This morning was the Race the Runways Half Marathon on the Naval Air Base in Brunswick, Maine. Last year, it snowed a foot the day before this race and it was frigid and windy. This year, it was much better, mild and sunny, but still quite windy.
I had an early start this morning and drove down to Brunswick with this cast of characters: my student Ashley, my former student Rachel, and her dad, my friend and running coach, Roger. Roger has been training for Sugarloaf with me but is injured and taking a short break to heal, so he couldn't race today. He kindly drove us down and then took photos for us while we ran.
After I left my house this morning, I realized I forgot my Garmin. Usually, this would have sent me driving back home in a panic, but today I thought: "hmmm... maybe it will be kind of nice to run without it." The more I thought about it, the more I felt liberated by not having it. I haven't run a race (or any long run) without it since I got it 2 years ago. I figured I'd just run by feel and see what happened.
Once we got moving, we warmed up and the temps were actually perfect for a race (40s). The first part of the course was a double loop, which meant I got to see Ashley and Rachel 4 times during the out and backs, plus I saw lots of other friends and blog friends and former students. It was really fun to run past someone I knew every few minutes. My race went like this: Go Jen! Looking good Ashley! Go Rachel! Hey Casey! Hey Christine! Hey Amy! Jill! Stacey! Karen! Pattie! Carrie! Sara! Brianna! Mariah! Guy from Hampden whose name I can't remember!
I just ran at a comfortable pace. I kept going to look at my wrist out of habit, but felt kind of relieved to not be seeing my splits. I was pleasantly surprised at mile 6 to see I was running under 10 min pace, and had a little talk with myself. Together, myself and I decided that yes, I could hold this pace. So I did.
|I love how Rachel looks surprised to see her dad.|
|I have to say that I like to see photos of myself running happy. It feels like a big relief. See? I do love to run.|
Roger got everyone coming across the finish line. Ashley is looking tough. She ran her very first half today and finished in 1:52. How awesome is that???
Rachel finished strong and under 2 hours despite foot pain, and is all smiles at the end.
Here is something else cool. Roger coached me last summer to help me meet my goal of running a PR at the Maine Half Marathon. We did speed work at the track and he wrote my training plans up until the race. My goal was to run a 2:09 half, and then on race day it was cold, and rainy, and I struggled and cried and totally didn't meet my goal. Remember this sad race report? So, to run an unplanned 2:09 half today, at a pace that only Roger believed I could actually hold for 13.1, when he was there to see it was a pretty awesome thing for me.
But I worked for it and finished hard and then got really dizzy as soon as I stopped running. I swear I almost passed out and my heart was pounding out of my chest. I sat down on the runway for a few minutes and then I was okay.
Ashley was waiting for me when I crossed. I love this photo.
Roger and his girls.
So, here's the crazy thing. I think I do better without my Garmin. I find that weird to say aloud, because I love that thing and thought that I couldn't run a race without it. I did miss being able to look back after the race and see my splits, so it made me wonder if I should just clip it onto my camelbak so I could have the data but not be so glued to looking at it while I run.
And here's something else: Last time I bought bras at Victoria's Secret, it was St. Patrick's Day, and with my purchase, they gave me a free pair of bright green underwear that said "Feeling Lucky?" on the butt. I wore them today and had a great race, so I guess I was feeling lucky. I don't think that's what Victoria's Secret meant though, do you?
I think I have my new race plan: lucky underwear and no Garmin. Go figure.
I am very happy about my PR and had a wonderful day with friends. I'm going to bed wearing my compression sleeves, but I feel good from head to toe.
So great to see so many friends today. I thought the race planners and volunteers did a spectacular job. I hope everyone had as great of a day as I did.