Thursday, September 6, 2012

Runner's High

Dingle and I both agree that once you pass the 5K mark in your running regime you are...a runner. That is to say that most people who don't run with some regularity can't go out on a whim and run much further than 3 miles. Is that just something we tell ourselves? It is a distinct possibility.

A few weeks ago while I was working towards completing my first 5K race in over a decade I would have said that a 5K was my limit. All summer long it didn't seem to matter how frequently I ran or how hard I pushed, the farthest I could run without wanting to die was 3.1 miles and my average pace was always 10:40 (to the second).

Unlike last year I was not nervous about the race for the entire week leading up to it. I wasn't actually all that nervous until we got in the car to head over to the high school. As soon as we backed out of the driveway I said to Matt, "Why are we doing this?".  The weather that week had been pretty hot and humid, I was less than excited to run the very exposed course in the beating down sun. As luck would have it the clouds rolled in right around race time, thank goodness!

Sights set on the finish line! 
Jen and I ran with two fellow SHS class of '99ers. The other two ladies are far more proficient runners and God love them, jogged along beside us encouraging us all the way. Somewhere around the 2 mile mark I became intensely bored and completely lost my focus. All I could think about was how tired I was becoming and how far we still were from the finish. In those minutes, which seemed like an eternity, I fell back from the pack a little bit. I knew that no matter what I wasn't going to walk, but at that point I didn't care if I slowed down. Our cheerleaders pulled back with me and distracted me just enough to push me up the last hill (where I walked last year). At that point the rest of the course is downhill, which I think is almost harder to run when you are tired but I didn't care...I was almost home! My legs felt like mush but I had the biggest smile on my face as I passed my family near the finish line. I may have been a bit delirious but I swear I saw Micheal Phelps holding a giant sign that read, "Will you marry me?"  Sorry Micheal, I'm taken.

My official time: 32:06! Holy WOW!

Looking very tired and sweaty next to my handsome husband and gorgeous sister in law. 
Okay, so I could kick myself all day long for those pesky 6 seconds but all in all I was pretty thrilled with my time. I could not have done it without my fantastic running buddies who really did push me to this summer's personal best.

After the race I gave myself permission to take a few days off, and then I got sick and ended up taking a few more. I was starting to think that I had lost my drive upon hitting my goal, and that maybe I had maxed out my potential. After 7 days off I eased back into a few short, slow jogs. Since then I have had a few great runs including my first sub 9 minute mile in over a decade, another 3.1 miles in under 33 minutes, and yesterday a 2 mile run in under 20 minutes! With the cooler weather I am feeling stronger and am definitely getting faster.

So what is next? I am working to increase my distance. I don't know if 5 miles is attainable but it is definitely something to shoot for. Matt and I are going to register for at least one more 5K together this fall. We are also doing Urban Dare together in celebration of his 30th birthday (I know he is a baby!).  It should be fun, as long as we don't kill each other!

#10 - Done!

1 comment:

  1. There is always the 4-mile november run in Central Park! Since hurting my knee last week, i've tried so hard to run/walk to keep up but every time i take a few days and go back, it's just bothersome. Going to PT today- aka Mom's house. I'm glad your back in the swing of things, and you are totally amazing! I love you.