“I would say I’m a kinda fly by the seat of my pants gal.”
Vivian, Pretty Woman
Here is the deal, I have spent the past three days (no joke) putting together a recap of my glorious return to running only to have WordPress and my Mac completely destroy it. I suspect a conspiracy… However it may also be possible that it was too much awesomeness in one post and the system was overwhelmed… or my computer is just fried from it being so darn hot in my living room. Anyway, instead of trying to recreate my original post (you’re just can’t recreate magic) I am going to give you a quick run down. Ready?
Here we go!
Sunday I made a triumphant return to running and celebrated being 3 weeks out from surgery by running the Fairfield Half Marathon for my third time. It was pretty awesome, but here are the highlights.
My race number was a palindrome! I realize this makes me a total nerd, but I considered it good luck. I mean, what are the odds?
I also scored this nifty magnet for my car. Two thumbs up to the race organizers on this one! I was extra excited because I had to relinquish all my old race stickers when I traded in my car. This definitely helped my new collection.
Did I mention it even matches my new orange crosstrek?
I have to admit that I was a little nervous about doing this race because of my recent surgery and not feeling terribly great the night before… not to mention working a 14+ hour shift the day prior. However, I woke up before my alarm feeling good and reminded myself that I could always walk or drop out if I needed to.
Besides, I just didn’t want to miss Fairfield after having done it the past two years. As much as I HATE their half, I also love it. It’s primarily the heat and humidity I can’t stand… well, that and the hills. Luckily, the weather this year was only in the 60s and several of the hills from the initial course were replaced by coastal views last year.
It is pretty amazing how much flatter that course felt not running in 90 degree weather with near 100% humidity! I kept waiting for all the ridiculous inclines to start, only to find they were not as numerous or steep as I remembered. The coastal views, meanwhile, were far more enjoyable because I was not distracted by being baked by the sun. The other thing that I’m sure made I huge difference is that I had already decided going into the run to not push hard and just do it for fun. Instead of killing myself to get a good time, I slowed down to high five all the kiddos and run through sprinklers. It was a completely different experience, and I definitely appreciated the change in pace.
The other major perk this year was the gorgeous weather seemed to draw bigger crowds of spectators than the past years I’ve run. There were TONS of people cheering, playing in bands, handing out water and ice cubes, and spraying runners with hoses. There were even lots of elderly folks in lawn chairs waving. It was so much more fun to run with the support of the crowd! (Not to mention all the AMAZING volunteers!!!! Thank you all!!!!)
One thing I love about the Fairfield Half is that it is a big event. There are just hordes of runners the whole way through the course. Not in a claustrophobic kind of way, but rather a thank God I’m not a straggler running by myself kind of way. Plus, the finish is at a GIANT BEACH PARTY? What is better than that? You get a good run in and then celebrate on the beach with a couple thousand of your new runner buddies. RUNNER BEACH PARTY! It’s the stuff dreams are made of… and totally worth sweating it out in the heat for 13.1… I swear! Besides cool ocean water beats an ice bath after a run any day in my book.
In case you are wondering, I finished the whole 13.1 without any issue. My go slow and enjoy the scenery game plan paid off. In fact, my biggest source of
discomfort pain was actually the chafing on my inner thighs. (Bodyglide, you FAILED me!) My finish time was 2:06 which I think is actually faster than my previous times for that course. I am pretty sure it had entirely to do with the more comfortable weather, but I’ll still take it. Really, it’s not to bad for 3 weeks post op and a whole month without running… or being allowed to do much of anything.
Half Marathon for very first run post-op? Sure, why not? Go big or go home, right?
One cool thing about this race is that it was the first that I logged as an OutRUNNER for OutRUN38. If you have never heard of this organization or Liz Shuman you should definitely check them out! I have even added the recent clip from the Today Show for your viewing pleasure. (You’re welcome!)
You know I am all about supporting a good cause, and this is a great one! It’s all about positivity and inspiration! Liz is such a tremendously vibrant and inspiring lady, and the community that has risen up around her is beyond amazing. If you are interested in helping individuals with cystic fibrosis or just getting involved in a great cause then consider joining the OutRunner community. Wouldn’t you like to put all those miles you log to good use?