My Independence Day started with an early morning wake-up because I was registered to run in the 38th Bay Days 5 Miler! This annual race is held every fourth of July and is hosted by the Cleveland West Road Running Club. I’m more of a solo runner and had never before considered joining any kind of group run but they offer a couple throughout the week and it might be fun to check one out of these days just to see.
When I first left my apartment in the morning it seemed like it was going to be fairly decent weather for the run, mostly overcast and low 70s. The race began and ended at Bay Village High School out on the west side of Cleveland and it was apparent this is a big annual event. The parking lot was already almost entirely full and there were quite a few people who were not pre-registered. (I’m always pre-register. How else am I suppose to get my t-shirt, yo?) In the end I think there were about 620 runners for the 5 Mile (they also did a 1 mile Kids Dash).
My parents made the drive from Stars Hollow and around 8:30 we all headed over to the start to line up.
This entire course was flat. Very, very flat. And while the weather temperature remained cool and cloudy, holy mother did it get very humid very quickly. Another Cleveland runner who was at the race wrote a blog post about Dew Point and how it relates to running. Her observations about it not feeling hot but the air being really thick were spot on. I start my half-marathon training in one week (eek!) and the information about the dew point is something I’ll keep in mind and look into while watching pace.
As I mentioned in Friday’s post, I spent much of the race at the very back of the group of runners but I was perfectly okay with that. I know my 14 minute miles, while nowhere near fast, are still fairly respectable, especially with the weather conditions, and it was clear many of the other participants were hardcore runners (I saw a ton of high-school students, so I’m thinking track. No way in hell I was going to keep up with them nor was I even going to attempt to). This was also one of those situations where it felt like I was running much slower than I actually was. Every time I looked down at my Heart Rate Monitor to see my time I was rather surprised at keeping a consistent pace because it didn’t feel like I was.
I also want to
thank kiss every single Bay Village resident that had their sprinklers out for us. The course ran through neighborhoods and since this is a big annual event, the people living in the homes knew about it and were set up along the street in their chairs cheering and clapping as we ran past. Some then went the extra mile (pun intended) and had their sprinklers pointed right on the street. Who knew I could love a small dose of water so very very much?
Once the course turned onto the high school track and I was able to see the finish line I dug down deep and pulled whatever remaining energy was left and picked up my pace for the final few yards. Drenched in sweat, my face beet red, I was so happy to finally cross that finish line.
Back in March I finished the St. Malachi 5 Miler in 1:08:58 so I was using that as my gauge. The weather conditions between the two races couldn’t be more polar opposite so I was very, very happy with my Bay Days time of 1:09:50. That’s a 13:58 mile pace and in line with all of my other overall race times.
Lemme tell ya, that free tech shirt came in super handy after this race because the one I ran in was disgustingly full of sweat. Felt like it added on another 10 pounds or something. So gross. So I naturally changed out of it before having brunch with my parents at the First Watch over in Crocker Park. I splurged on a carrot cake pancake and it was well worth the use of weekly points.
Anyone else race over the holiday weekend?
Love from the ashes,