The Prairie Fire half marathon went really well for me. As well as a race could go considering I had run a grand total of four times in the four weeks leading up to the race. Maybe that's the reason I am in a tinsy bit of pain today. Ouch. However, I am nothing but pleased about my race yesterday. I ran happy, I finished happy, and aside from getting a bit sick post race I stayed happy.
I have no idea what my average pace was, or even what my finish time was (the race results are being grumpy this morning so i can't get them) since I wasn't even running with my Garmin. I ran free of devices and junk (well I had a nathan handheld for awhile but tossed it in my yard when i ran past my house) and it felt fantastic. I ran at a pace that felt easy and the race felt like a breeze.
Although I won't lie. My injured cranky hip and I were ready to call it quits at mile 4, right where my house was planted on the course. I was going to run to my yard and join my family and friends (because meggers brought out baby jakey to cheer me and others on) and just be done. But when I saw them, it lifted my spirits. Made me smile and I felt like just... running. With some music. So I did.
The only downside to my race was that my calves began cramping up the last two miles. I had to slow down and take it easy there after mile 11. I think my biggest takeaway is this. My calves hate humidity. Plain and simple. At least they held up and allowed me to finish the race. Even if they are screaming expletives at me today.
To be perfectly honest, deep down I was dreading this race, even though I would only admit it to a few people. I didn't want to run it, I wanted to sleep in, cheer from my yard while eating homemade cinny rolls and drinking coffee. I was in no mood to run a half marathon. Injured. With no goal. However, I paid for the race, I committed to it and I don't back down when it comes to that business. So I ran. And ended up LOVING it. In fact, I can honestly say I had more fun running yesterdays half marathon than I have any other race. Plus it rained. A lot. And I loved that. I am one of those sickos who thrives while running in the rain. I was running and smiling and just plain happy. So happy. During the drizzles and occasional heavier rainy bits. Happy.
And you know what? That was refreshing. It will likely be my approach to most races in the near future. I'm tired of letting myself be a slave to my Garmin. To the next PR, to the next running goal. I'm tired of letting my hobby make me cry and make me feel frustrated. I'm done. It's stupid. And I let that go yesterday and man, was it ever worth it. I'm going to run only what feels good for awhile. All I want to do is run with my girlfriends on the weekends for no other reason than we simply WANT to. And because we can.
So. No PR. And I don't care. I think my finish time was around 1:56 - 1:57. I'll take it. Happily. It was a fantastic course, in my hometown, on my home turf, on streets in my neighborhood I run regularly. And I'm still smiling thinking about how much I just plain LOVED it. Refreshing indeed.
Lastly, I have to share my favorite part of the race. In fact, I think this is the cutest and best thing that's ever happened to me in a race period. As I ran by my house, Milo (my dog) picked me out of the crowd of runners and jumped into the race with me. Beyond precious. He saw mama running, and all he wanted was to run with me. I had to run him back to the Edder while people all around in the race were laughing. At least we provided some extra entertainment. My dad caught the rogue Milo on camera, can't wait to get my hands on those and share. Seriously. Best. Thing. Ever. And pretty stinkin' cute.
I ran happy. Still smiling.
sidenote: once i get race pictures (official and unofficial both) i will do a post just for those. because one thing this blog needs is more pictures of my dog. and me. running. obviously..... chirp.... chirp chrip....