So I woke up this morning feeling cranky. It was cold, I was tired, and I didn't really fancy going outside and running in the cold. But I splurged on the entry fee, so I couldn't very well skip it...sigh...so I went. And it was AWESOME!!!
The first few minutes, I was honestly thinking "why did I pay money to run in the cold (36 degrees)?" But then I warmed up and was able to enjoy the scenery and the feeling of my body being warmed by exercise and my face chilly from wind. My heart rate monitor is on the fritz, so I wasn't wearing a watch and just decided to cruise at whatever pace felt good. There were a few times where I felt like I could go faster, but I reminded myself that this was supposed to be an easy run and to just relax.
The course itself was pretty, but not very well marked. The road markings were in pink (for the "Paint it Pink" run), but after the 10k split off of the running path to side roads, there weren't any more pink arrows. I know I didn't take a wrong turn because they had someone standing there to make sure you turned the right direction. So I just followed the old orange markings that were there from a previous race. I caught up to someone else all dressed in pink, so I feel pretty confident that I took the right route. The final stretch was a long slow downhill that crosses two bridges over the river and has an amazing view of the mountains. This was the point where my legs felt strong, my body felt warm and the cold blast of air as cars past made my face delightfully chilly. I think endorphins may have kicked in here as well.
Only the first mile was marked for distance, which I thought was really weird. Why only mark one mile? It worked out really well that my fella decided to take the dogs to the park to run around for a bit while he was waiting. This happened to be part of the course, so he waited with the pooches to cheer me on. As I came around the corner, I thought "what a big dog...wait, that's my big dog...and my man!" So that was an awesome surprise.
Afterwards, I had no idea what my time was, so I asked the gal that was recording times and found out that I had beaten my previous PR by a full minute without even trying! That felt pretty stinkin' awesome. My last 10k was in June and I trained specifically for it, so it feels great to know that my training for longer distances is helping out in shorter races too.
When we were done, Cody asked what I wanted to do and I told him I wanted a hot shower, pajamas, and a good movie. I was still grinning from ear to ear and thinking that this morning was a perfect snapshot of why I love running. I started out cranky, had an amazing run, and now I can have a wonderfully lazy day because I'm relaxed and happy.