Today was a first for me. I ran a race for "fun" without trying to PR. Jessica even told me beforehand, "I better not see a '5' in front of your time!" (My 10K PR is 55:05, so she was implying that I should run it in over an hour). While I would have loved to try and PR this race, I knew it would be stupid of me because 1) I'm trying to heal a knee injury, and 2) I have to be strong enough to run 18 miles on Monday.
I am SO glad that my friend Stacie decided to do this race with me! We hadn't seen each other in well over a year, and so much has happened in the past year that I was really excited to catch up with her. She came over a little before 6:00 this morning, and we left from my house for the race. The race didn't start until 8:00, but I didn't want to drive all over Dearborn looking for a parking spot.
We picked up our t-shirts and bibs. I was bummed, because Jerry's work registered me, and they signed me up for a men's small instead of a women's small. They told me I could come back at 9:00 and trade it out if I wanted (so I did that, after the race). The shirts are actually pretty cool looking:
We were there super early, so we just sat in the car and chatted until it was time for the race to start. While I was standing there (freezing), Lindsey came up to me and we got a picture together (with her phone, I didn't have my camera with me). I only know her from her blog, so it was fun to put a face to her name. I also saw my "real life" friend Andrea, who was running the half-marathon today. Then the race started and it took a few minutes to get up to the front because there were tons of people.
Right after we crossed the starting line, we could barely walk, let alone run--it was very crowded. Once we split off from the 5K'ers, however, it was much less congested. I didn't look at my Garmin the entire race. I just ran at what felt like the same pace that I've been running my long runs. It was nice, because we were able to chat and actually enjoy the run without worrying about trying to go faster.
Normally when I race, I barely notice the scenery or people, or anything. I just feel miserable and like I'm going to puke until I finish... doesn't that make you want to race? ;) About a mile or so in, I heard someone behind me say "Katie!" and I turned to see who I learned then was Shannon, a blog reader. Good thing I wore my sparkle skirt today :) She was running her first 10K today. Shannon, please let me know how you did and how you feel!
Right before the finish line, there were a bunch of people cheering, and I heard someone say "cookie" (which of course caught my attention). Stacie said, "Someone just said 'Runs for Cookies'!" I turned to look, but I was right at the finish, so I crossed the finish line and then went back to that spot to look--but couldn't find who it was. So if you recognized me, thank you for cheering! And please let me know who you are :)
Before we left, we got a picture with a couple of martians, of course:
My favorite part of the race was actually getting to catch up with Stacie. We are certainly not going to wait a year to get together again. It was also a lot of fun to meet a couple of blog readers.
After today's run, I'm feeling pretty confident for the 18-miler on Monday. I am icing my knee right now, and tomorrow is a rest day, so we'll see how it goes.