and not the treadmill.

    • That’s a pretty awesome pace for 5! My shins are pretty good – just starting to get a little tight which I can only blame on me not taking care of them at all! I can’t remember the last time I rolled or used the massage stick. It’s time to find it and put it to use! Sounds like your running is going great! I hope you were able to find a stairmaster, or the cross training equipment you were hoping to get. Have a good day!!:)

  8. You are incredible! And… you were such a motivation to me during my run on the 4th! I have NEVER ran under 9:00 pace on ANY run and I ran a half- and at 8:30 pace all the way until mile 10!!! I then slowed to 8:45 while my running buddy sped up to 8:00. I couldn’t hang with her, but came in under 2 hours!!! 1:59.54. 🙂 I’m so proud and STILL so shocked! But I feel great and now I know I can do it 🙂 Thank you SO MUCH for the motivation!

    • That gave me chills – that’s AMAZING!!! It’s incredible what the body is capable of when the mind is strong and confident. I’m so excited and happy for you – sub 2!

  9. Wow congrats on an awesome race! Never ran a 4 miler but I think I would LOVE it. Perfect distance. Short. Fast. Really separates the men from the boys.

    The pics of your little ones exhaust me! How do you keep up with them and get in all your crazy workouts??? You and your hubs are really super heros!

  10. Pingback: Driveway Races and Strength « msfitrunner

  11. Congratulations on an awesome race! I love how you saw the clock and sprinted to get the 24:59! & congrats on nailing all of your goals!

    I used to love running in the heat, the feeling of being soaking & dripping wet with sweat while running in the heat of the sun. I have gotten out of it recently, but you have inspired me to get back out in the heat & humidity & love every bit of it! Also, after running out there, I have an even greater appreciation for just how fast you ran in that heat! It is tough!

    Lastly, I loved your account of the grocery store outing. It’s great that you can see the humor in what would otherwise be an unpleasant experience. the picture of the kids in the cart car says it all – haha 🙂

    • Thank you! You have even worse heat and humidity than we do! It is great training – it makes it really hard, but worth it when the temp changes. The grocery store is always a good time;-) Thankfully, I was able to go by myself today and actually get what I needed! I hope you had a great weekend.
      Oh, can you do me a favor – can you send a quick reply to this if you get it – I’m not sure all of my replies are actually getting emailed out and need to fix it if they aren’t – thanks!

  12. Pingback: Run Paces, Fueling, Personalities « msfitrunner

  13. Pingback: Tempo Tuesday Talk « msfitrunner


Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s