I got there Friday afternoon to set up the Pacer Group booth and Friday night I headed to an intimate VIP reception where I got to meet Shalane Flanigan.
Saturday morning we headed to the race site. I was running "The Hat Trick", all three events in which they were tracking cumulative times (5k, 10K and 1/2 marathon). Lauren and Autumn were running the 5k together. My running hadn't been right since the Wineglass Marathon so I just wanted to finish to the best that my body would allow. I started the 5K conservatively and ended up in the top 10 overall with a 17:12. Autumn had a blast, taking in the water stops, skipping, singing, etc which was awesome, I'm so glad she got out there and did it.
|What a backdrop for the start / finish area!|
|The finish area was so cool. Through a "tunnel" created by old blast furnace buildings, then under the "steel arch" through the screaming crowds and to the finish line.|
Up bright and early the next morning and we all headed over to the race. Lauren, my brother (and Craig) were pacing and I was "racing", if my body would let me. What a beautiful AM. I took advantage of it and went out conservatively and met a couple of runners who I chatted with for much of the first 8 miles. We were clicking off 6:00 +/- pretty consistently but I knew my time was coming. I could feel my piriformis pain and knew I wasn't as strong as Todd and Brian. As we approached mile 10 they picked it up and I, well, "stayed" where I was. I had nothing but "hold on" mode.
|Crossing the Fahy bridge on the way back to the finish, about 11.5 miles in. Solo.|
|Approaching mile 12. Note the old Bethlehem Steel "artifacts" in the background. Steel Stacks is a cool place.|
|In "the tunnel" headed to the finish.|
And speaking of injury, that was likely my last race of the season. It looks like I may have a bulged disk in my back which was referring the pain to my piriformis / sciatic nerve. A few weeks off of running and some exercises and hopefully I'm good to go. That's the plan....
In other news, I got a new road bike! Specialized Tarmac Expert SL4. Wow, seems pretty awesome so far. The SL4 frameset has gotten some great reviews. Internal cable routing and a matte finish gives it a cool looking finish. Excited to put some miles on it.