(so this is me, Kelsey - just two weeks off of the Chicago Marathon! - and Kim)
Dressed in full pirate garb (which included some very heavy gold hoop earrings) and going garmin free was my ticket to a fairly fast and easy-ish race. I've heard some people talking about how much better racing without a garmin is and WOW is that the truth. I mean, I didn't even intend to race this - I just wanted to go for a run and see how it went - but I felt amazing. Without that constant pressure of "OMG HOW FAST AM I GOING RIGHT THIS SECOND???" I was able to just go. I started out with Kim and Simon Escorcia right in front of us and just tried to stick with someone til I got to the finish. There's a little stretch of this course that never feels good and when I got to that point I slowed a little and didn't worry about it. The end felt a tad rough but overall? I didn't really feel like I was racing, more or less just out for a hard run. Hmmmmm, this is something I could get used to! More on this momentarily...
...but first, let's talk about the ridiculously rad loot this race had! I didn't even win (2nd place in 18:08) and for my troubles I GOT AN X BOX KINECT! YEAH! I'm not even 100% on what that is but it sounds awesome! First place got round trip plane tickets from Southwest and third got $180 gift cards to Grease Monkey - that's some damn good stuff! There was also a raffle that had prizes such as Roost gift cards (um, ALWAYS an excellent choice) and iPods and to top it all off, the t-shirts are super cute:
I don't want it to sound like prizes will make or break a race for me (I mean, I had no idea there even were prizes and still fully enjoyed my race) but it is definitely cool to get a little something to take home (a little something that is NOT the same finishers medal everyone else and their children and grandmothers get). The goody bags also had some good coupons, like one for a free cupcake!!
Okay, so about this garmin free idea. At my marathon I got way way way too caught up in my pace and ended up blowing my first half and therefor ruining my second half. So I thought for my next one in Las Vegas (one that I'm picturing be fun and less stressful - despite my serious time goal - anyway) I'd try to do it without a watch of any sort. Now, this makes me a little nervous because, as we all are fully aware, marathons and 5k's are fairly different. So while the 5k may have gone okay, a marathon may be a way different story and I know I'm gonna care tons more about this race than some little local (though relatively competitive) 5k. But I want the same feeling I had today. I want it to be enjoyable. I want it to feel good. So. That's that. Still warming up to the idea but I think it just might work. About 6 weeks out from the next one! Holler at that!