10. Sleeping in my bed the night before the race. As fun as travelling for races can be, it was really nice to be home and not have to worry about my eating/sleeping routines getting messed up.
9. Sleeping in on race morning. Since the race was held in the city where I live, I didn’t get up until 7 AM. No 5 AM bus to catch to the start line, no worrying about the timing for my breakfast + pre-race fuel.
8. Staying inside until 10 minutes before the race started. It was really cold the morning of the race (32 degrees but w/ humidity + wind chill, it supposedly felt like 20). Conveniently, Courtney lives across the street from where the race started. We stayed inside, nice and warm, until just before the gun went off. And within 10 minutes of finishing, we were back in her house. When was the last time you were taking a hot shower 15 minutes after crossing a finish line???
7. No drop bag. Since Courtney lives so close to the start, her husband, Brent, came with us to the starting line so we could just hand him the jackets we shed when the race started instead of stuffing them into a drop bag to be trucked to end of the race like most events. We didn’t have to worry about them getting lost or stolen amidst hundreds of drop bags like I’ve experienced with other races.
6. The hills. Ok, honestly, the hills kiiinda sucked. I’ve run the course before for training runs but when pushing the pace, hills are a lot more painful. But hey, hills build character.
5. Running in my Vibram FiveFingers. When I bought my VFF in July, I never thought I’d run more than a few miles in them. And I ran the entire 13.1 miles in them! However, I really need to get some Injiji socks to wear with them since my feet were FREEZING. I felt like my toes were going to snap off.
4. Racing without an injury. In the past, when I got extremely nervous before races, it was usually because I was terrified that an injury I was dealing with was going to prevent me from finishing. I’ve had major IT band and SI joint problems that have made races miserable for me (and really should have just taken a DNF). I came to this race injury-free and it was wonderful to not have the fear of debilitating pain lingering in my mind.
3. This picture. Um, look how short I am. I’m pretty sure I have to take 2x as many steps as half the taller runners out there, so pretty much I work twice as hard, right? Right.
2. Finishing strong and happy. We finished at the exact same time, with smiles on our faces. (I swear, right after this picture, we were high-fiving and smiling.) I’ve finished a few races in tears because of disappointment and/or injury (usually they coincided). This is the way races should end. Happily. That doesn’t mean it won’t hurt a bit (it did…boy it did…especially since we really picked up our pace for the last mile), but overall we were healthy and happy.
1. Running the race with my best friend. This was Courtney’s first half marathon and I couldn’t be more proud of her. CONGRATS COURTNEY! Racing with a friend is soooo much better than going solo, especially when that friend is Courtney.
She got me up the tough hills, I made her nearly puke by feeding her a Honey Stinger, she checked in on my calves (they got really tight and crampy on our last long run), and we planned to travel and meet to run races in the future in case our husbands decide to take jobs in different states and ruin our lives. [FYI, no smiling in this picture because my face was so cold that I couldn’t get my face muscles to work. Seriously.]
Official gun time: 2:01:16
Average pace: 9:15
Garmin time: 2:00:25 (the race didn’t have timing chips)
I didn’t run a PR, but it was definitely one of my favorite races. And given the tough course and chilly temperatures, I think we did pretty darn well.
Do you prefer travelling to races or staying close to home?
P.S. Don’t forget to join our Twitter party tomorrow night discussing holiday baking! I’m so excited!