Ever since I joined the Oak Park Runners Club I've been running the Four on the Fourth Fourth of July race in Elmhurst, Illinois. Which means I've now run this race four times. The course is always the same with a hill you love to hate during miles two and three (it's an out and back so you get to run it twice), mostly shaded streets, and and not too many turns. This is a fast race and most of the speedsters show up since it's on the CARA Circuit. Which means I have no hopes of placing in my age group and instead just compare my times against myself from year to year.
The funny thing is, in 2011 I was training the hardest I'd ever trained. Running 20+ mile weeks, doing speedwork at the track every Wednesday, and running long on the weekends, training for two marathons. And in 2011 I ran my Four on the Fourth PR of 33:50.
In 2012 I cut way back on my running, did more strength training and attended a lot more group fitness classes. My time from the 2012 Four on the Fourth was 36:02 but it was also beastly hot. In fact, I think it hit almost 100 degrees later that day.
This year? Yes, I did a marathon back in April. But after that I've been running once or twice a week, doing trapeze, strength training, and throwing in the occasional cardio fitness class (like Zumba in the Park. More on that later this week).
My time from the 2013 Four on the Fourth? 33:50.
EXACTLY the same as 2011.
What does this tell me?
I'm honestly not sure.
And you know what? It doesn't really matter. What really matters is that I ran a fun race with my running club and kicked off my Fourth of July celebration with one of my favorite activities.