Today I ran the Heart and Sole 10K. It’s a yearly race that if I am in town I like to run. While I run shorter distances, I prefer the longer ones really (half-marathon/marathon). In a longer distance race you start out slower and give yourself more leeway to walk every now and then and just try to maintain a good pace (read:” not fast pace”) for a long distance. Shorter distances like 5K’s and 10K’s always put a bit more pressure on a person to run the entire race fast. At least it does to me.
Hubby and I got to the start line just before the gun went off. The first part is downhill so about halfway down I left hubby who was running with one of our friends and I took off a bit ahead of them. (Hubby is running for the first time this year and while he walked this race last year, he was going to run it today and was planning to run slower than me.) At mile 1 I was running way too fast if I wanted to keep from dying, so I slowed myself down a little. But right after mile two I was still faster in this race than I had ever been, so I slowed myself down again. I remembered the Women’s Run earlier this year and how absolutely wasted I was at mile 4.5 and this race was a lot longer. It was also at mile 2 that I realized I needed to distract myself as I just kept thinking “this is so hard.” So while plugging away I considered why I race – especially since many times I don’t enjoy it.
20 Reasons Why I Race (even if I don’t enjoy it):
1. Each time I stand at the start I am conquering a fear
2. Each time I cross the finish line I feel like I have really accomplished something
3. It makes me train
4. It makes me run hard
5. I am running with people striving to do something difficult together
6. It is inspiring
7. I love doing something at 56 that others think is kind of crazy
8. It gets me out of the house and mingling with other people
9. Getting through the tough parts of a race makes me feel good all day
10. Because I have legs that work
11. Running a race for a good cause is good for a community
12. I like the shirts
13. I see new parts of my town, my state, my country
14. I get to see the results of working hard on my morning runs
15. To know I am not crazy, all these people around me are doing the same thing I am
16. To be impressed with the size, age, shape, and determination of the people that pass me
17. Lazy people don’t run races – I don’t want to be known as lazy
18. I don’t have to wear make-up
19. I like the race numbers – I have all my race numbers since 2002
20. It motivates me to run better
These are some of the reasons I pondered at mile 3 and 4. At mile 5 I was significantly slower and even had to take two short 10 second walks. But I managed to finish in 1:01:50. That is nearly a minute faster than my fastest time. 3rd in my age group, not bad for someone who was content to complete it in 1:06 (last year’s time).
Oh and note to self at mile 4.2 “must begin training at race pace.”
Good luck to all the other racers/runners this weekend!