This St. Patties day, I did not partake in any celebratory drinking. No green beer. No bar. Not a single glass of wine.
The course was described as "challenging, hilly, our hardest course". Normally, I like to stick to "easy" and "flat".
I was a bit worried about my performance, because I have been killing myself in the gym every day, and I usually like to take a few days off before a race. But I have a schedule, and I stuck to all my training.
And have I mentioned, I don't train on hills?
Plus this guy knew I could do it...
It was indeed, challenging. I had anticipated on a normal 9 miles, to finish in an hour and a half. This one, I thought, as long as I'm not over 2 hours, I'll feel great about it.
You don't understand this disclaimer, until after you run the course. But damn, it makes you feel good when you do!
The hills? They were massive. And never ending. The best surprise was at the bottom of the worst/longest 2 mile hill, (that was so wind-ey and steep you couldn't see an end, so I kept my eyes down) when my BFF came bounding out from the trees to run with me!!
She came to run the hardest part with me! If it weren't for her I'd have walked the whole thing and felt defeated. It was so full of awesome!
When she left me just past the crest, I had just 3 miles to go. And as we like to say...Anyone can run 3 miles!
Those miles that she assured me were "easy"? Were mostly hills as well. Just when you got to the top of a hill, you had a slightly smaller hill, until... another hill!
About a mile and a half later I saw a girl bringing me water at a water station, that I was going to pass...(I don't wear my glasses/contacts running) and it was her again!! Telling me to "kick its' ass!!"
Then, at the finish? She was there again to yell my name, and to tell me to pick it up and finish strong!
A good friend, might come to cheer you on, but a best friend will come and run "bandit" with you so that you don't give up!
And given that I have NEVER had any race support on any of my races, it meant the world to me!!
Did I mention it was a blustery 32 degrees, wet, and snowy?
In the end, I finished at 1:45:27. A 11.19 minute mile. I can run a flat 15k in an hour and a half, so I expected to finish at 2 hours, due to the course. I outran my anticipated time, which is a win to me!!
Last season, I couldn't have done it. I would have finished far slower! I would have walked all the hills vs. at the very least, slow jogging 99% of them. All the extra training I have put in, is actually working!
Since I burned over 1,100 calories just from my run, and stayed away from alcohol, I treated myself to a non-24 day challenge treat of a chicken pot pie from my favorite grocery store. And I loved every.. last... tidbit!
So, what did you do this St. Patty's day?