I'm posting a day later than usual, but by the time I got home last night, I was too tired to put anything together.
Yesterday was the "Storm the Bastille" 5K run. This was my second time doing the run, and I ran it with some of my best running buddies. The race started at 9pm, and I had a lot to do before that. I taught my class at 545p at the Y, then I picked my husband up from the airport, and went home to drop off luggage. We then headed to Bastille Days, and I had him drop my off at the Summerfest grounds so I could get some miles in before the race. (One thing I'm quickly learning about marathon training is that getting miles in becomes increasingly important. Even if I have a race, I still have to build miles into that event, whether before or after.) I ran from the lakefront to the festival and then it was time to watch Lebron's big announcement. We packed into a bar with other like-minded sports fans to watch it all go down. Sure enough, he chose the Heat. More on how I feel about that, later.
Now that the future of my favorite basketball player was determined, it was time to race. I met up with my friends and we headed to the starting line. I was glad we had all done the race before, because we gave ourselves plenty of time to line up. This race gets PACKED. Not only is the starting line on a city street - which means hundreds of us have to pack into a space the width of a city intersection - but the line is at one end of the festival, with bars on one side. If you're running late, you may not make it there because you have to navigate through hundreds of festival and bar-goers. But *smart girls* we made it in time, and soon enough, the race was underway.
My plan for this race was to relax and run hard and most importantly: don't go out too fast. I was happy with the results. During the crowded first half mile, I took it easy and talked with one of my friends, and then I gradually sped up. Mile 1 - 9:18. By the time, I got to mile 2, the course was looking familiar and I had more room to really stretch my legs out and get into my stride. Even though I was feeling good, I didn't want to burn up all my gas, though. Mile 2 - 7:30. By the beginning of mile 3, we were running through the Third Ward area of Milwaukee. Lots of twists and turns, but I knew that the end was an uphill finish from the Third Ward back to the festival grounds. I kept the pace peppy, but tried to save some for the hill, and when I saw it, I let whatever I had go. Mile 3 - 7:04.
My overall time for this event was a 23:58.12 - a new PR. I finally broke 24 minutes, and I'm really happy about that. By the end of the race, I was running 6:30 min miles - something I could never have done last year.
But like I always say, the best part of the race and the night was being able to share it with my friends. Even though my coach/husband goes to all of my events, there is something special about having friends that are doing the race with you. It's definitely something I missed during my 10 miler last month, and I know I'll miss it during my marathon. It's a good, almost unconscious, reassurance that I get from knowing that somewhere on the course, my friends running too.
Anyway. This turned into a long post. I had a great time in both senses of the word. It was just the motivation I needed to get through the rest of the week's miles.