Every now and then, we all have moments where we need to be reminded of why we love running so much. For me, running with friends, running on trails, running with my hubby, and crossing the finish line all fire me up and remind me of why running is so, so great.
I signed up for the Buckeye Half Marathon with the race goal of finishing with a smile on my face and renewed passion for the sport. I woke up for the race yesterday feeling anxious, but ready to rock and roll! I got to the race about an hour before the start to pick up my packet and get ready to go. It was a chilly, windy, and misty morning, so I left a little later than originally planned because I had no desire to stand out in the elements! I loved the easy-going, positive atmosphere as I zipped in and out to pick up my packet before heading to the start line.
My race-day plan was to go at a comfortable pace. I figured I would run just under 10 minute miles, my happy pace, but something sparked within me and I moved from the 2:10 pace group forward to the 2:00 pace group. I figured I’d hang on to that pace until I crashed and burned, and just walk/run the rest of the way. I was out for a fun-run, right?
The starting whistle blew and I settled into a comfortable pace. I wasn’t wearing a watch, so I had no idea what that pace was at the time. All I knew was I was approaching the 1:55 group. I ran with the 1:55 group for miles 2-5 and was feeling good, so I slowly began to speed up. I zoned out until mile 9 when I started to really feel the speed in my legs. My breathing and heart rate were comfortable though, so I made the decision to put mental game face on and push through unless my body said “enough.” I flipped on a different playlist and began focusing on all of the blessings and life lessons that accompany running. It’s hard to be negative with a positive attitude (I kept telling myself through gritted teeth ) I crossed the finish line with tears in my eyes and a smile on my face at 1:52:48, a MUCH faster time than I had expected.
I didn’t take any fuel or water during the run (my stomach wasn’t feeling up to it, and I went into the race well hydrated, so I wasn’t too concerned), so I grabbed a few cups of water to sip on while I stretched and reflected on the race. My reflections/random thoughts included things like:
- Did that really just happen? What was that pace?!
- I’m proud of myself for that…I never would have been that gutsy a couple of years ago to go so fast without training for it.
- Wow – I am so lucky to live here and get to run here. It is so beautiful.
- What a great race! This seems like a fun group…maybe I should join the running club?
- OUCH moving hurts. I am so going to pay for this tomorrow.
- I want a doughnut. And brownies. And coffee.
If I were to sum up yesterday’s run in one thought, it would be that running has taught me that you can accomplish so much more than you ever thought possible. And, I think I accomplished my goal of reviving the running bug All I want to do is get outside, run, and race again. Then, I stand up and realize that I can barely walk
If you’re a runner/cyclist/walker/etc., what race or event has been most meaningful to you and why?
What is your favorite dessert?
Do you belong to a group/club in your community?