RWHalf training: Lemons, 9 miles, and a 3rd state checked off

I just wrapped up week 7 of my training for the Runner’s World half marathon, but the most important number this week is 3: I finally checked off the third state toward my half-baked goal of running a race in each of the 50 states and DC! Thanks to today’s Union Street Tavern Trot (a 3.5 miler), I’ve got CT under my (fuel) belt.

Sometime about a week ago, I realized that to make good on this mission (all 50 states by the time Miles goes to college), I have to bag an average 4.5 states each year. So I quickly searched for the low-hanging fruit – New England races within a few hours’ drive – and found the tavern Trot. Today, I pointed the Prius toward Windsor, and arrived about 20 minutes before the race. The registration area was already packed – the announcers later said they had over 700 people participating, so I guess that explains it.

I had plenty of time to stash my race shirt in the car, stretch the ol’ legs, and get a picture with a guy dressed as a lemon (the race raised over $20k for Alex’s Lemonade, a children’s cancer charity).

A few speeches, the national anthem, and we were off. I barreled into this with an uncharacteristically low amount of preparation, so it wasn’t until I was turning off the paved street that I realized how much of this was a trail run. Head past the jump to hear more.

There’s a set of trails in Windsor along the Connecticut River, a lot of it behind Loomis Chaffee school, which accounted for what seemed like a good 2/3 of the race. Can’t complain – the weather was great and the scenery was gorgeous.

We emerged from the trails near the end of the race, headed up an un-fun final hill, and then crossed the finish outside the tavern. Official results don’t seem to be posted online yet, but I finished around 160 out of 765, and I think in the top 15% of my age group (I’d love top 10%, but wasn’t gunning for anything impressive).

The reason I didn’t push for fame and land-speed records is that Sunday is long-run day on my training schedule and that meant I still had to log a 9-miler. So I did a quick out and back, then ran the Tavern Trot route backwards (in the opposite direction, I mean, not butt first) to add 5.5 miles to the 3.5 I’d already done. I thought it would be rough, but it actually went by pretty quickly – maybe that’s what happens when there’s the promise of free beer at the end.

So there it is – state #3 is checked off. And when I run the RW Half next month, I’ll be up to a whopping 4 ;)

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