The 33rd Annual January Thaw 4.5 Mile Road Race

I conned another runner to take this picture after the finish

The 33rd Annual January Thaw 4.5 Mile Road Race
Belgrade, ME 10:00AM Belgrade School, 158 Depot Rd
Contact: January Thaw Road Race (Central Maine Striders)
| Race Results

Today I did something that I haven’t done a lot of since 1986, in fact only one other time since then (back in 2006).

I ran in a road race. I also set a race PR for 4.5 miles! Pretty soft, but still a PR.

I had thought for some reason or other that this race was on Sunday, last night I sent an email to the contact person, just double checking the information and I got a reply back saying it was Saturday. At that point it was after midnight and I decided that if I was racing in the morning, I’d best get to bed.

After all that I came pretty close to not going this morning.

The old inertia factor and racing can be intimidating – especially when once upon a time you might have been pretty decent and now you know that you are not anymore. If you want to race you can’t live on yesterday anymore, but have to accept how you run now.

Looking back honestly I have a feeling that is at least part of the reason I didn’t race more often.

TheWife just told me to get going and out the door I went.

The race was only 15 minutes from the house so I got there an hour before the start. It was a small local race and everything was pretty low-key.

Which was the perfect way to ease back into racing, I didn’t want the stress and hubbub of a large race, where there was a lot stuff going on and a bazillion people wandering back and forth. The total number of people for this race was 32.

I got to meet and talk with other runners and a couple other Maine running bloggers which I thought was pretty cool. How often do we actually get to meet fellow blogger’s face to face!

Jen & Carrie

Their blogs are Running With The Girls and Maine Mom on the Run. In answer to your questions, they both kicked my butt pretty soundly! Gives me a little motivation to get rid of the rest of my flab and do some speed work :-). We will see how this goes after the summer.

Lining up at the starting line. I love this picture with the oldfarm house in the background. 
Listening to race instructions

For this race I wanted to start slow and just keep up a nice easy pace. I wasn’t trying for an all out effort, I was here more for the experience of participating in a race again. My goals were very modest, I wanted to go out, not blow up and embarrass myself, keep the pace between 8:00 and 9:00 minute per mile.

I was so busy taking pictures that I forgot to start my stopwatch, so I had no idea of how fast I was on my splits – not that I really cared today.

As you can see the road conditions were not the best and it was about 20 degrees, but I still had fun during the race.

I started last and moved up to 23 finishing the 4.5 mile course in exactly 40:00 minutes, if I hadn’t taken the time to snap these pictures during the race, would have been faster, but I thought it was more important to have the pictures :-).

I liked the course a lot, it has the potential to be a very fast course, but today was not the day for it to be fast, I was more concerned a couple of times by traffic and falling than I was about my time.

Luckily, I didn’t fall and no cars or trucks went out of their way to chase me, so it was a great race in my opinion.

Geoff doing the awards ceremony – I actually won a door prize never done that before, so
it might be a harbinger of good things to come. 
My first racing number in too long

My race number, it felt funny putting one on again after such a long time. I will be honest I was very nervous before the race started, visiting you know where far too often.

You know how you dream about pulling a race out of your butt with little training and no speedwork – that just is not reality – to run faster you gotta do the work.

The race brought me face-to-face with the fact that I have a lot to work on – to get to my goals this summer.

I do want to thank the Central Maine Striders and all the volunteers who helped make this such a great run today.

But I really want to thank Jen from Running With The Girls  for her encouragement for me to run the race on Twitter the other night.

Otherwise I probably wouldn’t have made it to the starting line at all.

You know something, I am ready to do the work and I know that I will be faster by the end of the summer. I do wonder how my running will look a year from today?

More than likely though, I probably need to relax and just enjoy running more, not get so hung up on “I used to be fast” and accept that racing can be fun, instead of stressful.

I also plan to join the Central Maine Striders Running Club and see where that takes me.  I think this was the part of running that I have missed all these years – the social part that racing and belonging to a running club is a part of.

Here is a link to Maine Running Photos that has photos and videos of yesterday’s race from David Colby Young.

I do know that this was not my last race this year :-).

Quality of Run: Very Good for the conditions
Time of Run: 10:00 A.M.
Temp: low 20’s
Weather: Clear and 10-15 mph westerly wind
Clothes: Overdressed

This is day 14 of Janathon

7 thoughts on “The 33rd Annual January Thaw 4.5 Mile Road Race

  1. Awesome job getting out for a race Harold in those conditions and with the mix-up on the day. Congrats on the door prize, too!!You're definitely right about not worrying about what you used to do and focusing on where you are now. You're in a different life, as am I, and our past is just that- our past. It's time for new PR's with each age group we move into!


  2. Thanks Erik – Everybody gets lucky once in a while :-)This is a completely different stage of my running life and trying to live in the past is a waste of time, that is why I re-set all my PRs on 1/1 and you know something it felt good to set a PR today.:-)


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