Hanover Firecracker 5 Mile Recap

Joining Jill this morning

Happy Saturday! I hope everyone (well, my American readers) had a wonderful 4th July, and you were as lucky as we were in Michigan to have an absolutely perfect day weather wise. I ended up in Holland, MI at the beach, and it was beautiful. I may complain about Michigan more than I should, but it was gorgeous by the beach, truly Pure Michigan, and it reminded me just how nice it is here in the summer.

Yesterday I jump started my body back into workouts by racing in the Hanover Firecracker 5 mile. On Thursday evening I traveled down to Manchester, MI to stay with some friends to prevent a 3 hour drive the morning of the race.

Arriving at the event by 6:30am (for the 8am start), it was very quiet in the village, the complete opposite to my last race in Brooklyn, NY. At 8am in perfect conditions the race started, and off we went on a 5 mile loop around Hanover. I had only run the first mile of the course on my warm up, so was not sure what to expect, but I was warned it involved quite a few decent hills, and was considered a rolling course.

I had intended on looking at my watch once between 800m-1 mile in, and then ignoring it the rest of the way, but I decided to just trust my instincts, and did not look at my Garmin until 4.5 miles in (and that was just to see how long I had left). I was conservative through 3 miles, and I felt great, the best I have felt in over 3 months in anything! I felt smooth, relaxed, and strong; a wonderful feeling after struggling through my last few months of training, and especially after no workouts to date.

I finished in 28:57 (5:48 pace), winning $100, a Meckley’s Apple Pie, and a VERY American Plaque.

I would say that was a pretty good start for my training segment. I raced it to see where I am at, and I learned that I really do race the best when I just run by feel; not worrying about hitting a certain pace, or about who is going to be looking at the results afterwards. I also enjoyed this race more than I usually enjoy races. I had a ton of fun running through the village, and picking people off as the race went by; I felt very controlled until about 600m to go.

Walking around after the finish, it seemed that everyone knew my name, everyone knew my history, and I felt like a little celebrity, which was a nice feeling, to be expected in a small village. They obviously put a lot of thought into this event, and I thought it was a great race to do (if anyone is near Hanover, MI around July 4). I was also interviewed (and called a world-class competitor πŸ™‚ in the write up) after the race. If you are interested, the race review is HERE.

One thing I am focusing on more this segment; stretching

I am going to race again at the end of the month, maybe even before that…..

After the race, stretching and fueling were the number one priorities. I stretched as I waited for awards, and then we went off to find food. We ended up at Sophia’s House of Pancakes, a place I have heard about, and seen billboards for many times. I was presented with a HUGE menu, and the largest breakfast I have ever seen in my life; another truly American component of my day.

5 egg Spinach and Feta Omlette, and Two Pancakes

After I was stuffed to the brim, having eaten almost all that food, we headed to Holland Beach. It took a long time to find parking, as it seemed everyone had the same idea; unsurprising, as it was a perfect 78 degrees, Β with a beautiful blue sky. Eventually, we made it to the beach, and spent the rest of the day there. A fantastic 4th July, and realized how lucky I am to be in this wonderful country. Thank you for having me, America πŸ™‚

With my pre race breakfast, the HUGE one at Sophias, Ice Cream, and a burger and fries in my belly, you would think I would be stuffed until next Tuesday, but I was curious what the pie tasted like, so upon return, I tried it out…..with a fork…..hey, don’t judge πŸ˜‰ It was AMAZING, honestly one of the best pies I have ever had. If you can get a pie from Meckleys farm, do it. I am not even a pie person….I have a feeling that won’t make it a few days!

What are some of the best racing Swag/prizes you have everΒ received? How was your 4th July? Do you prefer racing with a set goal, or just to go out there and see what happens?

Would love you to follow me:

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  • Yay for an awesome race! The weather here was crummy and rainy so I didn't bother to run that race I had in mind but I did of course run anyway in my neighborhood. Pie isn't my first choice but I can't resist a good apple pie! I would love to win won! You need to run the Hershey Park Half Marathon. Now that is some good post-race treats!

  • Congrats Tina!! So exciting!! I also raced in a 5 miler yesterday and pr'ed! Your pace was awesome! And the breakfast looks so yummy. It was such a beautiful day in Michigan yesterday!

  • The fact that they gave you a pie maybe earns it the title of most American race EVER. And that omelet and fruit reminds me of the one I got at Yolk the day that I found out about my job. 5 egg omelets FTW. And Sarah better have had the best pancakes ever. I feel like anywhere that uses a name and the phrase “house of pancakes” has a lot to live up to. I'm so glad that you felt strong and rejuvenated–that time did you good, my friend! And I know I keep saying this, but so glad to have you back πŸ˜€

  • You Killed that race, just killed it! 5:48! Holy Fastness. I am soooooo excited to see how you do in the next one. (And good for you for not looking at your Garmin til the end, I suck at that.)

  • Congrats on the win! Pie and cash would be a great prize! My favorite prize was a mug that reminds me of the day I placed in a 5K.

  • Great job on the race – definitely sounds like a super start back in to everything!!
    Of course they treated you like a celebrity – all elite runners should be treated that way!!

  • Tina it's good to see you in the racing saddle again! πŸ˜€ It's good that you're feeling like you're in strong form, especially at the start of a training cycle.

    I'm curious to hear of what your opinion is regarding the value of racing with fresh legs. i.e. do you think sometimes you could race faster at the beginning of a training cycle on fresh legs, vs at the end or middle of a cycle on tired legs? Even though you're supposed to be less fit early on? I don't know, maybe another blog post topic.

    You've got me seriously thinking about building my life training goals around winning this event now, just so I can taste this amazing pie. Going out to buy pie now, which won't be as good…

  • Awesome work Tina, congrats on the win! That is one mega breakfast but you deserved it!
    My watch played up on my race last weekend so I ignored it. Not that I pay much attention to it on trail runs, but it helps me to not go out too fast!

  • Congrats on a great race! I don't have the discipline to not look at my watch too much. Looks like you had a great 4th!

  • Wow girlfriend you do deserve that pie! Awesome time indeed. Fun having coffee with you today

  • Congratulations!!! What a fantastic time, you are amazing!!

  • Wow, Tina you did absolutely amazing- Well done! Epic post fuelling too! I like the number of eggs in that omelette πŸ˜‰

  • Awesome job on the race! I want to eat some of that pie! PS: your 5 mile run is faster than my 5k! You are so freakin awesome! (:

  • Congrats and awesome job!! I LOVE that you won a pie!! That would be my kind of prize. So glad to hear that you had a great run.

  • Congratulations on your OA win, but also on your amazing run. Wins are great but the fact that you felt good the whole time really makes it worthwhile. Plus $100, a plaque, and a pie is a pretty nice payday. That breakfast looks delicious too.

    I too run really well based on feel. I ran many of my best races sans Garmin, and now that I'm coming off injury and run/walking, I am focusing more on running by feel. I think sometimes we can become slaves to the Garmin and by looking at the clock, actually get discouraged and slow down if it's not what we want.

    Happy recovery from the race and I hope the rest of the weekend was great too!

  • i think the fact that you felt great is a HUGE prize. That's what i am talking about! YAY!

  • Great job on your race and win! I'm trying to incorporate more “just for fun” races into my training so I don't get bored during training cycles or stress out over every single race trying for a PR. I'm glad to you could enjoy the race more without stressing out over your pace (and what perfect weather for a beach day!) πŸ™‚

  • Congrats! Holland is so pretty. Glad you got to enjoy a beach day and pie!

  • Congrats!!!! That is really so, so great Tina!! And I love the way you eat. You're a girl after my own stomach…um heart πŸ™‚

  • Smoking, Tina! So fantastic!! And I'm glad you enjoyed a nice weekend in Michigan, too. I think summer is the only time to be in Michigan, right? ; )

  • So awesome, Tina!! Those weeks of resting really did your body good. πŸ™‚ Congratulations!!

  • Congratulations! It must feel good to be on the road again. That pie looks so good, almost as good as the $100 bill πŸ™‚

    I have two clock/plaques that I won once when I won both a local 5k and 10k on the same day (my PRs in both too). It was over 10 years ago, but one of them is still hanging on my wall (though I think the battery is dead πŸ™‚ ).

  • I need that breakfast!! Usually my only goal is to beat a previous PR… is that a dumb goal to have??

  • Congratulations, lady!! Fantastic race and recap! I wish someone would give me a pie! πŸ™‚ (All this food looks awesome. I'm starving!)

  • Awww thank you! Sorry your weather wasnt the best on the 4th, BUT you seem to have amazing weather the rest of the time, so no sympathy from me πŸ˜› I am right there with you, wouldn't normally pick pie, thats why I was so impressed with this one! I need more info on the Hershey one! bet that would be amazing!

  • Thanks Leigha, you did! Thats awesome! Great job!! Especially as you just took some time off too πŸ™‚

  • Haha it really was the most American experience ever, especially as it was started at a fire station! Awesome! Are you proud of me that i picked an omelette as part of my breakfast? I am trying to like them! I am glad to be back, and glad we can support one another!

  • Awww thank you lovely lady πŸ™‚

  • Thanks so much Tina! Ahhh a mug is a cool prize, do you still use it a lot?

  • Thanks so much Kim, it was better than expected, thats for sure. And thank you so much, I do not feel like I deserve it, but i wasnt gonna complain πŸ™‚

  • Thank you so much Mike, what a lovely message! As for my opinion….hmmm….I have always been someone who races well without tapering, in fact I usually race the best when i am at my higher mileage point, but my coach is very careful not to stretch me too far, and so I am not burned out at the end of the year….even though i said that at Brooklyn, that was more from life, than my training. interesting to think about though. What do you think? I think you should focus your life goals around it, I would LOVE to meet you and Allison, and then we could both have pie!

  • Thanks so much Sherry, I definitely did enjoy it! Agh watch issues can be frustrating, but it was probably the universe trying to tell you something πŸ™‚ Do the satellites work in trails? Mine rarely does.

  • Thanks Cassie πŸ™‚ I have trained myself not to, you should give it a go! Yes, I sure did! And I hope you did too!

  • Thanks Deborah, I definitely enjoyed it! Hehe it was fun huh? πŸ™‚

  • Thanks lovely πŸ™‚

  • Thanks Arman, of course you like the eggs, you are a huge egg lover….I am still working my way towards liking them, but spinach and feta omlettes helped. Where have you been? Nice to hear from you again.

  • Thanks Danielle πŸ™‚ I wish I could have brought some round to you…if only we lived closer!

  • Thanks Christine, it was the perfect 4th July prize! I definitely devoured it!

  • Awww thank you so much Amy, what a lovely comment. You are so right, it was more about feeling good than the time I ran…and yeah, the prizes were a nice bonus!

    SO glad you are able to race well without a watch, I think injuries put things in perspective so you just enjoy being out there. I am glad you are making your way back again, keep up the good work! Hope you had a wonderful 4th!

  • Yes! That was honestly the best part, especially as you know how bad I have been feeling!

  • Thanks Amber, they are great, and you often end up running better without the pressure! Thanks so much for your support, look forward to hearing about your fun races too!

  • Thanks Angela, it was a pretty great day!

  • Thanks Allie πŸ™‚ Yes, I definitely enjoy my food, none of this low cal salad stuff πŸ˜›

  • Thanks Amanda πŸ™‚ I really enjoyed it, and yes…..winters were not fun!!!!

  • They really did, thanks so much for your support Laura. It is amazing what rest can do huh? πŸ™‚

  • Thanks Debbie πŸ™‚ It did feel good, especially as I felt back to myself. I actually think the pie gave the $100 a pretty good run for its money. That is an awesome day of racing, look at you go! Clocks are a pretty cool prize, reminds you of that day every time you see it!

  • I loved that breakfast….pancakes at iHop weren't even as good today πŸ˜› I wouldn't say its a dumb goal, depends how much you race I guess….as long as you don't expect that to continue as you get much older πŸ˜›

  • Thanks so much lovely! If I was near you I would definitely have brought you a slice….well maybe…if I could have torn myself away πŸ˜› Hope you found some good food!

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