Monday, October 10, 2011

the prairie fire half marathon. running happy.

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....


Carolina John said...

I got the same thing with Golf a few years ago. My hobby was so frustrating. I'd get very upset when I didn't get to play every week, and then get very upset when I didn't play as well as I'd hoped, which was all the time. The hobby stressed me out more than work.

Laura Belle said...

Sounds it went great!! So glad! And can't wait to see the Milo pics.

Jen Feeny said...

Love it! Especially that you ran happy and that your pups jumped in with you. Keep that smile on your face girl. Not every race needs to be a PR, sometimes, the best ones are the ones you just ran happy.

Marlene said...

Awww Milo! That's awesome. Can't wait for the pics.

CONGRATS girl... you pushed through some tough spots and got 'er done. You may be on to something with this no garmin thing.

I love running in the rain too!

2 Slow 4 Boston said...

I'd say you still ran a pretty good time considering all you've been through. Glad you enjoyed yourself.

I assumed I figured out where you lived when I saw Ed at the end of your driveway as I was running by.

Way to go Milo!

Lindsay said...

glad it went well! sometimes you just need to bring the joy back into it - as if through the eyes of a child or something. running in the rain is a good time.

Indi said...

OK..guess I missed this one last week! so glad you are enjoying the races again!! It makes everything better! Oh can't wait to see bandit Milo!