And you know what? It was fun. I convinced my best friend to do it with me, which was great. My husband started earlier than us for the half, so he left to go to the start line while my friend and I drove my kids to their grandparents house. By the time April and I got to the race there was zero parking, so we parked literally a mile away. (Hey, it was a nice warmup!) We cut getting to the start line so close that I was worried there wouldn't be time to pee first, but fortunately the portopotties were adequate and lines were fairly short.
And we had time for a pre-race selfie, which is what it's all about, right?
The race started very promptly (as I was still magneting my bib on, eep!) and we were off. I had no idea how I was going to do so my mantra was "Run easy...not too easy...but don't kill yourself okay?" Despite what my husband said, I thought it was possible for me to PR. The first mile clocked in at 9:49, and this was I think the first sub-10 mile I'd done since my return. Not too bad, but I knew the second mile was slightly uphill. I was pretty happy though, I'd run nice and evenly - I hadn't burned myself out in the first mile like I'd done the year before, and more importantly, my knee didn't so much as itch. I was doing okay!
The second mile became a head game, and I dunno why. "I'm okay" was my mantra here, but when this mile came in at 9:59 - still sub-10, but barely - I had this little mental blip where I'm like, "Oh, well, I can't PR. Wah wah, but I knew that was likely. That means I can slow down a little." I had completely forgotten that this mile was the opposite of the first; whereas the first was a slight decline almost the whole way, this was a slight incline the whole way. Nothing bad, but enough that it will slow down a little...and runner's math has never been my strong point during a run. In retrospect while it was slower, it was probably a fairly even effort.
Running hard! Pic courtesy of Egg Shell Shuffle FB page.
About half of the way through the last mile, I realized a PR was actually still possible. And I ran hard. "Almost there" became my mantra...along with "I do NOT need to walk, I'm fine, I'm almost there" Have I mentioned before I have never had a full race where I didn't need to walk? (Well, technically I didn't need to walk at the Hyatt's Angel 5k, but that course was 1/4m short) I was breathing hard and running hard, but the third mile beeped at 9:30 and I knew I had it in me if I blitzed - I could see the finish line. And I ran harder than I have in ages - to cross the finish line in 29:50, which meant a 5 second PR. And a race I'd run from start to finish, never burning myself out from starting too fast, which for a full course was a first.
Post race selfie!
I need to stop math-ing in races. I have talked myself out of running hard too many times based on time and really, not every race will be a PR so I need to stop that and remember to always give it my best. I did PR this time, but considering how narrow the margin I could have very easily mathed myself right out of a PR. And how silly would that have been!