Two Weekends, Two Races

I love racing. Especially when I do it often.

Not over-racing, I realize it’s an effort and I have a hard time going easy. But lining up for a race builds confidence. It reminds me how to feel comfortable competing.

Last weekend I ran the Flower City Challenge half marathon in Rochester, NY. I ended up getting second female and taking my two year old PR down by almost a minute.

It was a nice tune-up for the marathon in a few weeks and a confidence builder that I’m on the right track to also PR there. I felt smooth the entire race and the effort was more tempo than all out. It’s not a flat course, so PRing was a welcome surprise based on how I felt the day before.

I felt like shit. I was irrationally angry about the weather. Which was also shit. I spent most of the day just telling myself that whatever happened, just try hard.

I was very happy with how the race went and the effort I put in.

Today, I ran the Thom B. Trail marathon as my last long easy effort before the marathon. I had been considering it for a few weeks now, but wanted to wait until after Flower City to sign up. I have been riding a fine line in training recently, and wanted to feel safe doing this so soon.

Having a good race and feeling pretty good this week recovery wise, I signed up on Wednesday night. I figured I’d go out and try it and drop if things weren’t clicking or I fell.

Well, I did fall. Only once, and I caught myself, so nothing was wrong. I simply reached for my Gu Block at the wrong time. I got up, and checked all the money areas, reassured myself and finished the race.

I ended up second overall, lost to my mentor Ian, and first female, narrowly beating fellow Ithacan (and my first interviewee) Pete Kresock who is training for a 100 miler in two weeks.

I feel like I’m strong, capable and in the downslide of this cycle. Training has been hard, fun and now I’m ready to taper. I feel confident and trust my body. I’m ready to rest, sharpen my skills and have fun at the marathon.

The hay is in the barn.

Ellie Pell