There are lots of reasons to sign up for a race. Some people like the idea of running through certain cities, while others do it for the experience. The majority of time I race for one thing - a new PR. However, today was the the second time this year (the first being the Boson Marathon) where I lined up at the start of a race knowing that the main goal was to run with a friend.
I signed up for the Fox Valley Half Marathon in December, with the intention that it would be my goal race of the year. I had such high hopes, and the idea of a new PR danced around frequently in my head. Then I got sick. I had a fever for a few days, a nasty cough and cold and couldn't breathe well. I didn't run until Thursday, when 5 miles felt like a marathon, and my 9:16 overall average felt like a dead out sprint. Friday I decided that I would need to adjust my goals. I would run the race with my two friends, helping them to reach their goal of a sub 2-hour half marathon, rather than running this race for myself.
Sunday morning rolled around and I felt no pressure whatsoever. The weather was nice and cool, made for PRing. I lined up with my friends and our 13.1 mile journey through the western suburbs began. I had the most fun I have ever had in a race before, and truly did not feel like I was actually in a race. We ended up running a 1:57, which averaged out to a 9:00/mile pace. In the end, I got my medal but more importantly, my friends got their PR. I'm happy I could help them achieve this goal.
Life is funny. I thought that this race was going to be awesome all spring and summer. I looked forward to it with such great anticipation, but it was not meant to be. Surprisingly, I am ok with that. Because just like a lot of other runners, the first thing I did when I got home from the race was sign up for another half marathon in November. PR's can happen at any race, but helping a friend can't. I am glad I could help them out today.