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I was nervous about this race only because of the logistics of having to take DART down to the Convention Center and finding the start. I should have known that with 40,000 people running the 5k and 8 mile routes, I'd just have a giant herd of humanity to follow wherever I needed to be going.
It was surprisingly easy, despite the very crowded train, to figure that part out. Also a surprise was when I exited the train platform and who should be right in front of me but my running pal, Rosie! She has beautiful silver hair and is like 8 feet tall, so she's easy to spot in a crowd, but I certainly didn't expect it to be THAT easy. In fact, since she was running with her family, we'd resigned ourselves to likely not finding each other at all and being okay with that.
As it turned out, her family was doing different distances and at different paces, so she found me again at the start and we ran the full race together. What a treat! I think I had yet to run a full race with a friend, so that was a turn of events for which I was genuinely thankful!
As for the running, it was a cold morning, in the mid-30s to start, but we warmed up much more quickly than I expected. I'm not sure what I would have done differently though, other than having a non-runner come with me to take my jacket before the start. Still would have had 20 minutes of standing around in the corral freezing. By the second half of the race, I had my jacket off and my long sleeves pulled up to the elbows.
Once we got rolling and warmed up, we kept about a 10:50 pace most of the way doing 3:1 intervals and ended up with a 10:47 average, which is a PR for me for anything over 5 miles.
Despite the 1100 calories I burned in that race, I definitely didn't go to bed with a deficit. Plenty of delicious food... including pie... most certainly made the run worthwhile. And while I was sore after, none of the nagging pains I'd been dealing with made an appearance. The next day, I felt just fine.
Saturday is my last race of the year *sniff* assuming it even makes. Supposed to be some righteous weather (the wet, frozen kind) coming at the end of the week, so I'm worried that a) the race will be postponed because of a wet trail, b) the streets will be too dangerous to even drive the hour north to the trail, c) see b again, because that really worries me.
But it will most likely be fine and maybe we'll get snowed on a little. Trail running with a dusting of snow sounds kinda magical doesn't it? Get on that, Weather Elves...