This is the only race that I’ve run every year! This was my 10th time!!!!!
My first FRW was in 2008 (my first year of running). At the time, it was the farthest I’d ever run:
Due to construction, they changed the course two years ago.
They say that this course is faster…less congested and has a less steep hill at the start and finish.
I did run the new course the past two years and I liked it.
As with this race every year, I never know what will happen… I could break my foot again (as I did in 2013) or could have a course PR.
And this was also my third Freihofer Training Challenge…
Training is a loose term. I kinda just showed up. Monday runs were always after a Sunday long run or race and I never attended any of the Saturday runs.
But I was excited to be part of it and support all the runners who would be finishing their FIRST 5k. And see my “advanced” buddies who would hopefully PR.
Every other year, the day before I walked to Empire State Plaza concourse at lunch to go to the expo and pick up my race packet. They used to have a really nice expo with vendors and health-related. But this year, I was in NYC for work so I had to depend on my hubby to pick things up for me at a new expo location.
For convenience, I parked at a yoga place on race morning and walked to the start. I do this every year. However, with the new course, it was an even longer hike. Like 2 miles!
It was strange to walk down Madison Avenue and not see the race banners and not see the giant poster on the bridge.
And the weather…it was not forecast to be as warm as previous years but at least it wasn’t raining. (The race started 30 minutes earlier than last year just in case we actually had warm weather. I wasn’t thrilled since I got home from NYC late the night before.)
I wore a jacket and my DIY sleeves to stay warm before the race. As I was walking down Madison, I spotted a van with a Vermont license plate. It was my friend AJH with a bunch of friends. The race was a retirement gift. How cool!!
So on the way to start, we cut through the Empire State Plaza to use real restrooms. The we made our way to the Empire State Plaza so they could get their bibs, shirts, cookies, etc. (My tennis buddy was sick so I had to get hers as well.)
By this point, I had missed my training group photo, but I didn’t care. It was great to see AJH and chat.
We finally got to the race location and I located the Challenge Group Tent and met up with friends. I also shed my jacket and sleeves (although it did start to sprinkle.)
I also ran into a few local runners, bloggers (Judith and Vicki.) and even some Skirt Sports ambassadors.
Catching up with everyone made the time go by quickly and soon it was time to line up.
Although it was very crowded, there were fewer runners than when it was Madison Avenue but it did seem to be more than last year (new organizers and more advertising.).
Anyway, with the new start (on a wider street), it didn’t take as long to get moving and the first hill was longer but not as steep.
I started with Hollys but let her get ahead. She always starts out fast. Right from the beginning, I had the feeling that my legs were moving but so slowly. I was also sneezing and sniffling (hopefully it’s allergies not a cold.)
When I got into the park and looked at my time, I was shocked at how slow it was. Usually mile 1 is my fastest.
I continued to trudge along and couldn’t wait to walk at the first water stop around mile 1.25. (I wasn’t really thirsty so just took a sip and continued running.)
This course had you run around more of the park and it also seemed to avoid the bigger hills of the park.
I tried to pick up the pace for the second mile since the crowd had thinned out. I told myself that I would not walk until the next water stop. That was around mile 2.5. At this point, I was starting to get some energy.
I had lost Hollys since she had gotten way ahead but all of a sudden, I could see her in the distance.
Finally we left the park and headed downhill to the finish. Not the steep downhill that we used to have with the old course, but at least it was downhill.
I ran as fast as I could and even passed Hollys. But I started my sprint too soon. By the time, the finish line came into view, I was pooped. Hollys passed me and I crossed at 28:04 (gun time.)
Not a PR (and I was not expecting one) but a decent time and faster than last year.
I grabbed a bagel and some chocolate milk. It was definitely less congested than when it was by the fountains on the Plaza. No long lines for food.
I ran into even more runners again that I knew.
The first time runners were so excited. That put a smile on my face. I remembered why I love this race and it was never because of my awesome finish times.
I walked back to the Training Challenge Tent to get some more food and chatted with friends for awhile.
Many runners were excited about their PRs. I may not have run my fastest time but I still enjoyed myself.
You get what you put in. I did not do all the speed workouts so I can’t be disappointed. I also just ran a half marathon and I am no spring chicken. Plus my time was faster than the past two years (29:22, 28:50). So I was happy with that.
mile 1- 9:13
mile 2- 9:03
mile 3 – 8:25
.18 – ??
Chip time – 27:48
There was computer set up so you could check your time and see you won an age group award.
Guess who won my age group?
We hung out for awhile for the awards ceremony – the top 10 finishers and top 5 Masters.
Afterwards, I walked back to my car (uphill for 2 miles) to put away my stuff.
I had planned to run another 5k to complete the ZOOMA Annapolis Virtual 10k.
I really didn’t feel like it but I did it. I retraced part of the course, made quite a few photo stops and took it nice and easy.
So FRW #10 is in the books! The tradition is still alive! It was again a great local race with over 3,000 women running it.
I am also sharing in the support love by linking up with a Sunday Fitness and Food Linkup hosted by
Happy Running! How was your weekend? Did you race? If so, how did it go?