Brent and I decided to run our first race of the year on St. Patrick’s Day! It is hard to get any races in before this time of year in Montana because of our lovely winters. We woke up around 7 am this morning, another lovely thing about racing in March in Montana is that the races don’t start until later in the morning. I slowly got ready as I did not need to be at the buses till 9 am. I was very excited as I normally am on race day while Brent was less ecstatic. He still looked asleep. As we started picking out my green racing gear, we were unsure of what to wear as it was 40 degrees out there, but windy. We finally picked it all out, grabbed my racing gear, and then headed out the door.
We arrived at our parking spot chilled and wondering if we wore enough clothes. I was wearing more than Brent and we thought he would freeze. Oh well, it will just take us a few extra miles to warm up. We chatted with a few people we knew in the crowd as we waited for the buses to pull up. We hopped on a bus and headed for the start of the race. As I was sitting on the bus, I realized I forgot my watch. Kind of a bummer, but I figured it would be nice to run a race “blind” for once. The start was on this nice and private driveway out in the middle of the valley. The wind was blowing hard as we all huddled around the hay barn to try and stay warm in wait of the start.
Finally, the time had come. The race was underway at precisely 10 am. Everyone was excited as well all knew we were about to warm up. We headed out onto the country road and quickly turned south. This ended up being great as the wind was now behind us! My hands were freezing, but within a mile or two they began to warm up. It was finally getting to be a nice temperature as the sun tried to peak out from behind the clouds a few times and the wind had died down once we got closer to the mountains. We were missing the mile markers as we went by so I did not even know how far I had gone. I just thought again how I was just running a blind race.
We finally saw a 4 mile marker as Brent decided that he needed to use the restroom. This was where Brent and I split up. I took off down the road at a slightly faster pace than I had been running with Brent. I secretly wanted to finish before him as I have spent the last several months training for a marathon while he has hardly ran. I tend to run a pretty even pace on my runs, but for some reason I have a hard time doing this with Brent. I guess that is what happens with a running partner. Throughout the next several miles, I kept on trying to pick up my pace just a little bit. I succeeded and ended up having negative splits! While running blind! It was all by feel. This is a very exciting thing for me as it can be hard to pace yourself.
I did not know how fast I was going, but I knew I was feeling good. The wind picked back up again, but luckily I was warm and welcomed it to cool me off. We hit the trail system and I was glad to see if was not too muddy. The trail had dried out since last weekend even with the snow and rain showers we had throughout the week. I was just miles away from the finish pushing hard still not knowing how long I had been running for. I turned the last corner to see the finish and booked it! I saw the clock at about 1:50 something! I was just a few minutes behind my PR time of 1:47:38 and felt great. This makes me wonder if I would have known how I was doing throughout the race if I would have been able to PR again. Oh well, it was a much needed blind race. Good to go back to running how I feel.
I waited at the end of the finish line for Brent as he strolled in just minutes behind me. He looked exhausted. Poor guy. At least he will be ready for the half marathon in Nashville. Overall it was a great race! Although it is called Run to the Pub, Brent and I did not take advantage of our free beers from Pub317. We were just happy to have worn our green and ran! Now I am ready for the marathon to come in April!
We will post the race results after they come in!