This weekend I ran my first 8K - actually my first non 5K race. I had originally set a 55 minute goal for myself, hoping to finish with an 11 minute mile pace. Once I got to looking at my first 5K time, I realized I finished it with 10:30 pace. I'd only been running for a couple of months - those entire two months spend doing the couch to 5K program.
Sure, this was a longer race, but I've also come a long way in my training from there. I decided to set my "I'll be happy with" goal at 55 minutes, but also chose to set a more ambitious goal for myself. My "I'd poop my pants" goal was 52 minutes.
I felt slow and sluggish starting off the race. I wasn't a mid-packer as I usually aim for, but was one of the slower people competing. I couldn't see anyone in front of me (keep in mind that in Tennessee, even a flat course really isn't flat) and felt like there were only a couple people behind me.
I started getting down on myself - made worse by the traffic cop who made ME stop at a red light to let traffic out. I was humiliated - was I really running slow enough that the cop assumed that my running time didn't matter? I'd say I had to jog in pace for a least 15 seconds waiting on this guy to finally let me through.
Just a little piece down the road was the 1 mile mark. I feared being told I was at a 12 minute mile, so I was pleasnetly surprised to be told my first mile had been 10:30.
Another annoyance on the first part of the race (it was an out and back) was the run/walker that was using me as her pace marker. Every few minutes I'd hear her clomping behind me running up a piece ahead of me, only to stop and walk once she passed me.
Was I really the "dear god don't let this girl beat me" girl???
After about two miles, she couldn't keep up with me any more, and after the 2.5 mile turn around point, I didn't see her again. I did, however, chat a bit with some other runners who were very friendly and encouraging. We chatted for about a half mile before they picked up their pace for the finish.
The "back" portion for the most part was uneventful until I made my way back my nemisis - the traffic cop. As I headed toward him, I noticed him stopping the traffic that was traveling parallel to me and motioning on the traffic perpendicular to me. I threw my hands up in a "WTF" fashion...okay so maybe I really did say WTF, but not loud enough for him to hear.
Thankfully this time I only had to slow down, not stop completely for the tourons (tourist + moron) to get on their merry way.
In contrast, as I headed off the main road and onto the driveway of the school for the last 0.5 mile of the race, the most encouraging cop in the world was station on the corner. "You're doing great - keep it up!"
Thinking that the finish line was closer, I kicked it into high gear. Then I rounded another corner only to see that it was farther than I realized. I had promised myself I'd leave it all out there, so I kept pushing. "Just to the police car" I told myself.
But once I got to the police car I realized I still had about 100 feet to go. My running buddy met me at the car (she's quicker than me) and started encouraging me from the sidelines. "You've already met your goal - You can breath when you cross the finish line!"
I finished in 53:20 - half way between my satisfied goal and my thrilled goal. And if not for that stupid cop probably even closer to my thrilled goal.
All in all, I was a back-packer. 52 out of 72 and 10 of 12 in my age group. But I posted a good (for me) time.
In other news, I felt like Christie this morning. Okay maybe not really. Jay had to be up early this morning so I decided to get an unscheduled workout in. I decided to swim, something I rarely do because I suck at it.
So what made me think of our resident Tri Goddess? Not only was I swimming - I had a mantra that I kept repeating.
The lifeguard on duty is also a swim instructor and she was giving me quick tips on how to breathe. Yeah its that bad.
So as I swam (I managed to do 10 laps in 30 minutes - including the breaks in between for pointers and to catch my breath)I said my mantra.
You don't suck.
You will get better.
The result? She could see (and I could feel) a difference from the beginning of my swim and my last couple of laps.
So now instead of dreading swims on my training plan (and erasing them to replace them with something else) I'm adding in an exercise this week - swimming Thursday morning. Is it stalking if someone tells you their work schedule and you make your plans around it?