The First Race of the Fall Season: Autism Speaks 4M of Hope Recap

The Autism Speaks 4M of Hope was the first race of the fall racing season and the first time I put a bib back on after a summer off from racing. It’s maybe one of my favorite things about fall; save for crispy morning runs, beautifully colored leaves, boots, scarves, pumpkin everything and candy corn, of course.

This was my first race as a runner for Oiselle Team. The Oiselle Team singlet feels simply magical. It makes you run with a HUGE smile on your face. It makes you want to run FAST. It was an incredible feeling, and a big honor, to put on that team singlet and run for Oiselle.

Birds ready to FLY!

Birdies ready to FLY!

I had no intention of racing this race. I signed up to run with a bunch of friends and to break up my first ever 20 mile run. My plan was 10-12 miles pre-race, the 4 mile race and then finish up the last 4-6 miles post-race. Well, you know what they say about the best laid plans, right?

My Coach had built the race into my long run and the original plan was just to continue to run in at long run pace. I saw her before the race. As we ran for a few minutes, at a ridiculously fast pace (have I ever mentioned how fast she is?), I told her I was excited, and after watching the men race, that I really wanted to run fast. I knew this wasn’t a brilliant plan since I still had 7 miles to run post-race. I had come up a couple of miles short with my pre-race mileage. She told me if I felt good I could push it a little but not all out race it. I’m not sure if I just felt good, if it was the magic of the Oiselle Team singlet, or just the excitement of racing again, but I definitely ran this race faster than expected.

Mile 1: 9:48

Mile 2: 9:44

Mile 3: 9:50

Mile 4: 9:19

Official Time: 38:51 (9:43 avg pace/mile)

Happy to be racing again!

Happy to be racing again!

Not bad for the middle of my first 20 mile run, right? After already running 9 miles, I was only 36 seconds off my current 4 mile PR. I’m excited to think about what’s possible without 9 miles before and 7 miles after.

It was fantastic getting to spend a few minutes with some of my favorite people before and after the race. It was definitely a great way to break up my first 20 mile run. There is only one more long run distance that’s new to me before taper. THAT. IS. CRAZY.

Some of my favorite running buddies!

Some of my favorite running buddies!

I loved everything about the day I ran 20 miles.

Evidence! Otherwise I still wouldn't believe it.

Evidence! Otherwise I still wouldn’t believe it.

There were definitely some breaks from running while waiting for the race to start and regrouping for a few minutes post-race. To more closely mimic race day, I’m planning to run my 22 mile run without any races to break up the distance. It’s still three weeks away and I’m already thinking about it. After a few shorter long run weeks, I’m itching to run really long again. This must be what taper feels like, right? I can’t believe only 42 days stand between me and my first marathon. I’m getting really excited and I literally can’t wait!

*Note: I actually wrote this recap 3 weeks ago (I’m slow to publish, I know) so now there are only 18 days standing between me and my first marathon! Ahhh…. Finally running those 22 miles this weekend.*

Tell Me.

Do you prefer to break up long training runs with races?

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