Way back in September, a group of overwhelmed and stressed out U of L Education students were sitting around the Curr Lab (The Ed part of the Library) talking about de-stressing techniques. Two of us had run our first half marathons that summer and were talking about needing a race to motivate us to train. Hence, the great idea to get a group of Ed students to run in this year’s Santa Shuffle hosted by Running Room and the Salvation Army.

I carefully wrote out a training plan in my agenda to help speed up my mile time for a potential PR and had the best of intentions. Of course, student teaching was more overwhelming than I thought and that training plan was completely ignored with the exception of a long run once a week over the weekend.

But today was a great Southern Alberta day for a run. It was +3C and windy. There weren’t as many runners this year as last but off we went.

I started off fast, I knew I was going faster than normal but I didn’t think it was too bad. But when I looked down and saw 8:14 min/mile had to rein it in. Pulling back to 9:30 and told myself I would not slow down to less than 10 min/mile  for the first half.

I felt great for the first two miles,  slowing a bit after 1.5 but not much. As I ran I thought about how I was in better shape than I thought, and then the third mile hit- hard.  Slowing way down to a 12 min/mile, I crossed the finish line in 33:46 for an average of a 10:35 min/mile pace. Yeah! I’m getting faster!

I love this race because it’s so low key and yet everyone gets a medal, including kids in strollers which is a nice touch.

We hung around after the race to hear the winners but apparently they gave them medals as they crossed the finish line and left it at that. What I forgot about was the random raffle!

They drew names for Running Room gift cards and three of the five in our group were called in a row! I yelled out “What about Rachel? I organized our group!” They called more names, then Cat was drawn. She announced it was the last name to be drawn and I started chanting “Rachel! Rachel! Rachel!” And what do you know? It was me! Ha ha ha ha ha! A $25 gift card to the Running Room! And I know exactly what I’m going to get- a new portable water bottle because Apollo chewed mine up this summer.

We were all winners!It was such a fun race and it was good to swap some student teaching stories with my fellow Ed students. We only have two weeks left in this semester. Crazy!

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