Run For Your Life 4 Mile Race!

Started my morning with my first ROAD RACE in a looooong time – the Run for Your Life 4 Miler!  In fact, the last time I ran in an official race was April, when I ran the Racefest Half-Marathon.  We were up at 5am to fuel and get ready, and then headed out to meet our friends.

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It’s always so much more fun to do a race when there are friends to cheer you on!  Caitlin made a bunch of Operation Beautiful signs to pin on some of the runner’s backs – very cute. 

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I am starting to get VERY sad about the fact that I spent sooo much time in Charlotte feeling lonely and friendless, and now that I have a fabulous group of friends, we are getting ready to leave.  Sniff!  The good thing is, these girls are all so nice, I know we’ll stay friends despite the distance.  From left to right – Jen, Kelly, Michelle, me, Caitlin, and Emma!

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Caitlin made extra Operation Beautiful signs for our cheering squad – Matt and Diana!

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And no Charlotte run is complete without my favorite running partner.  I am trying to soak up as much time with her as possible before she moves next week.  The good news is that once we are both moved, we’ll only be a short 2 hours apart!  Maybe we can even meet in the middle for some long runs.  :)

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Casey and I realized on the drive there that we had only brought one Garmin, and since he had a specific goal time in mind, I offered to let him wear it.  I knew it was going to be a tough run for me since I wasn’t feeling great to start with, and it was already 80+ degrees at the starting line.  But when the gun went off and the run started, I realized how weird I felt to not know my pace – I had no idea how fast to push myself.

Since my marathon training started a few weeks ago, my running has been R.O.U.G.H.  I’ve gotten in most of my runs, but they have been sloooow and I’ve had to take walk breaks, which I really hate.  I hate to sound like I’m making excuses or complaining, but I just cannot adjust to this southern heat.  Growing up in Ohio all my life, I feel like I can’t even breathe down here.  I keep telling myself that if I just push through it, even at a slower pace, I’ll be faster when the fall comes and the weather cools down.

So needless to say, when I was already sweating at the starting line this morning, I knew I wouldn’t be breaking any records.  I did my best to just run my own race, not worry about what anyone else was doing, and focus on one mile at a time. 

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The heat was insane, and I felt like the miles were craaaawling by, but I kept trying to tell myself it was only four miles.  Four miles was a weird distance to try to pace for when you are used to the 5K distance.

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I crossed the finish line in 33:57, an 8:29 pace!  Not my best, not my worst, but good enough for me on such a hot day.  I felt like I was going to PASS OUT at the end!  Casey, of course, ran smoking fast as always and finished in 26:45, a 6:43 pace – insaaaaane.  We were both dripping wet at the end.

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I love having a group of friends that all want to get up at 5am and run races on the weekends!  Crossing my fingers that there are girls in DC who will want to do the same thing!

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Caitlin was nice enough to have everyone back to her house afterwards for a post-race brunch.  Bagels with almond butter, delicious fruit salad, and I brought sample bites of our three-grain energy bars – this time a green tea and pistachio version (recipe coming…).

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Since we were all gross and sweaty, Caitlin set up her tailgate tent in the front yard and we ate al fresco – so fun!  The neighbors thought we were a little goofy.  :)

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Even though my finish time wasn’t quite as fast as I used to be, I was still pretty pleased with how I did in the heat.  Most importantly, I wanted to quit the ENTIRE time, and forced myself to juuuust keeeep goooing. 

It felt great to get my racing legs going again, and now I feel inspired to do a few more.  Casey and I are even considering doing a 5k in DC next weekend!  Off to enjoy the rest of the day and get ready for a fun cookout with friends tonight…