Racing at 6°

This past weekend I ran in the Wolf Hollow Half Marathon in Nashua, NH. I originally had planned to run a 10k or something shorter that weekend, but plans changed and I went to visit my sister and brother-in-law earlier. When I heard there was a half marathon in the area, I decided to give it a go. My mileage had been decent and I had done a few good speed workouts since my last half. Plus, this would be my last serious race for a few months. 

I’ll start by saying that it is the prettiest race I’ve ever run. The racecourse is absolutely beautiful. Besides the start and end of the race, it is all on bike paths and nicely groomed trails. It winds past a river for part of it and I even saw some swans!

The weather was another story, though. At the start of the race it was about 20 degrees with 23 mph winds. According to the weather on the internet, it felt like 6° with the windchill– definitely the coldest I’ve raced in before! Luckily, since most of the race was in the woods the wind was not awful. However, I didn’t stick around after the race. Sweat and cold don’t mix well! The award ceremony was cancelled and they gave the prizes out earlier.

My race tactics going into the race were pretty conservative. I knew that my training hadn’t been as good as it normally is before a half and I hadn’t signed up for the race until four days before. My strategy was to go out more slowly and if I still felt good around mile 8 then I would pick it up. The course was pretty flat with a few smaller hills towards the end. Surprisingly, I didn’t start to hurt too bad until mile 11. I even had enough to kick it in the last mile!

me kicking it in at the end of the race

My brother-in-law, Santiago, also raced this weekend. He got a new PR in the 5k. Yeah!

me and Santi after our races

I couldn’t have done it without my great support team. My sister, Justine, and her dog, Rudy, were great support! Thank you so much – especially for putting up with the cold weather!

Santi, Justine, and their adorable dog, Rudy. Can you tell they’re cold?

I would definitely recommend this race to someone for next year. Hopefully it won’t be as cold- – I think the weather was out of the ordinary! Beautiful course, great food afterwards, nice shirts, and I even won a pint glass for my age group place!

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My Ultimate Running Goal

Almost all runners have some sort of goal. Whether it’s to run a mile without walking, finish their first 5k, or qualify for the Boston Marathon, all goals are important. Goals help to keep us motivated with our training and strive for new levels of fitness. I have plenty of goals for my running. There are long-term, short-term, big goals, and smaller goals. Some of my goals are about running certain times, finishing certain races, but mostly just about having a good time. What’s the point of running if you don’t enjoy it, anyways? 

I first started running when I was in second grade. There was a track program that was offered in the summer that I wanted to do. I don’t remember much from it besides trying different field events and running the 100m dash. It took me a little longer to realize that I was a distance runner and not a sprinter. However, I loved running right from the beginning. I was a competitive little kid and I had a natural talent for the sport. I loved the feeling of accomplishment, the runner’s high, and the people I met. Some of my best friends I’ve made through running. Plus, when I was little I loved any prize I won – no matter how small. Ok, I still really enjoy prizes. 🙂

me running the 400m dash in the summer before sixth grade

 

As I’ve gotten older, though, I’ve come to love running even more – it’s my passion. It helps me clear my mind and makes me happy on a stressful day. I can leave in a grump about something and come back smiling and laughing.

When I look into the future about what I want to accomplish with my running, many things come to mind. My ultimate goal, though, is to still love running when I’m older. I don’t ever want my passion or drive for the sport to go away. I want to try new races, have fun experiences, and still love it when I’m older. I want to win the age group prize for the 70-80 year olds – not necessarily because I am running fast, but because I am the only one in my age group. Running PR’s and winning prizes can be really fun, but that’s not what I’m going to look back on and feel proud of when I’m older. The joy I get out of running is the ultimate prize. What’s your ultimate running goal?

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