For the third year in a row, my fiance and I participated in Cranford Jaycee’s Firecracker 4-miler on the fourth of July. Each year, I somehow manage to bring the previous year’s time down by about 2 minutes. This was especially shocking due to my lack of training for most of 2011 thanks to injury, but I certainly can’t complain!
The day started as most race days do – waking up and devouring a half of peanut butter and jelly sandwich and copious amounts of water. I knew ahead of time that if the weather was anything like it was last year (super hot and humid), I was going to need A LOT of water. Thankfully, the temperature was a solid 10 degrees cooler, but it was still humid and sunny.
Because both my fiance and I have been battling injuries, we decided to run the race together. This is the first race that my fiance has run with me in the 2.5 years we’ve been running races. As you can imagine I was really excited, even though I knew it would likely be holding him back a little. We weren’t sure where to line ourselves up, and I’ve decided that when in doubt, seat yourself higher because everyone else does it too. The amount of weaving and elbowing that goes on at the beginning of hometown races is really annoying. I won’t even begin to talk about the rudeness I experienced out there!
At any rate, by the time we hit the first mile marker (just under 8:15 pace), my eyes started to burn like no other, thanks to sweat. This continued for the rest of the race, which was only made marginally better thanks to some people with hoses and sprinklers out on the course. Aside from some cramping at mile 3 where I had to slow down, I think we kept a pretty solid pace.
The race always finishes down a stretch in the park where everyone lines up to cheer – we even had our own cheering section!
Since we ran the whole race together, the fiance and I crossed the finish hand-in-hand (totally lame, I know) and he even paused to let me cross first. My official time was 32:49, which is an 8:12 average pace. I couldn’t be happier considering the current state of my shin (ouch!) and the fact that I haven’t trained much. I know I have the potential to run faster, and I can’t wait to be healthy enough to get the training in to do it!