"And I'm proud to be an American, where at least I know I'm free. And I won't forget the men who died hat gave that right to me. And I gladly stand up next to you, and defend her still today. 'Cause there ain't no doubt I love this land. God Bless the U.S.A."
I love the Fourth of July and I love America! God bless all those in the armed services and their families for all they are sacrificing for us.
Now that that rant is over, I will talk about the Four Mile race that me and my buddy Ryan along with 900 other people ran this morning. Another reason that I love the people of this country is the fact that throughout this country in many, many locations before they gorge themselves in beer, burgers, brats, beans, other words that begin with the letter "B" that I probably forgot about, they willingly go out and race in a variety of runs to show support for our country and all those in it.
The race that I will talk about today is the Freedom Four Mile Race in Glen Ellyn, Illinois. I have run this race a few times and love it for a few reasons. One, it is always very well run with good support and people throughout the route. Two, I always get to see people that I have not seen for a while, which makes for a fun day.
Race morning started pretty typical for me. Woke up, ate a Quest Protein Bar- Chocolate Brownie(So Tasty) and a Yogurt. We arrived at the race to sign up and were soon in the starting corral.
Going into this race, I really had no expectations of a finish goal or time. As this is not an "A" race for me and I had run a hard 11 miles the day before, I did not expect to break any records. Someone that I had run a marathon with about a month ago who was also at the race asked me what my goal time for the race was, and I told her that I would be happy with anything around 23:00(5:45 per mile).
I positioned myself near the front of the line, next to a dozen or so high school cross country runners, who I was determined to beat a few of. The gun went off and the race began. I went out at a pace that felt comfortable and soon found myself in a nice pack at the front. Before I knew it, I saw the first mile marker. I looked down at my watch and saw a 5:31. This was a bit faster than I wanted, but I did not feel uncomfortable at this point. I figured I would at least try to keep this pace for the next mile and see where we were at.
We kept going through the town of Glen Ellyn where people were already setting up in anticipation of the parade and to support the runners. Many put out sprinklers which were more than welcome and gave out water, Gatorade, etc. We passed mile marker 2 and were at 5:34. Mile 3 seemed to me that it was downhill for a majority, despite the fact that when I looked later it was rolling. 5:30.
The last mile seemed uphill, and it was. Definitely a brutal way to end the race. I talked with one of the race directors at the finish line after the race and joked about the last mile, and he said that next year they would probable run the course in reverse due to the steep inclines ha.
Anyways, I ended up crushing my original goal and finished in fourth place with a time of 22:04(5:31 per mile). I broke nearly every PR that I had set for shorter distances, even beating my time last year by 2:52. Made for a good start to the day.
After the race, I quickly got home made a recovery shake, ate another bar, and quickly drove over to my Master's Swim class. The legs actually felt pretty good. Class consisted of lots and lots of 25's on increasingly faster intervals. The group I was with was awesome and pushed me.
After class, I went downtown to celebrate the Fourth with my best friends. They are great, and I will miss them incredibly when I move to Minnesota in a month!
Overall, a near perfect day. Go America!