Oysterfest ~ Friends, Hills and Fun!

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Last year, Oysterfest was one of our favorite races. It was far more challenging than we had realized going into it, but we ran with friends and attended the festival when we were done. Who doesn’t like live music, seafood and a beer with friends after a difficult race?

I had remembered last year was chilly pre-race and thought a lot about clothing options. I went with capris, t-shirt and light weight sweatshirt. My husband had a hat on the counter and I thought to grab my own (best idea of the day).

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We enjoyed a pretty sunrise on our drive down Cape (which is actually north) to Wellfleet. We drove the course before picking up our numbers and there were those hills as we had remembered. Somehow, they had grown to mountains in my memory. Driving them, they didn’t seem as scary.

We picked up our numbers and met up with our friends. As we bounced around to stay warm and did a little yoga pose for fun (and stretching) we chatted about last year’s race. We were excited that my husband had his watch on this year and we would know what the elevation is.

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There are three hills in this out and back race (so you climb and descend 6). The race began at 7 feet above sea level. The first hill is 61, the second 55 and the third 57. No wonder my quads were crying for mercy 😉

I ran the first part of the race with my running buddy. She keeps me working hard to keep up and I always feel pretty good. It was running with her that I had my best time in August. I sent her ahead near mile 2 as I knew I needed energy for that last hill.

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I felt pretty good going into the race. My running has been funky this month with travel, but I’ve still put in some decent runs. Hills are difficult to find on the Cape and it’s hard to be ready for them. I remembered feeling strong on them last year and was hoping for the same success.

It seemed I was ready to give in and walk just as we reached the top of each hill. No matter how big the hill was, the top came at exactly the right moment. I was able to keep trucking and enjoy the down hill that much more.

As I ran and warmed up, I took my hat off. I watched people peel off layers expertly. I kept going with my long sleeves which I was thankful for at the finish. The cold wind took care of that heat as soon as I stopped moving.

Luckily, we all brought a fresh change of clothes and pulled a Clark Kent in our cars before walking up to the festival. Sadly, I have an old iPhone (new one has been ordered) that doesn’t hold its charge and I didn’t get any pictures from the festival.

In the end, I finished the race in exactly 33 minutes, shaving just over 3 minutes off last year’s time! If I’m honest, I was hoping for 4, but am happy with 3. It’s been fun to re-run a few races and have something to compare it to.

What’s your favorite post race activity? What fall festival is your favorite?

First race of the season…

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You can only run your first race once and it will always hold a special place in your heart. Yesterday, I ran the same event for the second time. I was nervous on a few different levels. Mostly, I was worried if it would live up to my expectations.

Last year, it was an amazing day. I had set a goal and seen it through. The weather was beautiful, there was a big crowd so I didn’t run alone and it was simply amazing. Big shoes to fill for a follow-up. It didn’t disappoint 🙂

The Cause

The race supports a cause that means a lot to all of us. It began in memory of a young woman, Glenna Kohl, who died from melanoma. She was a local lifeguard and her family, friends and fellow lifeguards have worked tirelessly to show the dangers of being in the sun unprotected. The Glenna Kohl Fund for Hope has helped to fund shades for lifeguard stands, free sunscreen in all public bathhouses and research for melanoma.

Many of the lifeguards, past and present, wear their bright red guard shirts while they run. It is a great sight of unity and is extremely heart warming.

Friendly Faces

A lot of the same faces were at the race from last year. My husband and I even recruited a few at the school auction Friday night. Here we are all dressed up….

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This year, we had some new faces running with us. One friend had run it two years ago and decided to join in the fun; one of my students; and a friend who helped with the kids last year while we ran and decided to join us this year. How fun is that?

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About a week before the race, one of my friends said she wasn’t going to focus on not training as much as she had hoped, but that she couldn’t do this last year and she was going to do it this year. Love it!!

The Race

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OK, I was really hoping I would beat last year’s time, but I wasn’t sure that I’d truly put in the work. Yes, I had continued to struggle with the treadmill over the winter and I had run the course a few times.

The problem was last year I walked and ran the Piggy Trot. As I said earlier in the week, I’m a really fast walker. I didn’t know if my consistent pace would be faster than my walking and running.

My goal was an 11 minute pace and that would put me around 40 minutes (the race is 3.7 miles). About 2 minutes ahead of last year. As I got going, I realized I was at a 10:30 pace. Totally psyched. Now, I had the small task of maintaining – eek!

Every time I wanted to walk or really slow down, I kept reminding myself that I could do it. My legs felt pretty good and my breathing was hanging in there. No reason to walk.

I must admit that I kept my focus ahead of me and didn’t take in the beautiful scenery as much as I had in the past. At one point, I made sure to look out at the ocean and drink it in!

The weather couldn’t have been more perfect. It was sunny and around 60 degrees with a strong ocean breeze.

Thanks to a combination of hard work, support and fun – I finished at 39:12! A personal best!!! I couldn’t have been more excited :). Everyone was happy with their times. My husband came in where he hoped, and so did our friends. It was a great morning for all of us!

In two weeks we will be re-running our first 5k. Again, we will have lots of friends joining us. I can’t wait!!

Did you run this weekend? Do you race with family and friends? Have you tried a run/walk?