This is the only race that I’ve run every year! This was my 12th 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 four 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 four 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 as I did last year.
And this was also my fifth Freihofer Training Challenge.
Training is a loose term. I kinda just showed up on most Monday runs. But each Monday seemed to follow either a half marathon or a long run. As a result, although I registered for the Advanced group, I never participated in any of the speed drills. Instead I ran easy with the Intermediate or Beginner group. I only attended two of the Saturday runs since I was usually racing or resting.
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.
In past years, 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 big expo with vendors and health-related exhibits. But the past two years, they have held it at a local college. I was able to stop by after work. This year, the expo was much improved. I met up with a few friends and quickly browsed the booths and only bought a pair of sunglasses (Goodrs, what else? I’m obsessed.)
Earlier in the week, they had predicted rain, But the forecast changed and it was a pretty nice morning. – sunny and around 60.
I hate parking garages and traffic so I parked at a yoga place and walked to the start. I used to do this every year. However, with the new course, it was an even longer hike. Like 2 miles!
It was still strange to walk down Madison Avenue and not see the race banners and not see the giant poster on the bridge.
The start was near a park across from the Capitol Building. I ran most of the way (about a mile) but then I bumped in a few people that I knew and I thought it rude to just run by.
Finally I set off in search of the Freihofer Training Challenge tent.
I chatted with many of my running friends and took quite a few pics.
I also bumped into many runners wearing Skirt Sports skirts.
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 (The loaded the corrals from the slowest to the fastest and everyone seemed to be in the correct corral).
Anyway, with the 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 Holly and Nancy from my FTC Group. I lost Holly behind me and Nancy (who is faster than both of us) surged ahead. I kept her in my sight but could never catch up to her. Right from the beginning, I had the feeling that my legs were moving but so slowly.
It was sunny at the start but then it got cloudy and HUMID!!! I felt very warm and thirsty.
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 was so thirsty.)
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.
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 tried to run fast but I started my sprint too early and had no energy left as I approached the finish line. The humidity had really gotten to me. I walked briefly (Karen surged ahead) and then I picked up my pace as I crossed the finish line. At least it was under 28 minutes.
I knew with 3 walk breaks, I couldn’t come close to a PR (and I was not expecting one) but it was a decent time (even if it was slower than last year). I was happy!!
I grabbed some cookies 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. Every where I turned, there was someone familiar – from work, tennis, races, etc. That’s what’s great about running a big local race.
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. My time may not have been as fast as last year (a course PR of 27:37) but faster than two years ago (27:52). So I was very pleased with that.
mile 1- 9:10
mile 2- 8:54
mile 3 – 8:40
.14 – 6:47
Chip time – 27:47
Negative splits!!!! Woo Hoo!
There was computer set up so you could check your time and to see if you won an age group award.
And 5 out of 98 in my age group. Even a PR wouldn’t have gotten me an award. (Who is that lady from Boulder!?)
I hung out for a while in the FTC tent making plans for a post race brunch (the important things).
Eventually I walked back to my car. (It was uphill for about 2 miles). I walked part of the way with a friend Denise and we walked the along the last part of the course. We got to cheer those last few runners in…so cool!!
I have a 15K in a few weeks so I had planned to run another 3 miles. Brunch with friends was calling my name. And I am weak. Last year, I ran the extra miles. This year, I ate coconut crusted French toast.
So FRW #12 is in the books!
The tradition is still alive! It was again a great local race with over 3,500 women running it. Can’t wait to run it again next year.
On a side note: When I got home, I check IG and found this picture.
This is my friend who is in the midst of chemo treatments but drove from VT to do this race! It puts everything in perspective!!
Happy Running! How was your weekend? Did you race? If so, how did it go? Do you have a favorite race that you run every year?