It feels weird recapping some of these fall races, but I love documenting what I can recall and the Savage 7K holds a special place in my heart. Savage is home. Running a local race right down the street was the best way to break in and explore the new neighborhood. And of course, my own personal favorite, meet neighbors who run. I.E. my new best friends.
I decided to push a hard effort and test speed for the Marine Corps Marathon (MCM recap here and here) at the Savage 7K and Ragnar DC. Both races were within the same week of September without tapering which made it brutal. But it was a great training week due to the elevation, heat and overall effort of both races.
The Savage 7K was a half mile walk from our house with the usual suspects: Stephen, Clint and I. We walked up together to the start line, got our bibs, started stretching and warming up, then Stephen found out a race quirk of mine. He wanted to tear off the bottom part of the bib where it lists the name/sex/age on a perforated edge and he reached for mine and I jumped back, wide eyed and basically told him not to touch my race bib until after the race.
I don’t think i’ve ever had anyone try to touch, rip or adjust my bib in the past, but apparently I don’t want anyone touching it until I cross the finish line. Pretty sure I said “What if i win?!” (Most small local races will tear off your info from the bib to keep the order of the runners.) In the same respect, okay just another weird quirk of mine, is not trying on the race shirt until after I complete the race. It’s just bad juju. I haven’t earned the shirt yet so I won’t put it on until it’s over.
After making fun of me a little we all edged to the start line and were ready for takeoff! Kinda literally because the first mile was straight up about 85 feet –which is similar to Heartbreak Hill in Boston so I will be charging up that thing as much as possible between now and April 16th!
We also made a meme out of Clint from the picture above..we dubbed it “Regretful Race Guy”
I knew the first mile was going to be brutal so I tried to take it at a moderate effort knowing I could make up time. I also had no clue how to pace a 7k, so this was a “don’t go out at your 5k pace, but don’t sit back for too long either.” It was still a short race and marathon runners should remember how to settle into the pain cave every once in a while.
After the massive hill, it took a bit for my legs to recover on the rolling hills on the Patuxent Branch Trail This is where I caught up with Steve, probably said some nice words to him (I can’t remember) and then I took off to run my own race. Once we emerged from the trail there were a lot of in and outs of residential streets (which I personally loved because of the breathing room.) I was hurting through the last 2 miles. I wasn’t thinking of too much other than the finish and making my legs turnover.
And just when I felt like giving up and slowing down about half mile from the finish our neighbor Jason showed up on his Segway and started cheering me on! It gave me a huge boost on the final turn and he rode beside me almost across the line. He actually made me smile and laugh during the last few painful moments of the race.
I crossed the finish at 31:08 (7:10/pace) as the first female and it felt awesome. As soon as I grabbed water I stood next to the finish cheering in the other runners. It felt so good to be a cheering as Stephen, Clint and other runners crossed the line.
When the awards were given out and they called my name, Steve shouted, hooted and hollered louder than I ever have been cheered for…so much that it took me off guard and laughing I realized I never had that much love and support at my side. I’m still getting used to allowing myself to feel proud in my accomplishments and enjoy what I’ve worked at. Don’t worry though, Steve’s been helping me get there.
We met up with our neighbors! From left to right: Ed, me, Steve, Clint, Amy, Laura & Ted. Laura is the one I mentioned on Instagram that brews her own beer and we’re now best good running/beer friends.
And a fun one…
How close have you run a race to your home?
What’s the weirdest race distance you’ve ran?