Happy New Year WordPressers! Sorry that I completely checked out of the blogging world over the holidays! I also kind of checked out of the running world, with a couple of exceptions.
Prior to Christmas Day, I ran 2.8 miles on Saturday and 6.03 miles on Sunday. After Christmas day, I did 3.5 miles Thursday morning with my BFF Manissa. Remember how I said I thought I wouldn’t run well with others? I was dead wrong. It was so nice to chat with an old friend and learn a new running route in our hometown. Really really nice. We’re even talking about a destination race together in 2013. Suggestions?
Christmas was wonderful. It was so relaxing and uplifting to be with my family and friends again. To top it all off, I got some great running gifts to help me gear up for the coming year. I got a new half zip from Nike, Thorlo Experia socks, and an awesome prAna yoga mat. The half zip matches my favorite shoes – bright yellow! The new socks are outstanding (who knew what a difference real running socks could make?!?), and the yoga mat is too good to be true. So smooshy!!!
Since returning to Athens, I did 4 miles Saturday, 5 miles yesterday, and today I ran in the New Years at Noon 5K, my first race of 2013.
The race was just awesome. Amazingly awesome. I surprised myself in so many ways, you guys. This is only my second race ever, so I really still don’t know what to expect most of the time. To start off, I kind of didn’t even expect to enter this race at all when I woke up this morning. It was cold and rainy and I was not all that motivated. But out of the blue, just after 11am, I found my get up and go. I threw on my running clothes and rushed out the door with the most patient man in the whole wide world. Seriously, I said the word and he just threw on his coat so he could stand in the cold and rain (and then sit in the car) while I ran. He wins.
I did the walk-up registration for this race, which consisted of about 200 runners. Registered runners received a technical t-shirt (yay!) with their (kinda ugly) New Year’s baby logo on the front. I have to say though, the race organizers were really awesome for such a small race. There was a roaring fire in the covered picnic area so that runners and their dedicated family cheerleaders could stay warm. The organizers then went to each of the race’s turns and enthusiastically cheered on the runners as we passed. Afterwards, they had Papa John’s pizza, bananas, water, and gatorade waiting.
The course was a bit challenging for me, which I didn’t really understand until after I finished. There were hills, but nothing too out of the ordinary. It was raining, but not pouring rain. It was cold, but not that cold. Why was it so difficult? I’ll tell you why. Because I was running with the big boys for the first mile and a half or so of that 5k. Without intending to, I was matching the pace of people who actually knew what they were doing. I didn’t have my phone with me to keep pace, but, looking back, I’d say it was between a 7 and 8 minute mile for that first mile and a half. As it turns out, I’m kind of competitive. Who knew?? I mean, I normally run a 9 minute mile or so. Slower on longer distances. Having never run a 5k and considering the rain, I hoped that perhaps my finish time would be around 30 minutes. I actually ended up finishing in 26:20, 64th overall and 17th among women. I was just thrilled.
I’m going to be checking out advice on speed work online, because now that I know I can be encouraged to run faster with competition, I’m going to start actually training for speed. It never ceases to amaze me how much running is a mental exercise in willpower.