To anyone who would listen, I've been going on and on all weekend about what an amazing experience this year's River Bank Run was. As you may know, this year was my third year running the 25K (15.5 miles, yo!) and it was by far my best race yet. I think that's why I've been so psyched about it!
The weather was drizzly and in the mid 50s when we started and it lightly sprinkled on us here and there throughout the race. Compared to a complete downpour (earlier that morning), or heat and humidity (like we had on Friday) or gusty wind or all of the above, we couldn't have had better weather. I was joking about why they call it River Bank Run before the race saying "you think it's just because you get to run along the Grand River, but it's actually because you become one with the river by getting rained on the whole time." Of the three years I've run, the weather on Saturday wasn't even a factor.
I was literally smiling along the course, singing along so some of my tunes and pointing out different things that were so cool about the race. At one point - somewhere between the 11 and 12 mile markers I turned to my running buddy A and said, "You know what's cool about running today? It's sort of like last week's run since it's part of the course that we run all the time, but we actually get a medal for running it today!" I love getting the finisher medals for completing a race like RBR and hadn't thought about it at all until that moment.
We saw some of our running buddies along the course, which is always cool! Motivator Man was out cheering runners along at different points in the course. We saw him after the race and I thanked him for being out there, that he always seemed to show up in just the right spots to give me some extra motivation. The crowd at RBR is fantastic and completely helps keep you going the full distance.
The run itself was so enjoyable. We were keeping pretty close to 10 minute miles up until the end when we got a little slower, but it was such a steady and solid pace that I never felt tired. I even had some extra energy to kick in for a solid finish. And finish I did! I came in at 2:41:30, which is right around where I predicted I'd be. I'm super happy about that! I'm also happy to report that I've gotten faster each time I've run RBR. Last year was 2:43:36 and my first year was 2:45:44! Can't wait to come in under 2:40 next year! Progress!! One of our friends shaved 19 minutes of his time from last year. Dare to dream!!
I love running so much. I hope everyone has something that they enjoy as much as I enjoy running. It's such a positive part of my life, I'm super grateful for every day that I can lace up my shoes and hit the road for a run. Race days are icing on the cake with friends, family and the whole running community there for the fun!
Another reason to love running a 25K is that you have totally earned the right to eat anything you want for the rest of the day (or weekend in my case!) I had to have my standard post-race pancakes and scrambled eggs from Real Food Cafe. I had a giant pretzel at the movies and ice cream later on on Saturday. It was all marvelous!