Thursday, July 5, 2012

Firecracker 4 Miler

Yesterday morning I ran one of my favorite races, the Firecracker 4 Miler in Saratoga Springs.  Joe is away for work this week so I got to run this race pushing my #1 training partner Mia.  Let’s just say that it was a very hot day and the course is a great course but has 2 hills towards the very end.  Knowing all this I just wanted to run the race and have fun.  My good friend Ryan was running it and so were some of my Strong Running Mama friends.
Mia in her 4th of July running attire

To prepare for the heat I armed Mia with two squirt guns for the race.  She loved it and was practicing by squirting Ryan and I before the race.  At the start we ran into some crazy runners from the Albany Running Exchange dressed up as various animals and snowman.  They run the race like this every year, I don’t know how they do it.  Mia loved seeing them though.
Albany Running Exchange Runners at the finish line

There were over 3,000 runners this year for the race so the start was crowded and hard to maneuver with the stroller but once we got going I felt pretty good but very, very hot.  Our first mile was 8:41 which I thought was great but I wasn’t sure if I would be able to maintain with the heat and the stroller.

This race is just a blast.  Even with the heat you can’t help but have fun.  The course runs down Broadway and turns into residential neighborhoods.  Residents have bands set up on their lawns.  It’s so much fun.  Mia and I cheered loudly for each group.  Residents also set up misting stations throughout the course.  We ran through every one and it really helped. 

Approaching mile 3 there is an uphill that normally sucks but really sucks when you are pushing a stroller.  After that you get a slight reprieve until the last half mile which is uphill again.  This is just cruel.  I was really struggling at that point but just tried to keep going since I could see the flag that marked the finish line. 

I ended up finishing in 34:37, an 8:40 pace.  I am pretty proud of that time.  It was a hot day and pushing Mia was hard!
Mia and I at the finish

After the race, Mia really wanted to see the ARE animals finish so we waited for them to come in and gave them some high 5's.  Then we went and enjoyed some free Chobani yogurt that the race provided.  We followed that up with some italian ice and met up with some of Strong Running Mamas.  Sheila won the Public Safety Division.  She rocks!
Strong Running Mamas

After that we watched the parade and headed to my aunt’s house for a bbq, water balloon fights, and kiddie pool swimming.  My munchkin passed out too early to catch the fireworks but it was still a great 4th of July.

Next up the Boilermaker on Sunday! Fingers crossed for cooler temps!

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