This is my 5th year doing the North Myrtle Beach Winter Run, but this year instead of the 5k, I opted for the 15k. I specifically remember last year feeling like the people who chose to run 9.3 miles were probably at least twice as crazy (if not 3 times!) but then again, last year this time I was 8 weeks postpardum. I really can’t believe how fast time flies, another year already?
I admit, I was a little nervous, this was my first 15k. In the wise words of my dear friend Sarah, “Hey you will PR today!” – that was like music to my ears! She was right, my first 15k means my best 15k time…But I was nervous for 2 reasons, 1 – I haven’t exactly been training for the Half I have next weekend. Tsk Tsk…I know. 2 – I didn’t want to hurt myself before the Tink 1/2…. Since I haven’t run more than 5 miles since my last Half in October, all I could think about was twisting, rolling or pulling something major. That and I guess you can say, I kinda suck at the long run. I know, I know, I need to train more, I need to figure out the whole hydration and nutrition thing, I am definitely not the best role model for distance running, or maybe any running… Maybe I will pledge to try harder, and really work on a training plan or at least the sticking to it part.
I was pretty excited to see that Mother Nature was going to take it easy on us this year. Usually it is freezing or raining, or worse – both! This year, it was overcast, breezy and about 60 degrees! I almost didn’t know what to do…run with the jacket or without? Where would I put my gummy lifesavers? I can’t wear my arm sleeve for my iPod, in case the jacket has to come off… see I don’t have these issues with a 5k!
I figured it all out, iPod is clipped to my sports bra, gummies are in my jacket pocket, and I will just tie it around my waist when I was getting too warm. My attire for today was driven by my latest Schwaggle purchase from PRO Compression – I had to choose between purple and lime green, decisions, decisions… Lime it was! I love these socks, there is something about running in compression socks… My calves didn’t cramp or feel tired…love, love, love.
Now, lets talk hills (which again, I am in Myrtle Beach, so it’s not like Mt. Everest) – I wasn’t expecting any change in elevation but at 1.3 miles in and again at 4.5 miles, I was shuffling up hills. It was crazy because even with hills, I felt pretty friggen awesome. I was so worried that I would crap the bed halfway in but I didn’t – I just kept telling myself, you are half way there, no problem, its just 3 more miles, you are doing great, you got this… When I hit Ocean Blvd I was greeted with what felt like tropical storm force winds. At first the run was breezy but nothing to severe. As if the last 1.5 miles wasn’t going to be challenging enough, here are the headwinds from hell. YAY! My time took a nose dive, but I just had to keep pushing through it… I remember when I ran my first half back in October and I was struggling so bad around 8 miles; my shoes, my foot, my spirits were just not 100%. I honestly think this race has helped me realize that I can do this, and it’s not as hard as it was before, it can only get better from here.