"Off to a strong start", by Tristan

Since my last post, I had my first race of the season – the Cupid’s Chase 5K. Conditions for the race couldn’t have been much worse. Sure it was sunny, but we got to deal with the remnants of Winter Storm Nemo, which included 20 mile an hour winds that made it feel like it was in the low 20s. We got to experience the full force of the winds on the way out along MLK Drive. I began by sticking with the small lead pack in an effort to be shielded from the wind a little, but the pace was just too fast for my race plan. I eased off just a bit as I settled in to a pace I could sustain without blowing up towards the end. This meant that I ended up running by myself for most of the race, really enjoying the gusts of wind against my body… Once I reached the turnaround, the awful headwind turned into a much-welcomed tailwind and the pace started to drop pretty quickly. Having saved some energy by not sticking with the lead group, I was able to start to build my pace through mile 2 and then really start pushing it for the last mile. During the last mile I managed to catch a couple of the people in front of me, which is a much more enjoyable way to race than hoping you can hold on as other try to catch you. As I got to the last 0.1 miles, the gusts really picked up and I actually purposely bounced a little more as I ran to get the added benefit of the wind pushing me while my feet were off the ground. My final time was 19:08, which was a best time by almost 30 seconds. Given the conditions, I am really happy with the result. I was expecting to do better than I had before given the amount of running I’d been doing compared to the lead up to other races, but it’s always nice to actually go out there and do what you expected. I guess that training consistently, without having to worry about nursing injuries, really helps, so big thanks to Brian at Phila Massages for loosening everything up every other week so that those knots don’t turn into injuries.

Some of you may have already seen the following photo on Phila Massages Facebook page, but it’s of my wife, Alexis, a friend from work, and me with our post race awards (I got fourth overall, with the medal for being 1st in my age group).

Cupid's Chase 5k

Next up on the schedule is the E. Murray Todd half-marathon. This will be a nice tune-up for the half marathon in St. Louis in April. While the conditions promise to be better than for the 5K, it could still be a little cold and windy so we’ll see how things go. I’ll be sure to give you all a race report in my next blog post. For now, though, it’s back to more training as I take advantage of the couple of weeks where we see sunlight in the mornings before daylight savings kicks in, but at least that will mean that post-work workouts can be done in daylight going forward.

Have fun out there,

Tristan