If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you’ll know that I’m not really a racer. One of the ways I’d physically define myself is by being a runner, but someone who runs and trains and races? Not so much.
I’ve written about this before, but I seem to be wired as someone who loves to MOVE – be it in the gym, on the road, in the mountains or on the river. And while I train consistently throughout each week, I don’t train for any one event. However, I committed to racing the Run for L’Arche Half Marathon and before I knew it, training time was gone and race time (post-Vegas, too!) was upon me!
After a late night, I was happy with a 10 am race start and was able to sleep in a bit. I started with a breakfast that I’ve always had pre-long run (race or not): peanut butter with cinnamon and banana on toast with a small cup of black coffee. Perfect.
Soon enough Mikey was awake and we headed down to the gym where we met Lauren, Tricia and Lesley to warm up and get pumped for the run.
We moved a bit on the ellipticals, rolled it out, stretched a bit and started getting those fun pre-race nerves I’d forgotten all about!
We gathered up and the guys (Mikey and Tricia’s boyfriend) dropped us off at the start where we stayed warm and snapped some pre-run pics!
Not sure what the below face is – maybe my pump-it-up face? Or maybe my embrace-the-cold face?
Because compared to Vegas, it WAS chilly! But it was beautiful, sunny, clear and crisp. There was some large sheets of ice across the pathway but overall it ended up being great conditions for running. I wore my lululemon running tights, lulu turbo run shorts over top, Zensah compression sleeves underneath it all (review of this brand-new, limited-edition coming soon!), Zensah arm sleeves, Nike tank top and Zensah seamless power jacket over top. I also ran with my Zensah smart touch running gloves and once or twice took them off because I got too hot! Can’t complain much there.
I didn’t have much strategy for this race except to try it out and get there and move, especially post-IHRSA and after not logging many miles or doing much speed work. One of my main goals? To go out easy. This was not exactly accomplished. I, along with Tricia and Lesley for a bit, was running closer to 8 minute miles when I hoped to run 9’s and then speed up in the second half of the race. I ended up closer to 9’s as the race went on, but oh well – live and learn!
The race was small but well-organized, the gun went off on time and Mikey even got to chat with the mayor while we were running! Fun that he came out for the event.
As I watched a 1:50 time slide away from me (that was my ultimate goal; my main goal was anything under 2 hrs), I realized I could hit a 1:53 if I pushed it hard but as I rounded the finish I saw Lauren and a member from our gym waiting. They’d wanted to cross as a team but we never talked about it before the race and I was pumped to finish hard! I stopped dead still, standing in the middle of the path, looking at the finish and wanting to go all the way but worried about not being a team player! I told them the girls were a bit behind so we could walk back and cheer them on. Hence the reason that Lauren and Fred, who finished more than 20 minutes before me (SPEEDY!), are in the finish photos with me. 😉
We ran it in, with Mikey snapping away, and finished around 1:54 before seeing Tricia fly in on her first half in 1:55! 21.1 km on her 21st birthday. 🙂 Soon after it was Lesley, running in and finishing through tough stomach cramps on her first-ever half as well!
After the conference in Vegas, late night from the airport and full morning, I left with Mikey to head back home – we were out of all the essentials and needed to do some serious grocery shopping! So we grabbed a free banana, thanked the volunteers (all of whom, out on the course, I tried to say thank you too – much harder to cheer in the cold than to be moving in it!) and headed home. The rest of the team did too, which means we missed the pancake breakfast (had I even thought about it I would have popped over there! But we all just kind of dispersed) and our 2nd place award for being the fastest corporate team! So fun. 🙂
So…who knows…maybe the racing bug IS starting to catch on? I remember how I missed the pre-race jitters and the camaraderie of running. And while the distance felt great and I was at a conversational pace the whole time, it makes me wonder what I could do if I trained… So now it’s in the back of my head for sure. Thanks to those who organized the race (Vern, Dawn and Don!) for the wonderful end-of-March event! You can bet I’ll be there next year.
After a bath and nap at home, Mikey and I went to church and then hit up a cheap theater movie, all while downing Nuun to rehydrate and in my compression sleeves to recover! Gotta love it.
Do run for fun? Do you race? Have you done any races yet this season?
To those of you who race, happy running the season ahead! Catch you guys later! Live well & be well,