Monday, July 7, 2014

A Fabulous 4th

What an amazing weekend! Was yours awesome too? I sure hope so.

I always like when a holiday falls on a Friday so you can dovetail it into the weekend seamlessly. A three day weekend will do wonders for the soul. Let's dive in, shall we?

Thursday night, John picked up our race packets on his way home. We walked Sadie and then headed over to a local park to hear the community orchestra play a selection of American and patriotic tunes. We've gone to this concert many times. It's free and well-attended but parking is plentiful and it's not far from our house.

They played some questionable songs that were only loosely America-related. Luckily, they ended with the 1812 overture and Stars and Strips Forever which is all we really wanted to hear anyway. We stopped for froyo on the way home. It is dangerous that they opened an Orange Leaf about a mile from our house.

Early to bed because Friday was early to rise.

We signed up to run the Americana 5K in Centerville knowing that we probably wouldn't have great races. Yes, we had just achieved PR's (personal records) in our last 5K but that course was flat and fast (even if it had been raining). We last ran this race 5 years ago. What a different time that was.

So, we got up before the alarm (Thank you, Sadie), ate our peanut butter toast and laced up.

I'm sporting my new Brooks shirt which I L-O-V-E love and want to buy in many colors. We got there in plenty of time and because the race starts and ends at the high school stadium, you get to use actual toilets instead of portapotties. Modern plumbing FTW! We lined up and were off. Well, once we weaved around all the people who lined up towards the front and were walking with no intention of actually running any bit of these 3.1 miles. Please. If you're going to walk, start in the back. The course is a simple out and back with a gradual but long hill right in the middle, which means you have to run it twice. There was one water stop manned by some very enthusiastic boy scouts.

I went out way too fast, as usual. About a half mile in I realized I was holding an 8:25 pace. Whoops! Better dial that back before I bonk completely. Before I knew it, I saw John at the turn around looking very strong. He was watching for me but didn't see me despite my arms waving like a fool. The long slog back began but my splits were looking good and I didn't want to give up. I started realizing that my pace was steady and faster than I expected. With about a half mile to go, I realized another PR was possible if I really went for it. So I did.

I entered the stadium and sprinted the final lap finishing in 27:18. A full minute faster than my last race! A full 4 minutes faster than my very first 5K. How about that! John also PR'ed with an amazing 23:23. We could not have been prouder of our races. It was good enough for a 22nd finish in my age group, 491st overall (out of more than 1,100). Average pace was 8:48 which is something I never hold outside. John finished 20/55 for his age group and 221 overall. We surprised ourselves. The weather was on our side. A cool start around 60 degrees, if that.

What a great way to start the day and get your workout finished early. Home to shower and cook. Lunch, a little downtime and then back to the Americana Festival. We walked by all the booths but didn't buy anything. A root beer float was shared and then we headed home to eat again.

At night, we pulled out the fire pit and enjoyed some s'mores. Our neighbors set off some small fireworks. It was lovely. Sadie didn't appreciate said fireworks though. She never does.

On Saturday, I made it to hot yoga for the first time in about a month. It was glorious. I wish I could go every day. In the afternoon, John and I drove about 45 minutes to Hanover Winery. They make good wines. They also make good wine slushies. We did a tasting and then shared a bottle with some snacks I had packed. The weather could not have been more cooperative. Sitting outside on a picnic table with a light breeze and some sun was perfection.

We stopped at the outlets on the way home but came home with just a new pair of running shorts for me and new shoes for boxing for John.

That brings us to Sunday. We were supposed to do yard work but that sounded wholly unappealing. Instead, we had a lazy morning with the New York Times and I'm writing to you fine people. Weekends like this make the toiling weekdays tolerable, yes?

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