Let's start off by saying that I am sorry that I haven't been blogging like I would love too, but work and life sometimes get in the way of free time. And, when I do get some free time I try to do some sort of cross training to make up for the missing runs or I simply just cuddle with my daughter. The latter has been winning lately :) Anyway, since my trip to Chicago 2 weeks ago I haven't completed many runs. I don't even think I did any aside from the stairs since then. So, yesterday I made it to kinda run with BCR. I say kinda because 1- 730 is really early in the morning, but 2- it's even earlier with a toddler who I refuse to wake up in the morning, so by the time I got to where BCR was running they had already started. But, I was there none the less. I really didn't have a mind set on how far I wanted to run, I just really wanted to stretch my legs out and see how they felt. I ended up doing 3.62, which is good considering it was my first run in way too long. I also didn't want to push myself because of the race I was doing today. Today was the first annual River Ramble Fall Classic. It was held in the Delaware Water Gap, which I have to admit is one place I have never been before. It was put on my Ready Set Run which is a running store in the Poconos. There was a 5K and a 10K which the option of changing your mind out of the 10K mid course. But, I made up my mind yesterday running that I don't think 5Ks are long enough, and with all the driving we did to get there I wasn't going to just run a 5K. So, at the 5K turn around I kept going. But, wait, let me back up. I found about this race from a girl named Sam who contacted me via twitter after the Runner's World Half Marathon with something along the lines that we run at the same pace. So, due to peer pressure, I totally signed up for this race not knowing anything about it. Nothing. I didn't even know where the Delaware Water Gap was, although I did know of the general vicinity. Oh, I did forget to mention that one of the perks of this race was that they weren't giving away race t-shirts but instead race sweatshirts! Yes! Something different. So, Yesterday after running and then showering (in that particular order) we headed up to Ready Set Run to pick up the race packet. It actually was pretty cool, with some free pens and a free cup from Bushkill falls. The ladies that work there must not get out of the Poconos much because they thought it was cute that I went to breakfast after I run. (I guess they didn't get the whole Breakfast Club Runners on my sweatshirt). That leads me to today, race day. We left the house at 730 to head to the race. We left with extra time to spare because River Road (which I later learned was the main road) closed 10 minutes before the race and since I didn't know what to expect I didn't want to have to scramble to get ready. We got there with plenty of time to spare and found a good parking spot. There was still some time to wait before the race, but since I was meeting Sam IRL for the first time, I wanted to make sure I actually ran into her. With the race capped out at 500, I didn't know how hard it would be. It actually turned out to be pretty easy. After I met up with her, there was still some time to kill so I went and got a free stretch. I am not sure if I will continue to stretch before I run, but it was still nice. Much easier to find her than to actually find the race. My only complaint of this entire race is that they should have done a better job with the signage on actually getting there. So, with 10 minutes before race time, they send the walkers to their starting line and then had us runners line up at ours. They did a bunch of chattering on the bull horn, but nothing that I could really understand. It was at this time that they mentioned that you could change your mind at the 5K turnaround if you wanted, and no one would have to know. I think that should have been my warning, but I ignored it. Someone sang the National Anthem, and then some cheers. Then we started. We started out of the park and immediately went up an incline. It was not to bad as the hills I am used to running, but it was still a hill when my legs still felt cold and stiff. We then continued onto River Road and ran away from the park. Up and down hills. The website was not kidding when it said rolling hills. The course was well marked and East Stroudsburg Softball team was there to cheer us on as well as the many volunteers. At mile 1.5 was the first water stop which was nice to have. A little after that was the 5K turnaround. Again, that should have been my cue, but I kept trucking along. Up and down hills, along a windy road. I pushed hard up the hills, relaxed on the down slope and just tried to maintain my momentum. I NEVER once looked at my Garmin, I wanted to run based on how I felt. Right before the 10K turnaround was another long and windy hill, but then we went downhill. At the turn around I thanked the volunteer and told her she was my favorite person of the day. So that awesome hill that we went down, yes, we had to go up it. But, not only did I have to conquer that hill, but also the pitch in the road. I didn't notice how much the road pitched because coming into the turnaround we were on the upside of the slope. There were some nice ladies who at this point passed me, and they were helping me figure out what part of the road to be on. I chose to just run along the yellow lines, that had to be the straightest part right?
After this hill there was a small descent and then more of the same. At this point 2 other ladies passed me, but thanked me for pacing them up the hill. I told them I didn't think I did anything, but they were welcome. We then came to a mile marker with 2 miles left, then again with 1.5 miles to go and then the water stop. Again manned by the ESU softball team. They cheered and gave you water all at the same time. More hills and then a small respit of flatness. Which, of course we all know NEVER lasts long. At mile 5, there was a really long rolling hill. I guess I never noticed how much of a hill it was because of running it in the opposite direction, but never the less it was one more hill to conquer. Right before mile 6 we started our return to the park. More ESU athletes, more cheers, more excitement. Once we got back into the park there were athletes everywhere. One girl even offered to run in with me, and I said sure. She took off like a bat out of hell, I had to remind her that I was 5 miles ahead of her so she was way too fast for me. Just when I could see the finish line ahead of me, I turned on my jets and sprinted to the finish.
This race really took a lot out of me. Not emotionally, but physically. Not like I couldn't walk, but I think because of all of the hills, and twists and turns and the pitching of the road. I really felt done after this race. My right foot did hurt a little bit and because of it I am going to call a doctor this week to have it looked at. I want to make sure there isn't something really wrong with my foot.
The after race party, and I do mean party was really nice. They had free stretches again, (which I used and will do at every race that offers it from now on!), hot oatmeal, fresh fruit, bagels with every imaginable topping, danishes, hot chocolate, coffee, tea. They had raffle prizes to give away as well as the top 3 from each age group. I think it was well organized and that they made it enjoyable for all. With it being sold out it's first race, I am sure others will race it again, especially since the money goes to help educate more Forest Rangers.
Overall, nice race. Well organized (except for the signage), good race swag, race grub, and scenery. I will most likely do this race again!
That is all I have for now. It's off to bed I go, I have a date with Jillian Michaels and her 30 day shred in the morning. I am also going to try to add abs again to my daily workout. My core is NO WHERE near where I want it to be. But anyway...have a great night!!