As you know, I’ve been training for a race. Training makes it sound like weeks or months have gone by and I’m running a marathon or something. It wasn’t a marathon and I only “trained” for 5 days. But still running in a race is not something I do on a weekly basis and when you make a plan on how to prepare yourself for when you do, well that’s training.
In this instance my training paid off! I set a goal to finish this 4-mile race in less than 55 minutes and that is exactly what I did. Woohoo!
The race was the KC Zoo Run. I’ve ran this race twice before. The first time was several years ago and was also a successful race for me. The second time was not so much. I had feared that my last minute attempt at training would not be enough for to accomplish my goal. But I was wrong.
The first mile was mostly down hill. This helped tremendously. It’s hard to stop and rest when you’re going down hill. Why not use the momentum to keep going? You can rest when you get to the bottom.
The second mile was the easiest mile for me. Yes, in a way, even easier than the 1st mile. I started counting. Well technically I started counting toward the end of the first mile. At the gym, I run .25 – .3 miles then I walk .1 mile. I keep this pace pretty much the entire time. When I’m running outside though, I don’t have a screen in front of me telling me how far I’ve gone. This morning I decided, during the race, that I would count for a period of time in place of having the screen. I decided I would count to 200 when running, count to 60 when walking and repeat as many times as necessary until I crossed the finish line.
This sort of worked.
The first time I counted for the running part, I hit another down hill portion (the portion heading across the bridge in to Africa) and wasn’t about to stop running when going down hill just because I hit 200. So I added on another 100. Then another 50. I really pushed myself. I continued this pattern throughout Africa until I encountered the hill leaving. This I walked. But I tried my best to power walk.
This was also the third mile. Unfortunately, there was a lot of up hill during the 3rd mile. Therefore, there was a lot of walking. I’m not going to lie, I usually always walk when there is a hill. I do. I tried to tell myself that walking, up hill was going to hurt my time. But the motivation was not strong enough. I walked as fast as I could but I walked.
Once I got to the 4th mile, you were in the section of the race where it’s tight quarters. The trails aren’t very wide and it gets congested. It’s hard to run when others are walking and you can’t get around them. As I was getting closer to the end of the race, I heard someone say there was only half a mile left. I thought to myself I could run the rest of the way. And I could have. But I didn’t.
I was starting to get tired. I didn’t have the drive in me to push myself. I walked twice (or was it three times?) in that last half mile. Nonetheless, I did cross the finish line and I did make my goal. My official time was 52:50! My pace was 13:13 per mile. One of these days I’ll increase my time so that it is less than 13 minutes. For now, I’m glad that I’ve increased it to close to 13. I used to run closer to 14 minutes. True.
All of my hard work this last week has paid off. My next race isn’t until the end of October. I don’t want to lose all that I’ve worked hard for though. I think I might continue running at the gym. Maybe stick to 3 miles, since the remaining races this year are all 5K’s, and work on increasing my time. Yes, that’s my plan.
Some pictures from the race and our visit with the penguins after.