Tuesday, June 3, 2014

My Goal: Finish and Have Fun

After my race in Vermont two weekends ago, I was a little bit nervous about racing again. I was worried that the side stitch was here to stay, and the thought of logging anymore miserable miles wasn’t very appealing.

But I had another race on the schedule!

One week after my Vermont race, I had signed up to run the Running of the Bulls 8K in Downtown Durham. Parrish and one of his friends had decided to run it together, and I just had to tag along.

But I felt hesitant.

On Wednesday of last week I did a short 1.5 mile run and felt strong. So I told myself that I would run half the course on Friday morning, and if I still felt strong then I would run on Saturday morning. Lucky for me, I ended up feeling great – the Running of the Bulls would happen!

We woke up at 5:30 on Saturday morning and headed to downtown Durham for the race.

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The start line was right beside my local YMCA, and started with a slow incline. Parrish and I assured our friend Loren that while we were starting on a hill, the course overall wasn’t too hilly.

We found the porta potties, chatted with a few friends we ran in to at the start line, and just like that it was time to run! 

Parrish and Loren paced together, and left me right around the .25 mile mark. I was keeping it at a slow and steady 10:00 mile pace for at least the first mile. Right around the 1.5 mile mark, the side stitch reappeared, so I slowed my pace more and took a few walking breaks.

Luckily, I was able to shake it out. I didn’t have any time goals for this race. I literally just wanted to finish. I had calculated the race course, and I could go as slow as 18:30 pace and still finish. It might take me a long time, but I could finish!

At the mile 2 mark, I realized these three sweet ladies near me were pacing together and they were spot on where I needed to be. I huddled closer to them, and started chatting away. I call these three ladies my angels, because they were able to give me the push I needed to stay positive.

Especially towards the end of the course! There were quite a few hills toward the end, so I feel pretty blessed that I had a cheering party right there with me.

And just like that, the race was over!

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The best part of the race? Post-race watermelon!

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The BEST post-race fuel by far! I went back for seconds and thirds!

Overall, I LOVED this race! The majority of the race course was in the downtown area which I love to run in, and the fuel stations were well thought out. You ended the race in the old Durham Bulls Ballpark (the park featured in the movie Bull Durham) and so that added an instant fun to the finish line.

I’m learning a lot about the types of races I like to run, and realizing that I don’t do well with time goals. And honestly, I’m never going to be the fastest runner.

So my new goals are: finish and have fun!