Saturday marked the first race of the 2012 year. Unwilling to commit to the entire 13.1 miles of a “full” half marathon, I recruited a friend to be my 2nd half so that we could run the relay. The Bentonville Running Festival featured a 1/2 marathon, a relay (for 2 people), a 5k, and a fun run. The same friend who got me to run my first half back in November signed up for this one and all of a sudden I found myself working towards a race.
…because I needed it! I am notorious for dreading races. It’s a love/hate relationship. I sign up for a race. I work towards it, in this case putting in several 9-10+ mile runs. Then about a week before, I conclude that I hate running, that I hate racing, that this will be the most epic disaster of all time, that I have wasted my money, etc. Then I actually run the race, have fun, and when it’s all over, “I LOVE racing.” Is it kind of sick and twisted? Yes. Especially after the half in November that went SO well, and then afterwards my feet were all messed up from my bad shoes, having to take time off and resort to biking, seeing a major slowdown in my average running time, I was discouraged and not looking forward to a slow race.It was actually a really good run. I didn’t know exactly how much I had to run (ended up being 6.55 miles), but I was able to keep an on-the-dot just under 8 minute mile pace. Considering most of my runs have been in the 9.5-10 minute mile range, I was super pleased with getting that distance done in 52 minutes. I could have pushed myself a little more, because I finished feeling like I could keep going, but no complaints. Hopefully that speed and exhilaration can help me pump up my everyday runs. It was a hot day, but really beautiful, and for my half of the course, I really enjoyed it. After I did my part, I was able to get about halfway down the major hill that made up the last mile of the course (mile 12-13) and run first my friend Drew (#700, above) who was doing the full half. That last hill was a doozy, but it was so fun to try and push and motivate him to the finish. Then I was able to get back down again to run my partner Lindsay (#16) up the hill and to the finish.