I kicked off my fall racing season on Saturday with the Shelby Bottoms Boogie 15K. This is the third year in a row that I ran this race, and it is still one of my local favorites.
Last year I ran a PR for the 15K distance in around 1:17 and placed in my age group. This year? Well, I'm definitely not in as good of shape as I was last year. And there's this little race called the Chicago Marathon coming up on Sunday. So I figured that it'd be wise to just run it for fun as a last long-ish run for the marathon.
I didn't wear my watch so that I could force myself to run by feel. I didn't want to push it. I listened to my music and made sure to keep a steady pace. I allowed myself to pick it up a bit in the last two miles, but I still didn't really push.
There were a few moments when I questioned why I paid money when I wasn't really racing, but I knew that I liked this event and that chances were good I wouldn't have run at all if I hadn't signed up.
I finished in 1:23:45, which ended up being exactly a 9:00 average pace. I felt really good, and I was glad that I ran faster than I thought I was running. I could have sworn I was running more of an average 10:00 pace.
Then, I promptly went to brunch with friends and ate biscuits and gravy with a side of cheese grits.
Not even kidding.