I started feeling good about my running at the recent Chicago Rock n Roll Half Marathon and last night's Race for the Bacon 5k helped build even more confidence in my training.
With my AG award
Here are my results:
Pace: 7:20 min/mile
Overall Place: 54/655
Age Group Place: 2/76
When I woke up Thursday morning, I felt pretty good about this one. I knew it would be challenging but I was really looking forward to running fast. I still haven't done much speedwork since my calf injury in June but my legs are feeling faster and turning over better these days.
As usual, I lined up further back than I probably should. I don't especially like tripping over people at the beginning, but I do love the confidence boost of passing people throughout the race. It's almost like a little game to me. Pick a person in front of me, keep pushing my pace until I pass, then pick a new person in front of me to chase.
About midway through, I noticed one of the people in front of me was my friend Tracey. She had a decent lead on me so I wasn't really too concerned with passing her, but it was super helpful to have someone to focus on when I really started feeling the race. She was running at a good pace so I just followed along behind - it was a no brainer!
Toward the end of the race, all I could think about was being done. Before the race started, I had planned to kick about a quarter of a mile from the finish line. I did manage to pick up the pace a bit, but couldn't execute the kick I've been practicing (6:40ish pace for the first 0.15 and finishing the last 0.1 at 5:48ish pace). I was just too wiped! On the plus side, I knew I had given it my all so I couldn't be too disappointed about it :)
Probably praying my legs don't give out before I cross the finish line
Tracey finished just ahead of me and collapsed on the curb and I did the same after I crossed the line. There's no question it was my best effort for that night so I consider it a good race. Just another stepping stone on my path to becoming a stronger, faster runner!
It's kind of amazing to me to think that earlier this year I ran a sub-22 minute time and set my sights on running 20:XX as my next 5k goal. I'm still aiming for that time - I've been logging consistent miles at a training level that's appropriate for my current fitness. I know if I can stick with it and stay patient, I'll get back to where I was and then push past that point.
Yesterday, I saw this quote from pro runner Kara Goucher and it pretty much sums up how I've been feeling about running:
"Erase from your mind that your preparation must be perfect. Hard work + dedication = a shot at your dreams. Keep believing."
Yes, keep believing - anything is possible if you're willing to work for it :)
Discuss: What signs do you watch for that let you know your training is coming together?
That's it for now - I hope you all have a great weekend!