There are both pros and cons of only have Sunday off and working six days a week. I was very productive this Sunday though with a half marathon and celebrating my birthday (yes, still).
The Erie Half Marathon happens annually right around my birthday. The first time I ran the race, it was actually on my birthday which made my first half marathon a very special occasion and, when I’m in town, I look forward to running it every year since. Presque Isle is the ideal location for a half marathon as it’s relatively flat, with only one pseudo hill, and being able to watch the sun rise. The scenery gets a little repetitive but it also makes you notice areas of the park that you don’t notice all the time. For example, I never have paid much attention to the lagoons and hadn’t seen the lighthouse since elementary school, despite running my both locations multiple times.
I didn’t really train for this race but that isn’t news by any means. I’ve been having a lot of issues with my IT band and hadn’t given the time to complete the proper training. I also have a mindset where I have convinced myself that finishing is just as good as setting a new personal best. I’ve had this mindset for a few years and it has worked well when I’ve been injured. However, it also allows me to not push myself because I know that I’ll be content no matter what. I’m 99% sure that this needs to change so that I can accomplish my goal of running a full marathon and finishing with a decent time.
Anyways, the first few miles went well other than I didn’t hydrate properly the night before. A complete rookie mistake but life often gets in a way and, in this instance, it did once again. My leg began bothering me around mile 5 and continued throughout the last 8.1 miles. It hurt more when I walked than when I ran, so I attempted to keep running, but it was still a complete struggle because my muscles were so tight and the pain so intense. At one point I had convinced myself that an ER trip would be replacing my plans for that afternoon between my right leg and left foot. While I stayed on the struggle for the rest of the race, I was able to get inspired by other runners around me and also the spectators that drove their car multiple times in order to see the runners they knew. I saw one of my staff at the beginning of the race, and he helped cheer me on at the end with our ‘Wednesday’ cheer. I cannot explain the excitement I felt when I saw him at the end and it was awesome that he was there. Also, he got 4th place on Sunday!
I was able to finish with a decent time, not my best but not my worst either, and I also spoke with several interesting runners. Have I mentioned my love of the running community?! They are the most friendly folks that I’ve ever met. I then celebrated my half marathon finish and birthday with a trip to the North Country Brewery in Slippery Rock with two of my closest friends.
All in all, a great Sunday. It was back to the work grind this morning and another interesting day at work. There’s always something going on when you work at a youth program in the inner city. If you’re an Erie local, watch WICU’s 6 p.m..m newscast on Wednesday!