Doubling Up at Training Distances

Running 5K and 10K races two weekends in a row sounds pretty lame when friends are doing marathon challenges of three marathons in back to back weekends and weeks. Still, when was the last time I ran local races two weekends in a row? Longer than I can remember.

The first race, the Shelter Shuffle was a 5k on the grounds of the historic State Hospital Grounds. We ran the hilly course through the scenic grounds avoiding fallen walnuts and the early damp dropping leaves. The final kilometer took us past the community gardens where a few folks were out gathering their harvest.

My pace had me following a ten-year old girl who would throw in the occasional cartwheel, a great reminder that whatever else running is, it should be fun. My goal was to finish under 30 minutes. I missed it be four seconds.

This was a small race, probably less than 100 runners. I ran it years earlier with a much larger field of runners. The Shelter Shuffle is for a good cause, providing housing for those in need. I’m hoping they hold it again next year. Likely the need for the organizers to do some date changes had an impact on registration. The small field put me in place for 11th finisher and first in my age group. I won’t hold my breath waiting for that to happen again. And by the way, the pastries at the finish were great.

The following week was an inaugural 10-K, the Harrisburg Halloween Run hosted by Fleet Feet of Mechanicsburg. Comfortably cool temperatures and a course that took us down the riverfront path along the Susquehanna River, then through a wooded area of the Greenbelt.

I loved seeing a number of friends monitoring the course and others running the race. I finished just under an hour at 59:40, a better pace than the earlier 5K. Running shorter races when I haven’t done any recent distance races is helping me to step back up.

Along with some fun costumes among the runners and race volunteers there was also a competitive contingent with the first three runners well under a 6-minute pace. It’s a great time of year for a 10-K and I’m glad to see the Harrisburg Halloween Run added to the local race scene.

Gotta run. See you out there.

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