Done, and within my goal time! I ran my first 8k race today, taking 1 hour and 6 minutes...its actually the fastest I have ever ran 8k, which was nice to accomplish because the hills in this race were ridiculous. Hills are my new enemy, something I definitely need to work on because I have heard the layout for my half-marathon is very hilly! Though considering this was a personal best, and I don't normally do many hills, I think that makes it an even more special personal best! Oh, and I didn't puke :) Stu counted 8 people who crossed the finish line and than puked all over. Haha! not me! Though maybe the winner did, that dude did 8k in 24 minutes...that would probably make me puke! Stuart is wonderful, in every area of my life, but definitely with his support. He waits patiently at the end of every finish line, cheers when I pass by, talks me down when I call him crying on practice runs cause my shins hurt, and changes all plans to be able to take me to these runs! He is amazing!
God blessed me with good shins today! I applied Tiger Balm to them before I ran and I am not sure if that is what helped, but I am definitely gonna try that again! I found the Tiger Balm to really keep the freezing feeling for a long time, much longer than any other muscle rub I have used! Even after my race I could still feel the cooling on my shins! I have tried that approach before with rubs that heated up, because my chiropractor said the pain goes away once my shins are warmed up, but I have found the cooling ones more effective pre-race.
I ran a steady race today, a pace of about 8:14, which is where I want to be for my half-marathon. There is a lot of opinions written about having a "mantra" something you repeat to yourself while you run, or something you have printed on a bracelet or shirt. There has actually been evidence of how that improves a runners run. I don't think its the mantra though, i think its just the concentration of it. When I start to feel panicky running, like when I feel I am too slow or this hill is too hard, I tell myself to relax and be steady. When I feel rushed I don't run as smooth and almost feel clumsy. Many times throughout a run I have to remind myself to relax and just run steady.
It was a nice run park to run too (other than crazy hills), running through trees and past ponds filled with swans! Of course Pismo came too, and it was fun for all three of us to stay in a hotel! Plus I am a huge sucker for running swag and this run topped it off! We got a gift bag of goodies, a yoga instructor led us in pre-run stretches and every finished got a medal and a hat! That made it totally worth the forever hill at the finish line! I felt good about the run, and that feels good....though now I do get a few days off :)
Oh, and PS - my bib number was 983, which is the month and year I was born? Hmmmmmm