I ran a race yesterday. A small race, a four mile Superbowl Shuffle, that was moved from the previous Sunday because of bad weather. I'm glad I got a chance to sign up for it since I missed my own Superbowl race.
I did not take a single picture.
I'm pretty sure I get to say I have a new PR since I've never run a four mile race before. Yeah I did!
Alright, on to the recapping.
Honestly, I chose this race because I was so mad at my body for being weak last Sunday. I think I could have run the 5K but I know I would have been miserable and why do that to myself?
The Shuffle started at 12:15PM on Sunday. They had packet pick-up on Saturday but I didn't get a chance to hit that side of town. I got to the race location, Stony Creek Metropark, at around 11:00am. There was some snow that morning so I didn't want to deal with that. Plus, I needed to pick-up my packet.
Because it was a Super Bowl themed race I wore my husband's Lynch jersey over two tech shirts. I had on tech long johns and running pants.
The race was SMALL. I think there were eighty or so runners overall. I think there were more signed up but with the date change not as many showed up. I picked up my bib and my free arm warmers. I put the arm warmers back in my car and hung out there while I waited for the start.
At this point I regretted signing up for the race. I didn't know anyone. I knew I would be towards the back of the pack. I've never run in a small race before so I felt very out of place in my jersey (no one else dressed up). And very out of shape. I was by far the biggest person there.
I sent some text messages out to my family and friends basically telling them that I was worried I would be last and how it was such a small race, etc and my sister came back with the best one:
"You are a fierce, warrior, mommy runner and you dance across that finish line no matter what place you come in at!"
That made me smile and pumped me up.
At about noon I joined the rest of the runners inside the building where we signed up and we waited for the race director to call us outside. Again, everyone seemed to know everyone else. I was intimidated and feeling small. And I didn't have my headphones so I knew I would be doing this run without music.
The race started at 12:15PM. Right off the bat the pack of fast runners (basically, everyone aside from me) took off. It was an out an back loop, two miles out and two back. At first, I was intimidated and mad and pretty bummed that I was even out there.
And then I got out of my own head and realized a few things. First, it was a sunny day. I was outside, in the cold and sun running and it felt good! Second, the course was beautiful. There were snow-covered trees, a snow-covered lake, no cars. It was peaceful. And third, I was running really, really well FOR ME and that's all that mattered.
I ran a 2:1 ratio of two minutes running, one minute walking. There were hills, more than I am used to, but they didn't bother me at all. At the turn around I realized that I was well-trained for this. My legs were happy, my body was happy and I was feeling good. I didn't care that people were already finished. I didn't care that I was ahead of maybe two people. All I cared about was how I was doing and I was DOING GREAT!
I finished in 52:54. My average pace was 13:14 per mile which is an awesome pace for me. I finished last in my age group. And 80th out of eighty-six people. And that's just fine by me!
If the park wasn't so far away I could easily run there more often. We ran on a paved trail and even with snow that morning the trail was already cleared. Maybe I'll do a few long runs there this summer.
I would do this race again. It was well-organized, cheap and fun. I think I would work on getting a friend to run it with me so I didn't feel like an outsider and maybe had someone to talk to while waiting. The top three finishers in each age group received a medal. They had pizza, water and Gatorade in the same small building we waited in prior to the start. I skipped the pizza since I was meeting up with a girlfriend for lunch.