I heard about Run for the Animals from a friend (one of my managers at B&N) who volunteers at the shelter. She was at the race, though as a volunteer again, and introduced me to another worker who would be running for her second time. K. was lovely; she works mainly with the kitties at the shelter. As we set out, she assured me that I was not obligated to keep pace with her as she's a slow runner. No slower than me, as it turns out, since we ran the entire course together. I kept her from slowing to a walk; she kept me going on the hills and let me know what was coming up next.
We lucked out with the weather. It was in the low 40s when we started, but the sun was shining and there was only a bit of a breeze. The course itself was quite pretty, winding through (and down and up - holy CRAP so much up!) back roads that were shut down to traffic for the morning. The final stretch was blessedly downhill. Last 150 yards I ran full out. Then I vomited. Okay, not true, but I did feel ill for a minute or so.
My time wasn't great (41:30ish for 4.34 miles), but speed wasn't my goal. I wanted to finish the entire course without walking. Done.
Still don't love running, but I'm already looking forward to the next race. And now that I know I can do it, I never need to run further than 7k. Ever.
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