On My 2nd Moonlight Run
I finally beat me. No, I didn’t become embroiled in some weird Hollywood-inspired dreamscape where I was fighting my clone/long-lost identical twin sister. It was something crazier than that:
This past Saturday I ran my second 6K Moonlight Run.
Some of you might remember how I “loved” my first foray into this event last year. (If not, I share some of my misery here.) As such I spent most of the day on Friday and race day wondering how I had talked myself into taking on the challenge once again. Not only had my running schedule been, to be generous, slightly sporadic since last October, I had also developed a case of shin splints that left me wondering if I had best withdraw from the race altogether. Prayer, stretching, and some cooling gel I will never-ever-never use around my cat ever again took care of the shin splints, but I was bracing myself to be thrashed by all I was racing with (aside from my brother-in-law who rightly dubbed the post-race get-together his victory party). My younger sister’s kids are fairly active, thanks to family hikes and a mom who does not let them be perpetual couch potatoes. Said sister is regularly out walking their dog in the coulees. My other niece played rugby in high school and, to my knowledge, has kept active since graduation last June.
In other words, I was ready to lose.
So I armed myself with a rather fantastic playlist, including such running tune favourites as Say It Like You Mean It, All the Strange Strange Creatures, and the race day addition of Come With Me Now. I had a small flashlight, a sweet skullcap borrowed from my hubby to keep my noggin warm, and a plan to at least match my time from last year.
Last year I ran the puddle-and-ice infested course in 45:28.20, placing 807th overall with a pace of 7:53.
This year the course was practically bone dry, which helped immensely. As such, I ran the course in 41:26.35, placing 587th overall with a pace of 7:11.
You guys! I shaved almost four minutes off my time from last year!!
I think I should retire from this race. Seriously – why not quit while I’m ahead? Because I’m pretty sure my younger sister is going to make sure she beats me next year. And one never knows what will happen over the course of a year – any myriad of things could happen that could keep any of us from giving the race our best or from entering it in the first place.
Now before I veer too deeply into maudlin territory, I want to reiterate to the first sentence of this piece:
I beat me.
I learned some lessons from last year (bring a flashlight, don’t dress too warmly, be prepared for wacky conditions/fellow racers). I aimed to keep a steady pace. I hoped to not end up with really bad shin splints. And, more than wanting to beat my sister just this once (she excels in a lot, y’all – I often feel like I don’t measure up well to either of my siblings to be frank), I wanted to best my own time. And I did just that.
I hope that becomes more of my goal not just in terms of running, but in other areas of life as well – to beat my personal bests instead of the bests of another.
Some food for thought as I hobble around a few days later with stiff muscles. (Because I have yet to learn to fully and properly stretch post-race, it seems.)