No more. Streak's over!
Saturday was the Jazz half marathon, a fun Halloween weekend race that I always run in costume (I've been a cowgirl and a pirate). This year I was a bumble bee. I made my costume by painting black stripes on a yellow tank top. Guess what I learned? Paint dries stiff and creates a boxy odd shirt that chafes at every stripe. Who knew.
I pinned wings on the back (made from a wire armature and black netting) and used chenille stems to attach antennas to hair clips. My stinger was black cardboard stapled to the back of my shirt. FYI try to avoid staples in your costumes unless you enjoy having tiny pieces of your flesh carved out with every step.
This race was a training/fun run for me, and I was woefully unprepared. We ran late because I forgot my number, and I woke up too late to eat. But since I've been having trouble staying fueled for races, I brought two gu's to make up for my lack of breakie. I also brought a garbage bag for the starting line, since the temperature suddenly dropped on Friday. Silly me. You can't fit a garbage bag over wings (wings also make car rides difficult: I rode to the race doubled over in my seat).
By the time I got to the start, I was way, way in the back of the crowd. In fact, we were some of the last people! I wasn't too worried about that, since it was a chip-timed race, but that meant I was in a slow group that walked to the start after the gun and then basically stayed walking after that (or mildly jogging). I was so thankful that a girl in pink seemed to be running my pace and was willing to cut a path - something I am bad at. I followed her closely for the first mile of the race.
Since this was a costume race for me, I determined to only glance at my Garmin at mile splits, and simply enjoy the race. It was a new course, so for the first few miles I concentrated on the course and maneuvering around the many slower runners who were in front of me.
|Fun fact about this race: Since I started so far in the back, I passed many people, but no one passed me.|
At mile 6, I took a Gu to make up for breakfast. The course heads down St Charles, loops around Audubon park, and with the new course you are already at mile 8 before you exit the park back onto St. Charles. I was out of the park and back on St Charles before I saw anyone I knew: my friends Steve and Erin (who are getting married Friday!), David, and my pharmacy partner Ross, all heading down St. Charles to enter the park. I didn't see our neighbor Joseph, who rode with us to the race; the sun was in my eyes by then so if you didn't call to me, I didn't see you!
We had thinned out a lot out of Audubon Park, but I passed two girls with white race numbers. My race number was white, too, but everyone elses' was blue. I asked them about it and they explained that we were seeded and could have started at the front in the "fast" corral (there were only two). I was so far in the back I didn't even know there were corrals!
|In Audubon Park, passing a runner wearing the same shoes as I was!|
Other than that, the way in was just fantastic. I never felt tired, and since I refused to check my Garmin I never sped up at the end, either. I cruised across the finish in 1:32:38, a PR - in costume! When I looked back at my Garmin stats, every mile was sub-7:00 besides the first one: which is understandable since I had to fight past hundreds of people.
|At the finish, messing with my watch.|
Lessons learned from this race?
I need to chill out and have fun again. I have been placing too much pressure on myself to finish in a certain time and run certain splits, yet I haven't given myself the time and practice to do so. I need to train harder and race easier! I also need to realize that I'm just not going to be incredibly fast. If I was, I'd already be winning. I just need to do the best for me, and enjoy doing it.
Editor's Note: I have six hilarious pictures of David from this race. He looks like he is being fed raw eggs while being electrocuted on a hang glider. However, he is being a party pooper and won't let me publish any of them. Too bad. They are priceless.