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Friday, July 5, 2013

Four on the fourth

Why do we love holiday races so much?

Is it the support and comradery? Is it because we get to dress up and look a little sillier than normal? Or is it because we can eat guilt-free the rest of the day?

For me, its is all of the above.  
When Stacie mentioned the local road race in our town on the fourth of July I was excited to sign up and join the event.

She had warned me about the hills and the heat... but all in all it sounded like a fun race, close to home, and with a cheapish entry fee at only $25 (with a t shirt!)

I went to Walmart to find obnoxious accessories and lucked out when I saw these star headbands  ($2.50) and awesome striped tank ($3.99).  I paired them with my new blue running shorts from marshalls ($9.99)  and threw on my lime green compression socks ($24.99).  Everything I bought was on sale, and its a little sad that the most expensive thing was my socks.  They were a life saver after running on some very tired legs after a few long nights behind the bar. 

I looked very silly, yet very patriotic :) 

The headband wasn't half as annoying and I thought it would be and I even forgot I was wearing it for most of the race.  I kept smiling when the volunteers and other racers kept raving about our patriotism and "antlers".

My usual distance is 3 miles on Tuesdays and Thursdays with Stacie.  We generally run a pretty flat route and run at 6:30 before it has a chance to get too hot (the humidity in New England has been awful lately).  

I was a little nervous when I saw that we were running at 9am, on a hot sunny day, on a hilly route, and a mile more than my comfort zone.  Of course 4 miles is very doable for me (especially after claiming my 18 miler), but I wanted to enjoy the race, and not feel like I was dying so I opted for a nice leisurely pace with no time goals.   

I am very happy to report that my run felt great.  While I was a hot sweaty mess, my legs felt great, and at no point did I feel like I had to stop or was out of breath.  Stacie and I ran it nice and slow, trying to enjoy our workout without pushing ourselves in the heat and humidity. I had one egg and a water with a NUUN tablet before my run and had a gatorade, water,  and banana after to rehydrate. 

Throughout our run, I was amazed at all the volunteers, handing out water, cleaning up the streets, and all of the residents who turned on their sprinklers and their hoses for us.  It was amazing to be able to cool off in the sprinklers along the route and I am so thankful to all of the volunteers that helped make the race a huge success.  Seeing the volunteers out there, hooting and hollering, handing out water and organizing everything really made me want to give back and volunteer at a local road race.  What a great way to spend the fourth of July in a small New England town :)

Did anyone else run a race this fourth of July?

Anyone ever volunteer for a race? 

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