Happy holidays all! I hope everyone enjoyed their Thanksgiving last week - mine was great!
I signed up for my local Thanksgiving race - The Run to Feed the Hungry. Last year, the 5k at this annual race was my very first race ever, the first time I had run that far, and the first time I felt like a runner. This year, my friend Brandi once again agreed to run with me, but we opted for the 10k. Just like last year, I headed into the race not knowing for sure if we would be able to run the whole thing without walking - the furthest I have run since my half-marathon is 4 miles, although I have been doing that regularly. Brandi, whose husband is in the Air Force and is often gone for weeks at a time, has been running sporadically at best, and so going in we were both a bit uncertain as to how it would go.
To make things a bit more fun, I decided to make us a couple of Thanksgiving tutus for the run, marking my first race in a tutu. I see them all over on people's blogs, and they are always smiling, so I thought "Hey, why not?!" I spent Wednesday morning putting them together (during a "Gone With the Wind" marathon - "Miss Scarlett, I don't know nothin' bout birthin' no babies!") and was really pleased with how they came out.
For the first time in the 18 year history of this race, the morning was grey and rainy. Not just a little sprinkling, but rainy. We were wet before the race even started. But we stuck it out in our fabulous tutus and waited for the gun to go off. (I can't tell you how many whisperings I heard as we made our way through the crowd about how cute our skirts were, and people were constantly passing us as we ran and complimenting them. Totally boosts your self esteem despite the fact that you are sweaty and red!)
The first mile or two I was cold and the water was running down my face, but soon I was warmed up and the rain felt like a blessing. We don't talk much when we run together, so we were both plugged into our music and just keeping pace together, checking in with a "How are you doing" and a nod every once in a while. I had loaded my iPhone with a mix that included the occasional Christmas song, (ones that were a great tempo for my running) and I was really pleased with the result when I hit shuffle. (*side note - when you run with music, do you ever wish everyone around you could hear it too, because you are sure that you would all break into song and dance like that parade scene from Ferris Bueller? No? Oh, me neither....)
I told Brandi about a half mile in that we would make it to mile 2 without walking, and then see how we were doing. When we got to 3 without trouble, I told her we were shooting for 4. (It was a big reverse for me to be the one in better running condition - I can't believe that I have become someone who encourages others in these situations!) At that point, she said she had never run that far before, and that was pulling her through. I said we'd get to 5 and check in again. By the time we hit the 5 mile marker, she said "We've got this!" I have to give her props - her body was killing her from about mile 2 on, and still she pushed on. We kept on running, and when we were pretty close to the finish, we kicked it up about 5 notches and just all-out ran for the finish line. When we came to a top on the other side, I thought I might puke, but I held it together.
Overall, it was a great run, and I was thrilled with how we did. I love those days where you are able to show yourself that you are stronger than you think you are. And I found a new love of running in tutus - I am envisioning an array of colors for different runs. Fun!