Usually when it comes to races I’m in and out, grab a coffee afterwards by myself, kind of a gal. I don’t have any real life friends who run so that’s how it’s always been.
I don’t mind it like that but once in a while when I do run with a group, I’m reminded just how fun that is and I ‘think’ I push myself a bit harder because I’m a bit competitive like that.
A few days ago I met up with my Ragnar Relay crew in Olympic Park for RunThrough’s Halloween 10k. Evening races scare me a bit as my digestion is dodgy and can sometimes let me down if I’ve eaten too much, too close to the race. This was sort of the case this time as I’d been to a spa most of the day and they freaking didn’t feed us too much so by the time I got home around 4 pm I ate two giant bowls of cereal and a bagel.
By 7 we were on our way to do the 4 lap course. Costumes around me were great, the daytime rain had stopped and temperatures were perfect for running in my skeleton dress.
I had done a hard 10km during the weekend and then 48 minutes felt really hard. I didn’t really look at my watch while running as it was dark and I decided just to go as hard as my stomach would let me.
Having had no warm-up before, I was amazed at how good my legs felt. I knew I was running at a decent pace and only the hint of a twinge in my stomach held me back a bit. Once the last 2.5km loop started, I picked up the pace a bit more and even though it was hard, I just kept thinking that I was going to finish at a really good time as I felt super fast and strong.
I LOVE races like that. When it’s really hard but you feel really great at the same time. If you’re not a runner this probably makes no sense to you, I apologise. I don’t know how else to describe it.
I sprinted to the finish line, stopped my watch as I crossed it and saw 45:25. I knew I hadn’t run a 10km in less than 48 minutes in a few years so that was pretty excited. My face reflected though the relief that my stomach had held up (and my hair wasn’t too crazy).
I checked my previous 10km PB and it was 45:27 so I had finally beaten my 2015 PB by 2 seconds. (Let’s not mention that the course measured 9.94km, a race is a race is a race and an official time is what I’m going with!)
We found the other Ragnar crew members who’d already finished, cheered on the ones still coming in and then went out to dinner and had the best time catching up and planning the next reunion race(s).
I think I may be convinced now that racing with friends is actually a bit more fun than doing it alone. I will definitely try to be less of an antisocial runner from now on 🙂