Last year I ran the Mistletoe Half Marathon with my bestie Courtney and blogged the top 10 reasons why I loved it. I ran it again this year so it’s time for the second edition of Top 10!
10. I registered the night before the race. I’ve never done that before. The downside – increased registration fees. The upside – no prerace jitters! I hadn’t trained at all and the furthest I’ve run in months (maybe even a year) was 7 miles. So I went into it planning to just enjoy the run and have fun.
9. I jogged to the start line and walked home. That’s half the reason I wanted to run the race – just because it was so dang convenient!
8. I didn’t have to wear my hood during the race. Mistletoe is notorious for crappy weather. Freezing cold. Snow. Rain. You name it. It was chilly at the start but not miserable. Well, my toes were miserable while waiting for the race to start. They were freezing but not nearly as cold as last year! How on earth did I run without socks last year:?! (See #5)
6. My iPod died at mile 2. This was the most ill-prepared I’ve ever been for a race. No training. Forgot to charge my iPod, let alone make a playlist. No game plan. Just running. And it was nice that my iPod died because it let me listen to my body more and enjoy the race experience more.
5. I took a hot bath post-race. I know ice baths are better for recovery. But when it’s cold outside and I just ran my booty off, I deserve to spoil myself. And a hot bath was woooonderful. Followed up by a hard cider, of course.
4. Hanging out with friends after the race. Some of my Dance Trance buddies were performing at the finish line so I got to watch them and hang with them. I lingered for almost 2 hours after I finished. I was freezing but it was just a fun atmosphere.
3. I ran without my Garmin. Granted, I was forced into that since I lost mine but it was actually really nice. I listened to my body and gauged my pace that way. And I didn’t get frustrated like I sometimes did with the Garmin when it reported a pace I considered sub-par.
2. I ran it again in Vibrams but didn’t have the severe calf pain afterwards. I’m getting stronger in these monkey shoes! Last year, I had been running in VFF for 4 months before the race. Now I’ve got almost a year and a half experience of running “barefoot.” (These are the Vibram Bikilas with Injiji socks.)
1. And the best part about the race? I FREAKING SET A PR!!!! I ran the half marathon in 1:49:19. I could NOT believe it considering how very very little I’ve been running lately. It’s been no secret on the blog that I’m struggling with workouts, but this was just the motivation boost that I needed to really train for another half.
I ran sub-8 minute miles for most of the race based on my old school watch and a little math while running. And I knew atmile 4 that even if I slowed significantly, I’d still beat my previous PR, which was 1:57 (set almost 5 years ago). Last year I ran the same course in 2:02 so I knocked off 11 minutes off that!
The hills from miles 8-11 nearly killed me. I was wiped by mile 9 and slowed a lot, but I still finished with a 8:21 overall pace. I was – and still am! – so giddy about my time.