This was my third year running the Suburst. In fact, it was my 3 year run-aversary. 3 years ago, the Sunburst was my first ever 5K. But, that story's been told. Last year, I ran the half. This year, I was registered for the half, but for some reason, kinda debating between doing the half and the 10K.
Before Saturday, I hadn't run anything over 8-miles at a time since the Kalamazoo Half, which was 3 weeks before. I wasn't, by any definition of the word, training or ready. Even worse, the weather forecast was not looking so hot.
Anyway, I woke up Saturday morning and felt great. I was going to do the half! Then, I pulled up my phone's forecast and saw the above and immediately decided to do the 10K.
That's pretty much how the next 20 minutes of getting dressed and eating 1/2 an English muffin with PB went. Back and forth. Half, 10K, Half, 10K. The Hubs was gonna drop me off and pick me up, since the race was SUPER close to our house. He was less than thrilled at the idea of me running ANYTHING in thunderstorms.... but, that kinda helped me decide. I mean, if I was gonna stop mid-race no matter what, why not go big and do the half? If it rained, I'd stop either way. Then, suddenly the forecast changed to only 10% chance of light rain. Just like that. Done. Half it was.
The Hubs dropped me off and less than 10 minutes I was off.
Mile 1: 9:48 (FINALLY! A race I didn't start off too fast for!!!)
Mile 2: 9:42
Mile 3: 9:30
Mile 4: 9:52 (not sure what happened here... apparently I was REALLY enjoying the race!)
Mile 5: 9:45
Mile 6: 9:23
Just like that, the race was half over. I was literally enjoying every second. It was HOT and HUMID... but, my legs felt fresh. I wasn't dying. I was just RUNNING to run. CRAAAAAZY concept. I had a HUGE goofy grin on my face the whole time (except in the pic above where I look like I'm kinda sleeping). This whole race with no pressure thing was AMAZING. I just kept plugging away. One foot in front of the other. Nice and easy.
Mile 7: 9:26
Mile 8: 9:40
Mile 9: 9:30
Mile 10: 9:20
Mile 11: 9:19
Mile 12: 9:59 (HUUUUUUGE, beast of a hill)
Mile 13: 9:26
Mile .33 (according to Garmin): 3:27 (forgot to stop the stupid sucker for a while, as always)
Total: 13.33 miles, 2:08:XX
Average Pace: 9:37
Funny story... I finished faster (only by a few seconds, but still) this year than last year, when I WAS training and WAS ready for it. Turns out, taking the pressure off kinda works.
I LOVED this race. I had FUN. I enjoyed myself. Sure, it was still running over 13 miles and that was tough and I was tired and everything, but it was different than any race I've done. I ran JUST TO RUN. Confession: I might be hooked. Sure, I love pushing myself to get better and to strive for my best. But, it's also BEYOND words amazing to just run with NO pressure or expectations.
Sadly, my body was little mad at me for the whole lets-run-13-miles-even-though-we're-not-trained thing. Whoops. My knee (the other one, of course) was NOT happy. I gave it 3 solid non-running rest days and LOOOOTS of icing and now it feels better. Not 100% yet, but better. WHOOPS. Lesson learned. Next time, maybe do a FEW longer runs before a half, even if it is a for-fun half. Got it. :)
So, that was that. 3 year runaverary, done. And I loved every step.