Sunday, October 16, 2011
The last few years I've been a "runner". I say it with quotes because I'm an occasional runner. The last 3 years, I usually run a couple times over the summer and fall. I've also entered the New Haven Road Race, a 5k, on Labor day for the the past 3 years. Every year I do worse than the previous year.
This year I decided to start being a little more serious with the running. And my boyfriend decided that he wanted to start running too. He almost immediately was a faster runner than I which was sort of frustrating, but I'm glad for him too. This summer I ran at least 3 times a week, about 2.5 to 4 miles depending on where I went. When the New Haven road race came around this year, I thought "Surely I'll beat my previous times" and I thought I would be running just under a 12 minute pace. That was my goal, but unfortunately I ran slower than previous years, despite all of the training that I had put in over the summer. I think my pace was just over 13 minutes. It sucks when you work so hard towards something and fall flat on your face.
I ran maybe 2 or 3 times in the week after the race and then took a break for almost a month. I was frustrated with running and I thought "Well, maybe I'm not cut out to be a runner". I had already committed to do 2 more races this year, one being today and another in a week. So, about 2 weeks ago I started running again and I couldn't believe it. The first run in over a month, I beat my personal best time by more than a minute! It felt good, but I figured it was just a fluke. I continued running, taking a break on Saturday to prepare for the race today.
I wasn't expecting much at the race today, I just figured that I would do my best and that was it. The race started at a park with a great ocean view and lighthouse, but man was it cold and windy this morning! It was a nice small race, a little over 50 people. While I was running, I felt pretty good, only stopping once to attempt to drink some water. I did have some wardrobe malfunctions - constant wedgie, shirt coming up and pant falling down. Not very pretty :P But I kept running. In the last mile, I passed 3 people. In the last 0.5 mile, I encountered a moderate uphill and really strong winds coming straight in my face. I fought through it, slowed my pace slightly, but kept running. Once I crested the hill, the winds died down a bit and I could see the finish line. The time on the clock was just under 35 minutes. I couldn't believe it! I knew that if I came in under 36 minutes, I would be under a 12 minute pace. I was so ecstatic, I sprinted past 2 more people through the finish line, people cheering my on. I walk just past everyone, sank to my knees and cried. I cried because I accomplished something that I thought would never be possible for me. Not only did I meet my goal, but I exceeded it. When the official times were posted, I found that I ran a 10:14 pace. Today is awesome!!