I took my running shoes with me to WI and was planning on getting a few runs in, more for sanity's sake than anything else. The day after Andy's funeral I went out for a short 4 mile run on the cross country trail around the high school. It was the perfect run to reminisce and reflect. It started raining as soon as I stepped out of my car and was pouring about a mile into my run. There is something therapeutic about running in a summer downpour.
For a little background, I grew up on a dairy farm in central WI, the heart of America's Dairyland. For the uninformed, June is National Dairy Month and my hometown of Westfield celebrates with a parade and street dance. Seriously. Ice cream, string cheese, and chocolate milk galore. On Saturday, my sister-in-law suggested I run in the Dairylicious Day fun run. That was unexpected, a race in my hometown! There was a 1/4 mile kids run, a 2 mi and a 5 mi option. After watching my 5-year old niece run in the kids run, I lined up with the other grown-ups and ran the 5 mile race. My goal was a sub-8 pace, maybe 7:50 or 7:45 if I was feeling good.
I ran the first three miles with my friend James, who recently has gotten back into running. His wife had other things going on, so he ran the race pushing his little boy in a stroller. We chatted for the most part, then at mile 3, I tried to speed up to catch the women's leader. She was within sight the whole race. I reeled her in a little bit but then hit a long hill. At mile 4 I realized I went out way too fast and there was going to be no chase, just me trying to hold on. Eh, I wasn't really motivated, either. It had been an emotionally draining week and it was an unexpected 5 mile race in my hometown. The women's winner finished in 36:46 and I crossed the line at 37:05 with James (ans Tyson) not too far behind. I may have been 6th or 7th overall? Who knows, there were no timing chips or even a race clock.
This was a little race and other than the kids' run, no finisher medals even. But I did get a recycled gold track medal for winning my age group, and James did the same, pushing a stroller no less. For some reason I found that funny. They ran out of most size t-shirts, so I ended up with a youth M, which surprisingly fits well. Hmm, Wisconsin sizes maybe? The shirt has a giant cow (who happens to look drunk) on the front with "Dairylicious Day" across the front. Well worth the $15 registration.
The only down side: after 5 miles at an average pace of 7:25, I have no excuses during mile intervals with KM. Looks like my speed work just got faster. Not a bad thing, but definitely unexpected.
23 hours ago