Today was the seventh running of the Chips & Salsa Half-Marathon, a local event that I have never done. In previous years I have always let other things get in the way of showing up at the local running events, other “bigger” races or training for longer races and today it struck me what a shame that is. Local races are fun not to mention convenient and inexpensive. What’s more, they aren’t local races to some people at all. Today when the GeekGrl and I were standing at the start line I overheard two people who are apparently going for their 50 States Half-Marathon tour. I didn’t know people did such things I thought all the 50-staters were marathoners. Just this morning the GeekGrl were wondering if people really did travel to distant cities just to do races that were shorter than a marathon they do.
The other thing that is fun about the shorter distances is all the people who are new to running. You don’t get that in ultras, “Hi, yeah, my name is Candy and this is my very first race! Why did I choose Leadville for my first race? Because it’s so pretty!” Nope, that only occurs at the much shorter distances. I still vividly remember my first half-marathon and it was an amazing experience. I remember getting home and feeling that really good kind of tired. I showered off and lay in bed just saying to myself over and over “I just ran a whole half of a marathon!” It was pretty awesome.
This morning the GeekGrl and I met a woman who was out for her first half-marathon and boy was she excited. She was chattering away trying to calm her nerves. She asked us if we had run many of “these” before to which we replied, “We’ve run a few” and smiled. I didn’t say, “Sure, as a matter of fact I ran 7.65 of them back-to-back last weekend.” I never volunteer my running habits like that so it always makes me wonder who else may be lurking in the crowd, someone I’m sure.
Anyway, this race was part of the GeekGrl’s training plan, kind of an ultrarunning-speedwork day. I went along to see if I could get my legs stretched out and get back into the groove. A week of no running whatsoever is not an easy thing so it felt good to be back out there. I ran alongside the GeekGrl to see if I could help pace her to a half-marathon PR. At the 10K split she broke her 10K PR and by the end of the race she had broken her half-marathon PR by at least a couple minutes. We finished in 2:24:59 according to my Garmin but I think our official time will register a tad faster.
And then, well, then we collected our cool ceramic salsa dish for our finishing prize, went and got my car washed, went home and I mowed the lawn and had plenty of time left over to just lounge around. If I’m not careful I may just discover that you can run AND have a life.
Next up is the inaugural Do-Wacka-Do 50K in Erick Oklahoma…I bet you ALL know exactly where that is without even consulting a map.