Going in, I figured we’d file this one under “don’t try this at home.”
The bar Christmas party went until 2 on Friday night, and by the time I drove home, it was well after 2:30. The race was in 6 hours, and I needed to be up by 7 in order to be at the start on time.
When the alarm went off, it propelled me out of bed to the point where I was on autopilot. I couldn’t find my shoes, my Garmin, my iPod, or my workout clothes. All of these were exactly where I’d left them on Friday night, but for some reason, my brain just wasn’t seeing the obvious. All the while, the cats were screaming for breakfast.
Eventually, I got my stuff together and plodded over to the park for the start. Coffee awaited, and it was a welcome addition to the morning. I don’t like to eat before races, but this time I made an exception because a) it was the nectar of the gods, and b) it was warm. Warm was important…it was 32 degrees at the start.
With all that behind me, I wasn’t expecting a good race. I hadn’t really run more than a mile since the marathon, and this was five of them in a row. Plus a friend of mine recently had his worst half-marathon time. I didn’t know if that was contagious or anything, but since he actually trained, and I hadn’t, I had to think it wasn’t a good thing.
And then, I blew the damn thing out of the water. I finished the first mile in around 11:15, and the times just kept getting better and better. When I came over the finish line at just under 55 minutes, it was officially my best 5 mile time ever.
No, I don’t know where it came from. Yes, I’m paying the price this morning. Still, I love how my body went on autopilot and cooperated the way I needed it to. I don’t think I’ll be running under these conditions again, but it’s nice to know that I don’t have to shy away from events the night before races.