Training to Run the Rock
Sorry for the late post. It’s been an eventful and tiring day.
Today is the end of Week 11 of 46. This week I did 8.72 miles in 2.249 hours, for a total of 98.39 miles in 32.06 hours. I’m excited to see a steady drop in my weight, down 1.6 pounds this week for a total loss of 6.8 pounds. Not bad for 11 weeks of work – from entirely sedentary to running a 5K.
This week was all about crossing the finish line. I took it relatively easy – I stayed off my treadmill, opting to work my upper body and spend time at the park instead. I’m glad I did it this way. This morning I was rested and ready to go. My muscles weren’t tired or tight. Most importantly, my anxiety was at a reasonable level. I was calm and relaxed because I knew I had done everything I could to get me to that point.
I got to the race staging area early – or what I thought was early. The place was packed by the time I got there. I was jittery – being in such a large crowd alone, not really knowing what I was doing. I felt very self-conscious. Thankfully the volunteers were great. They were friendly and helpful, and didn’t make me feel stupid when I didn’t know what to do with my timing chip. (For the record, it looped around my laces. It’s bright orange, and will stay on my now retired trainers as a badge of honor.)
I started out at a pretty good pace. I found a good stride pretty early and stuck to it. By sheer coincidence, I ended up walking with a group of young women for most of the race. We leapfrogged each other until mile 2. I slowed, feeling a bit sick, and I never caught back up to them.
I walked a majority of the course, running only to cross streets and the last quarter-mile. I ended up with a time of 44:26. I came in 311th out of 410 runners. I’m so proud of myself I can hardly contain it.
Weeks ago I set a goal of 45 minutes. Over weeks of training, I could never seem to get close so I gave it up as unattainable. It wasn’t until my trip to the park on Wednesday that I thought I might make my goal. With the energy of the crowd, the motivation of the other runners, and watching the timer tick over to 45 minutes as I ran past the 3-mile mark, I made it.
(I didn’t cross the start line when the gun went off; I was at the back of the pack so I crossed a few seconds after the official start. My race time was counted by my timing chip as when I crossed the start line until I crossed the finish line. So, I got to watch the official time clock tick past 45 minutes and still came in at 44:26. No wibbly-wobbly, timey-whimey stuff I promise.)
This doesn’t mean training is over, though. I have a long way to go if I want to make it to White Rock in December. I start my new training schedule on Monday. I’m giving myself a day to recuperate before the real work begins. My next goal is running the whole race, with a time under 34 minutes. That means that instead of the Free to Breathe 10K, I’ll be doing the Free to Breathe 5K – same day, same course, just not as much of it. I have seven weeks to get ready. I think I can do it. After what I did today, I’m ready to take on any challenge. Let’s hope that confidence sticks around for a while.