The race was the Firefly Run, and the race was unique in that it started at dusk (7:30PM) and snaked around the Lakeview lakefront with all runners wearing neon, glowsticks, and blinking lights. As part of the registration packet, each runner was given two stretchy bands with bright red blinking lights - I wore them both on one arm, Scott wore them on his leg. Other people did combinations - legs, arm, neck, hair, ankle.
Before the race, I was wavering - do I try my first 10K or do I stick with the "safer" (and definitely easier) 5K? Scott was going for the 10K and I couldn't let him show me up, so 10K it was.
It was a gorgeous night for a run - low 60 degree temperatures and very little breeze.
The first mile of the race I flew through, and beat my previous single mile record. The adrenaline was pumping, and I was surrounded by really legit runners. (I must say that the difference between the 5K run/walkers and the 10K runners was astonishing... the 10K'ers were just so physically fit!) It was inspiring, and it really gave me a renewed desire to be a runner.
Mile two was the hardest mile for me, and I haven't figured out why. I really struggled through the second half of the mile, and at this point I'm thinking "four more effing miles?!" After mile two, I cruised through 3-5.5, not at my fasted speed (it was definitely a slower paced race for me, but to my credit it was double the length of my normal runs) but slow and steady, one foot after the other, and found myself actually enjoying it. I was rocking out, the people around me where cruising, and I just felt good. This was the first race that I enjoyed running - and that's a benchmark worth celebrating.
Scott recently told me that he typically runs a race "for" someone - that he has a person in mind while he's running, and that inspires him to kick it up a notch, and push through even when he gets tired. I loved this idea, and first put it to the test during my run last Tuesday night... and it really worked for me, so I did the same thing for this race. I ran each mile "for" someone in my life - it kept me running when I wanted to walk and provided a little extra oomph when I was dragging.
The other thing that helped was that we each created new playlists for the race, so I was loving my race music. It included a couple of songs that I was talking about yesterday, plus a new-to-me favorite by Neon Trees.
While I loved the race atmosphere and ambiance, I did have a few criticisms (the ooc gear check line and lack of water at the finish line were the two biggest) but I will give the benefit of the doubt to the organizers and say that it was the first year of the event... undoubtedly, they will have those issues figured out by next year... right? :) Hope so, because Scott and I both thought the environment made the race truly unique - and fun.
Next race - Hot Chocolate 5K!