I cannot believe that it has been a week since I ran my race. The 7 a.m. start time was a little rough as evidenced by this photo. I had a bit of coffee, but it was not enough to prevent the spaced out stare. Meeting up with my friend Rachel who ran the half marathon for this race was fantastic. She had run this race last year, so she gave me amazing tips to prepare. Since we raced at Miller Park, the traffic around the stadium became crowded very quickly. I left at 5:15 a.m., and I arrived at the stadium with plenty of time to spare. I checked my gear, and then I met our training group. We stretched and took a few pictures. My only goal was to run the entire time and have fun.
cue a bit of panic right as the race was starting. I am so petite that I could not see exactly where I got into the starting corral. The 10K runners started at 7:00 a.m. in corrals A through D, and the half marathon runners started at 7:15 a.m. in corrals E through Z. I made it into my corral, and we were off. Technically I did not start really running at my pace until I crossed the start line. Since it was such an early start, I didn’t have my family come to be my cheerleaders. My sweet friend Rachel found me right as I got going, and she shouted out my name. That set the tone for the entire race for me.
I settled into my pace, and I ran all but the last half mile with one of the women from my running class. I do not run with music because I like to be present and attentive to what is going on around me. My Runkeeper app on my phone kept me updated with my pace and mile markers. I experienced my first taste of food during a race. I used some gummy chews around the fourth mile, and I made sure to sip my water. I sprinted the last half mile right as we left Miller Park stadium. It was very cool to get to run around the entire ballpark although the dirt is slick.
I felt so proud that I accomplished my goals. Contrary to popular opinion and peer pressure from my running friends, I have no plans for a half marathon. I would love to run another 10K next year. Running has made me so much mor comfortable in my skin. I feel powerful and strong when I run. Running with groups keeps me accountable to friends and to myself. Running brings me so much joy. I love races because it gives me a specific goal to achieve. What I was not prepared for was the exhaustion. I took a two-hour nap the afternoon after the race, and I lounged on the couch all day long. Kudos to friends who run longer distances and triathlons because I cannot even imagine the exhaustion. Now where is an appropriate place to wear my race medal? At work? I think maybe a tiara is in order as well with the medal. What do you think?