March MADNESS (By Carrie)

March Madness to many people means college basketball tournmaments and NCAA bracket picks.  For me, March Madness is how I describe this month in general!  Well, here we are towards the END of March and I am finally posting the race report from the UAH Spring 10K Road Race!  What a MONTH… The race went really well and it was perfect weather (30’s) for a great race.  In conjuntion with my 10k, I planned to run 18 miles in preparation for the upcoming Flying Pig marathon.  I ran 2 miles to warm up, averaging about 8:30.  An 8:30 pace is not exactly my typical warm up pace, so I knew I was feeling great!  As I was finishing up the warm up I saw my friend, Melissa and she said “Girl, you are flying!”  I was pumped!

This race was my first shot at a PR at the 10k distance and I was destined to get it!  Oh, did I mention that this was my first 10K race?  🙂  I started the race in my typical fashion, dipping down to 6 minute miles, a pace I clearly cannot keep up for more than 100 yards!  I began to pace myself more realistically and continued this strategy throughout the two loop out and back course. I have been warned that this course was “hilly” and “boring” however I kind of enjoyed the course.  I run the UAH campus regularly each week though, so perhaps I am somewhat accustomed to it.  I was thrilled when we turned around just before the only decent hill on the course.  I was having a great race.  I started near the front, and I really wasn’t losing much ground when compared to the real runners I was surrounded by!

I finished the first loop of the race at 23:25!!  That is 9 seconds faster than my 5k PR!  I couldn’t believe it.  What a great day!  I really enjoyed the small feel of this race, and because it was two loops I constantly saw my friends on the course and could cheer them on.  I continued to run strong, though my pace slowed slightly for the second 5k.  Near the end of the race when I was tired I reminded myself to give it my all.  So I did!  I finished feeling strong at 48:13 (7:45 pace) winning 3rd in my age group! 

After the race I still had 10 more miles to run.  Melissa offered to run 6.5 miles with me.  We ran a couple miles, went in for awards and then ran the rest.  It was great to have someone to keep me company when all I really wanted was an ice cold post race beverage!  I dropped her off at the UFC parking lot and finished up the last 3.5 miles feeling strong.  It was a great day!  A great race, and a great long run, and a great post race beverage… finally! 

March was a great month in many ways.  I became a member of the Dixie Daredevils Hood to Coast 2012 relay team!  We are a group of 12 ladies and 2 alternates committed to raising money for American Cancer Society, by running a 197 mile relay dubbed “the mother of all relays!” The race starts at majestic Mount Hood in Oregon and ends at the Pacific Ocean in Seaside.  Follow us as we raise money to fight cancer in celebration and in memory of our loved ones!  You can make a donation here.

Other highlights in March include my trip to Concord, NC to visit Dustin and the other Carrie last weekend!  It was a family trip to see them before their baby (and my niece) is born.  It was also Dustin’s birthday weekend, so a perfect time to visit.  Saturday while Dustin and Dad were doing yard work, Dustin gave us a big scare which landed him in the E.R. and resulted in stitches!  I will let him tell the story so I don’t steal his thunder.  I mean, with those stitches, he does have bragging right now and all!  We are just all thankful that he is ok and hope his hand heals quickly so that he can be back to his usual biking and running self.  Highlights of that weekend also included my 20 mile run, half of which was in my new (beautifully green) Newton Terra Momentus trail runners and other half in my Distance racers.  The entire distance I was lost, but that’s a whole other story of the madness!

Speaking of the madness, the McKay Hollow 25K Trail Run (nicknamed “The Madness”)was cancelled on Saturday due to thunderstorms, so there will be no race report on that one.  Several people ran the unofficial race on Sunday so they didn’t lose out on the opportunity entirely.  I, on the otherhand, chose to stay up too late on Saturday night celebrating my and my friend’s upcoming birthdays!  I saw the pictures on We Run Huntsville’s Facebook page and kicked myself for not showing up.  The run looked like so much fun!  For me, Sunday resulted in a short ride on the trainer followed by a 25 minute brick.  This month was definitely The Madness by any definition!

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