Saturday, May 21, 2011

Personal Best

I love racing. I'm not a fast runner and I don't compete with anyone other than myself but the energy I get from a race is addicting. I've been participating in local races for almost a year. My first was a 5K last June. Since then I've ran a total of eight 5K's, two 10K's, a four miler and one half marathon. Today I ran number eight. My excitement for today's race has been building over the last few days. I've been feeling really good and yesterday I was sure I was going to run a personal best today. My goal was to finish the race in 35 minutes or less. My husband, being the coach that he is, challenged me to run it in 34 minutes. I decided to really push for my goal this time. I figured out my goal pace and when I need to hit each mile. I wrote those times on my hand so I could see if I was on pace. I had everything planned out. When the horn blow for the start of the race I felt confident and ready to go. The run was harder than I had anticipated. I stretched before the race but I didn't really warm up. That was stupid. The first half mile was really hard and I felt like crap. An other mistake I made was lining up for the start closer to the start line than I normally do. I like to line up in the back so I don't feel the push to start out too fast but that's exactly what happened today. In addition to not warming up and starting out too fast, the first half mile and last 1.1 mile were on the levee which is a loose gravel surface. I haven't ran on the levee in years and the feeling of pebbles moving under my feet kept me from running as fast as I wanted to. Even with all of these setbacks I managed to enjoy the race and I found my groove just over a mile in. I hit all of the mile markers ahead of schedule and that gave me the boast I needed to keep up my pace. I love the feeling I get when I start to run all out. my legs stretch out far in from and behind me and my arms start to pump smoothly. It feels like stretching after being in the car for a long time. Good and refreshing. Back on the levee, with just over a mile left till the finish, I started to get a camp in my side. I walked a little more than the 30 second split that was my race plan to slow my breathing. I could see the tent for the race workers at the finish and my family waiting for me up ahead. I ran, ignoring the cramp in my side and my intense thirst (I chose not to run with my water this time). My kids ran me in next to the course (until my son fell knee deep in a whole) and my husband was at the finish taking pictures. When I crossed the finish and checked my watch I was shocked to see that I had killed my goal and my husband's challenge. My finial time was 33:05, my fasted race ever! Makes me wounder what it could have been if I hadn't made the mistakes I did in the start of the race. After the race I was on cloud nine. What makes my victory even more sweet was the fact the my husband was there to be apart of it. Because of his work schedule he rarely get to come out and cheer me on. The first race he came to was my worst race time ever. It makes me very happy that he could be there for my best race time to date.

No comments: