As you may recal, I participated last year as a walker (and a biker… see this post), but this year I signed up to run!
I knew I was going to run the race for a while, but I haven’t been training AT ALL. In fact, I haven’t been doing much of anything for the last 4 or 5 weeks, so I was VERY concerned about my fitness level. I managed to get 3 runs in last week, so I knew I wouldn’t DIE… but that’s about it.
The race was good… not too hot ( a blessing for August) and there were lots of people there I knew. I was a little intimidated by the small number of runners, though. The other races I’ve done have been MUCH larger, and I was afraid I might come in last.
By the time the race started, I felt GREAT. I told myself to stay slow, run my own race and just to finish. I started off pretty strong. I reasoned with myself that if I could keep the “pack” in my eyesight, I would guarantee that I wouldn’t come in last. About a mile in, the pack had thinned, but there were a few runners who were at or near my pace.
There was one woman who was doing a run/walk method. It quickly became clear that she and I were running at about the same pace. After the half-way turn, this started to psyche me out a bit. I was getting winded and hot and my legs actually started to hurt (this never happens), so I decided at about the 2 mile mark that I could probably replicate her walk/run and maintain my current pace. I walked with her for ONE of her walking segments and then started running again.
After a couple of intervals of this, I realized that a) her pace was actually a lot FASTER than mine and b) the start-stop wasn’t working for me. Plus, there was NO WAY I was going to have my friends see me WALK at the end… so I finished strong. And you know what? My overall time was almost a MINUTE better than my last 2. Yeah!
I’ve been bitten by the running bug again… Some things I learned:
- I really need to learn to start off slowly. My first mile was WAAYYY too fast to maintain for the entire run. MUST.LEARN.PACING.
- As much as I loved supporting this cause, I need to look for courses that are more interesting. Out-and-back on a country road was pretty BO-ring.
- It really does help having people at the finish line cheering you on. This was the first time I actually KNEW the people cheering and it was a big help.
- I need cuter running clothes (see below)