I have to say that I was not nervous at all. It was just a five mile run for me, a run distance that I have covered many times over. I do not say this to throw it in any one's face. I say this to show myself how far I have come.
The distance did not scare me. The crowds did not alarm me (ok, maybe a little bit- there were SO many people!). The quickly warming sun did not faze me.
I trained all Summer. I have been running for a while now. All kinds of weather conditions have been part of my running scenery. I am used to the cold, I am used to the heat (I prefer the cold).
I have new running shoes that I am in love with. My runs of late have been awesome. I had nothing to lose on this Turkey Trot race day. I was pretty sure I would blow my previous race time out of the water (5 miles- 58:35min on 11/26/09). I did not decide until the last minute whether I was going to just *run* it or *race* it.
I went for the *RACE*.
I decided to JUST RUN until I couldn't run, only taking a walk break if I absolutely needed it. That is just what I did- I ran the majority of the 5 miles, walking a few times when I needed to catch my breath and then running again. The crowds were CRAZY- like super crazy. There were walkers, and strollers and dogs all over the roads, making it very difficult to pick up the pace. In fact, considering the amount of slowing down I had to do because of these things and the amount of weaving in and out and around folks, I am actually surprised that my pace was as good as it was!
Anyhoo, I went for it and I am thoroughly happy with the outcome, a PR (personal record) for me. For the girl who just a few months ago was struggling to hold a 12 minute pace, this race time for me is a huge accomplishment. Even better, I felt FANTASTIC after the race, feeling like I could have continued on for a while. I had zero aches and pains following the race- SCORE!
This race was all about running for me and that is just what I did.
Turkey Trot 5 Miler- Time: 53:17 with an average pace of 10:39 m/m
And because I cannot keep my mouth shut with advice to newer runners, I have to say this: DO NOT GIVE UP. I am not the fastest, nor the leanest, nor the most mother-trucking bad ass out there, but I do not give up on myself. I don't throw in the towel when the going gets tough.
I have found what works for me- 3 days of running, 2 days of strength, yoga when I need it. I am learning about speedwork and interval training and the importance of running hills if that is what your race course looks like.
Most importantly, I LOVE the ME that I am when I run, I LOVE the PEOPLE I have met through running, and I LOVE the vibe of races. I ABSOLUTELY 100% support and ADORE women I meet, whether new friends or old friends, that are still discovering themselves through running, that don't quite believe they are runners, that doubt themselves along the way, that get nervous and anxious on race day. I want to tell them how wonderfully awesome they are for choosing this path that so many can't or won't. You are special and you can do this.