Sometimes Rest is Best

Get In Gear 2013

Oh, what a beautiful morning! You just wanted to sing aloud! We have been struggling here in Minnesota with the never ending winter. Historically, the Get In Gear is known for the worst weather ever. Either rain and 33°, or snow and 32°. Take your pick. It was like heaven opened a door and shined down sunshine and warmth upon us! God is good!

It was 34° when I awoke and I questioned my attire at first. But I’d rather be somewhat cold than somewhat warm, so I stuck with the shorts and short sleeved shirt plan, with the assumption that I’d have compression sleeves on and I had a great collection of arm warmers that I had forgotten about since I really haven’t used them since October. I figured I’d just layer up and remove them just before the race started. Fortunately, my husband decided to come along last minute, so he could be my gear holder…very handy, indeed!

My biggest anxiety this morning was not getting there early enough to get one of the 1500 allotted parking spots available. But we got one, so the rest of the morning promised to be smooth as silk.

I was determined to get ahead of the crowd this year. Former years, I ended up in the back and spent the initial 3 miles just meandering through the crowd so I could get a strong pace going. I managed to pee, yet still make it to the start area at 8:30am. My husband tinkered on his phone while I made some small talk with other runners at the start line. I just love runners. They are all so cheerful and full of zest. Earlier my husband (Mr. bah humbug) mentioned that runners were too giddy…all of them just buzzing with exuberance as we made our way to the port-a-potties. Personally, I love it! Who can think of a better group of people to be surrounded by? I sure can’t. I know he can’t run because of his former back surgeries, but I think if he did, and he experienced it enough, he would grow to love it as much as I do.

I started the race with the fastest of the fast. And many people passed me. And as they did, I felt the urge to speed up. My mind was saying “You must be slowing down if these people are passing you.” But they were all much younger than I, and getting into their groove, I’m sure. So, when I heard Runmeter tell me my pace, I’d realize that I was speeding up. So I re-shifted my concentration to keeping a steady pace. I felt my breathing, and I felt my stride, and I memorized it. Then I tried to settle into it and keep duplicating it, mile after mile. I think I did a great job. At first, the 7:11 pace I had at mile 1 scared me, but once I got out of the mind set that I can be passed by a ton of people, I just enjoyed the run. The weather was great, conditions were perfect, and I really felt good! I’m quite sure that I ran this race while maintaining the steadiest pace ever. Even as I tired near the end, I felt like I could sprint the last 50 yards to the finish line. And I did! That was outstanding!

I’ve never really run among such a large group of fast people so what amazed me the most today was how many were holding steady conversations while running a 7:20 pace. I was in awe. I wonder if I could have done the same? In my mind, it seemed impossible. I was on that fine line of becoming very uncomfortable with just a slight increase in speed. Yet, these people were communicating…out loud…with plenty of air. Truly astounding.

And, it got very warm…and I was sweating (I was grateful I ditched the arm warmers before the gun)…and my heart was racing…and when I hit 5 miles with 35:15 on the clock, I knew I was having a great run. I just had to finish it off.

Today, I felt well-rested and ready to run. This doesn’t happen often on a race day. And now I’m sure it is because I don’t take the proper amount of rest time before hand. What runner wants to rest? Resting is like the devil.

“If I don’t train hard enough, I’ll do awful.”
“If I don’t run right up until race day, I’ll forget how to run.”
“Rest? Who needs rest?”

Apparently I do.

I started to realize last weekend I’m doing too much. The calves, the side stitch, the hammie cramps…something’s gotta give. So I took the week off, and just did some treadmill walks. I think it was just right.

I had no calf trouble today, except after the run. We opted to walk back to the car, rather than take the free shuttle bus. I felt my calves tighten up about 10 minutes after finishing the race. The walk would help. And it did.

I PR’d this particular race as this is the 3rd time I have run it. I’m excited about that. Still, the Polar Dash was faster, so now I really question the chip time of that run. Regardless, as I type this now, I feel great. I’m proud. And that marathon feels more doable than ever!

Finish Line Video
Detailed Run Results

Did you run in an event today? How did you do? How do you feel?

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