Earlier this month I ripped off the "I haven't raced in a while" band-aid and laced up my flats for my first hard effort in a while. Having not competed since early May, Coach Dena and I felt that it was a good time to remind myself of the rhythms and rituals of racing -- pre-meet shakeouts, the pre-race eating routine, pinning on the race bib, and feeling the familiar, if briefly forgotten, butterflies that accompany the moments before the gun goes off...
So, I headed out to Falmouth, Massachusetts to get in a hard half-marathon pace effort in the 42nd annual Falmouth Road Race. This 7 mile race traverses the hilly wooded roads of Woods Hole before spilling out onto flat, beachside streets overlooking Nantucket Sound, with Martha's Vineyard in the distance. I couldn't ask for a more scenic course to run in my return back to racing!
I knew the race would be a rust-buster for me, so I came in with the goal of feeling comfortable at 5:45 pace over 7 miles. The hills in the first 5k took their toll a bit and I ran a little slower than I wanted to, but felt good on the flat part of the course and executed my race plan well. I know I have a lot of work still to do, but for just getting back into shape, I was happy with a top 20 finish in an international field, where I was the 12th American.
The best part of the race was getting to compete as a Goodman for the first time! It was pretty cool to don a race bib with my new last name and hear cheers of "Go Goodman!" along the course. This bib is now pinned up at my desk to commemorate the first of many races as Kaitlin Goodman :)
Other highlights of the weekend included getting to spend time with new family members (how awesome is it that when you get married, you not only gain a spouse but an entire new family!). Post-race, I got to explore Falmouth with my new aunt and uncle. Ice cream and lobster rolls were the perfect way to celebrate the weekend!
With the racing band-aid ripped off and rust busted, I've been enjoying a few good weeks of training. Next up for me is the USA 5k Road Championships here in Providence. Although I'm not focusing on the short stuff this fall, it will be fun to race a 5k here in my new hometown!