A few weeks ago, 1500 Lethbridge/Southern Alberta runners excitedly gathered for the first Moonlight Run since the pandemic. I’ve run in the Moonlight Run several years in the past and was super excited to get back to in-person racing. Joining me was my go-to running pal Cat and new runner Hayley.
High Energy All Around
The Moonlight Run always has a lot of energy but this year was beyond anything else. There were school groups, elementary age kids, families, couples, and everything in between. Everyone was there with smiles on their faces eager to get to it.
We were also fortunate that we had impeccable weather! The weather is always a crapshoot in this March run, but this year it was warm and wind free, the perfect combination.
Cat and Hayley ran the 6k and I was signed up for the 10k (6 miles) as it is where I was at in my training plan for mileage.
Slow and Steady
I took off feeling pretty good. I love running downhill because I lean forward and let gravity do the work for me. I passed a good number of people who were leaning back and trying to maintain a steady pace knowing they would likely catch me at the bottom of the hill.
But once I hit the bottom of the hill and was back to flat ground my legs started to get heavy. I definitely ran better than I would have on my own, but as my legs tightened, I slowed up and began getting passed- a lot.
In my nervousness, I tied my Mizuno Wave Sky’s too tight. The bottom of my left foot started to go numb. I didn’t want to stop to adjust it so I ran though it for as long as I could. I finally had to stop when the whole foot was numb and take off my shoe and retie my laces.
During the entire 6 miles, I felt ok and plodded along at a steady 12-minute mile. My second wind kicked in at 4.5 miles in and I picked up the pace feeling good. But you know what starts at mile 5? That HUGE coulee hill up from Indian Battle Park. Every Moonlight Runner knows that hill! It’s a mile long and it’s at the end of the race. I power walked as hard as I could up that hill cursing myself for doing this again. Ha ha!
I finally finished at 1:15, so an average of 12:03/mile which I’m pretty happy with considering that hill.
The Running Bug
The best part of the run was that my girlfriend Hayley placed 5th in her category. This was her first run ever and she was so nervous leading up to it. And now she has the running bug. She’s researching local races to sign up for.
That’s why the Moonlight Run is so great! Yes, that hill at the end is a killer, but it’s such a fun event that people keep coming back for more.
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