Stress Test, Part 1

So today, out here in Lancaster County I ran a 5 miler in the country roads of Lititz, PA. As I’m building up to my first half, I figure I need to get in some shorter races to get a feel for actually racing on race day and I needed one race that was more than a 5k out here in Lancaster because my first half is ultimately here. Lancaster and Philadelphia may both be flat but I’ve done both longer and shorter runs in both areas, and I can tell you right now the roads feel VASTLY different in Lancaster than they do in Philly. So I felt good running a 5 miler out here because I’m getting some practice here in the country roads. Not to mention the fact there were inclines here, which simply don’t exist on most racing roads in Philly. So that gave me a challenge, but at no point did I stop, I maintained a constant if not slower pace of 10min/mile through the first half and picked it up quite a bit over the second, overtaking several people.

The roads in Lancaster for SOME reason feel a lot rougher on my feet, even when flat. Even running through my parents’ neighbourhood, the roads in the development feel a lot harder to run on. I can’t explain why. In Philadelphia, I guess I’m not always running on pavement, sometimes the sidewalks, and the cobblestones of Society Hill and Washington Square West, but even on Kelly Drive and going through Fitler Square where it’s more pavement oriented you’d think it would be somewhat harder. It isn’t. I guess Sergio was right about Philadelphia not being challenging enough as a racecourse, but damn. Even on the sidewalks in Lancaster the ground feels a lot harder to run on and I can’t figure out why. Conditions today were beautiful, windy weather, not too hot or cold, just easy and breezy.

I’m getting used to the county roads though here, and I imagine by November it shouldn’t be too bad. Considering the inclines in this course, and never having yet trained with inclines, I thought I’d done just fine for my first intermediate race, second one being in Philadelphia 10/10 in Fairmount Park. Onwards we go…by then I should have hit 12 miles over my long distance relatively painlessly even if a slower pace. Well I know I’m slow but I have to start somewhere. Next year, it’ll be speedwork time. But not now. One step at a time.

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