The Securian Winter Run was a lot of fun and a good challenge. While the course wasn’t quite regulation for a half marathon, it was an experience I think I may try again next year. I ran the first half alone–how I usually run. But the second half, I ran with the pace group leader, and we chatted ’til the end, and finished the race with a hug–all of which were firsts for me.
The benefits of running with a pace group are far greater than I’d ever imagined. They not only provide you with company, but they are a source of constant feedback on your speed, allowing yourself to run a little harder than you did last time. You are never left guessing how well you might be doing, because you can see the little balloon with your pace time on it the entire run. That’s bubble number one. Bubble number two is the dime sized blister I got right beneath my right big toe. Also a first for me in a race. It is a good match for the blood blister and the toe nail that is half way off as well. All firsts that evidently come with running long distances. Bubble number three, however, is a usual customer in my life experience. As with many running experiences in public, there was a constant violation of my personal space. Each time I am out running where others are also running, it forces renegotiation of how I manage my bubble and its constant breaching. I always hope there will be a day that I can just accept it for what it is, but for now, I still curse, under my breath, every violator of what is closest and most dear to me.