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Run to the Sun 8K

April 19, 2009

We were out late Friday night, but I made sure to get my stuff ready for the race. I was really glad that I did, too, because it made Saturday morning go so much more smoothly than when we were getting ready for our first race back in March. We were up by 6am, out of the house a little before 7am and arrived at the race location with plenty of time to spare.

There were several people from my work who were also running in the race, but C and I were the first there. I got my chip and C helped me figure out how to attach it to my shoe since it was my first “chipped race” I had no idea what I was doing, lol! I decided to find the porta-potties before the line got too long, which was a great idea because when I got out the line grew quite a bit.

Shortly after, my friend, A, from work called letting us know that she had arrived. We went to meet up with her and saw the rest of the group. It was so nice to have such a great, supportive group of people there! I was also grateful that C came along even though he wasn’t running. After everyone got their chips attached we chatted for a while before the herded us off to the starting line – where we stood for another 10-15 minutes.

I didn’t hear the gun at the start but the group started moving forward and off we went! We ran along the St. John’s River so the scenery was beautiful and there was a glorious breeze too!

A was a little nervous since it was her first race so I told her we would be running buddies and she would be stuck with me for the next 5 miles. We stayed with the group for the first half-mile or so and then A and I took our first walk break. A and I were running a 2:1 run/walk since it felt so comfortable during the last training run and I thought that A would also feel comfortable with it. However, after about the first mile the running was still a little too much for her (she’s still working on “couch to 5K” runs) so we walked. We did a lot of walking during the race.

As we closed in on the second mile A was really struggling and was in need of a restroom. I wasn’t sure if there would be one near the water station (and it turned out that there wasn’t), when she spotted a visitor’s center that was open. We walked in and got a few weird looks from some older gentlemen chatting at a table. The break was really good for A because she collected herself a bit and we were able to run the next two miles using 1:1 run/walk and taking longer walk breaks when we needed them.

Since I had my Garmin, I was could tell that we were seriously booking it while we were running (I have some runs as fast as 8 or 9 min. miles – which you all know is wicked fast for me!), but we could only keep up that pace for a minute at a time and then it would be too much and we’d have to walk longer. I tried to slow A down but she just wanted to run, which is understandable, but wasn’t helpful since we needed to be able to go for distance not speed.

Once we hit mile 4 A’s calf and shins were really hurting so we walked. She kept asking me if we were last and I kept reassuring her that we weren’t, when I really had no idea how many people were behind us. We finally rounded the corner and could see the rest of our group cheering us on at the finish. We crossed the finish line in 1:14:30 (or so, the official time wasn’t posted on the website yet) and I was so proud of A for finishing her first race! She kept thanking me for running with her, but I just couldn’t imagine leaving her alone to struggle by herself.

We were all hungry so the group of us decided to go to Cracker Barrel. Such a healthy option, no? But it was darn good!

We talked about other races we were thinking about running and have decided to try and do one 5K a month. Who knows if we’ll actually do it, but I think it would be good for me to do as many as I can to get used to preparing for the morning, running with other people and running in new places. Overall we a great time and I will definitely be running this one again next year!

My shins are hurting quite a bit, so I’m going to either take it easy tomorrow or just walk. I’m a little concerned with how often my shins seem to bother me so I’m going to talk to my doctor, who is also a sports medicine guy, in a few weeks when I go for my yearly check-up. I kinda wonder if it was our fast running (even if it was just for a min. at a time) that did it and am really hoping that it’s not a stress fracture. Heck, for all I know I could still be running in the wrong shoes or need different insoles (which I didn’t wear on Saturday). I’m going to start taking a multi-vitamin and cross training more this week to strengthen more of my muscles, so maybe that will make a difference too.

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