Tuesday, June 8, 2010

June 6th – Love Run 10k

The continued prayer is, “Lord keep me focused. Keep my mind stayed on You. Help me to bring You praise. I know You believe in me. Please help me in my unbelief. Amen.”

I had registered for this run late, so I was fortunate to get in on it without having to pay an extra fee. I’ve run this one every year since I first heard about it, I just didn’t get around to registering until the very last minute.

I was *very* apprehensive about this run. In previous years, I had only done the 5k. When I registered for this one, I actually did register for the 5k. Usually there is a separate and higher fee for doing the 10k if a race offers both, but with this particular race your paid registration allows participants to run all races. You could even run both races without paying extra, which is very unusual. When I went to RoadRunner for early packet pick up, I asked to be switched to the 10k.

Also, I hadn’t run all week. The last run I did was 10 miles and for some reason, I was completely unmotivated to run for the rest of the week. I allowed all manner of life issues to get in the way. I would be happy with myself if I at least had a clean house to make up for it, but nope! I missed all my workouts and the house is still a wreck!

My goal was to finish in under 1:30. The last time I ran a 10k race, it took me 1:45. It was the Say No To Drugs run at the Universal Studios Backlot and it was *very* hilly, but I’m fairly certain I could walk it in 1:45 now. So I had to do better this time! Usually, trying to cut 15 mins off your previous time is really ambitious, but not this time. I figured if it still took me 1:45, I had no business running at all. I would just call myself a Power-Walker and be done with it.

As it was, 1:30 was not at all remarkable and I knew it, but it was the goal and I was going to do my best to stick with it.

As usual, mile one was miserable and the voices were already in my head telling me I couldn’t finish in time and asking why the heck had I gotten out of my nice warm bed on a Sunday morning to torture myself. That voice is easy to ignore, so I pressed on. In the first mile or so, you figure out who you are going to pace yourself against and usually, that same person (or in this case, pair of persons) is using you to pace themselves too. It goes like this: I can’t let that guy get too far ahead of me. If that guy passes me, I gotta catch him. Then….. Wait! Where is that guy?

It’s a highly complex relationship. In one case, I actually finished a race and after crossing the finish line, I turned around and went back to find the lady I’d been pacing myself with just so she wouldn’t have to cross the finish line alone. And she was grateful that I did! It's strange how a race can make a complete stranger your comrade in battle.

I did this race in my typical 4 and 1 fashion and the guy at the end of mile one was screaming and letting me know that I was on track to finish in time, so I relax and just enjoy the music and the run. Besides, the most pressing issue is to finish in time to get to church before the Worship session is over.

I get to the halfway point and turn around. This route is not hilly, but it’s not as flat as the route I usually train on so I make a mental note to switch up my routine so I can get used to running different routes. I’m still feeling good, even after a gentleman who is every bit of 75 years old passes me at mile 4 and stays ahead of me for the rest of the race.

What concerns me most is that somewhere around mile 5 my iPod craps out on me again! I know that there are people who equate people who listen to music while running with those weirdoes who read on the treadmill. But I contend that running to a beat is the only way to fly. Of course, there is nothing I can do about it but keep running, so I do.

At about mile 5, the two ladies I’ve been pacing myself with have fallen behind me. They have been ahead of me for the entire race and they need to pick it up. I shout some encouragement, cuz you can do that during a race. They laugh and pick up the pace and we’re back on track.

We pass the one-mile-to-go volunteer cheerleaders and they have water. Bless them. I’d taken a Shot Blok after I’d been running for an hour and I needed some water.

At the finish line, I have my timer chip cut off and there are high fives all around to the ladies I’d been pacing myself with and another lady who I struck up a conversation with toward the end. Now it’s time to find some water and maybe some fruit and get to church.

This was a great run. Really relaxing and I kept up a 12 minute mile pace which is how I plan to get through the Half Marathon in October, so this was great practice.
Race Day is always a good day. I finished in 1:16, so I’m good all the way around. I get to the car and text Chris to let him know that I am on my way to church. The Service is only 15 minutes in so I should be fine. He texts me back and tells me that he’s still at home. What?!

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