Who’s That Runner I See In the mirror?

March 7, 2011 § 5 Comments

I have been MIA on my blog for a while and I have to admit that it has been nice to take a little break after two very disappointing marathons. For the last month or so I have been trying to mend my “broken” inner runner and running just to run. It’s been a relaxing few weeks which has helped remind me how much I love running. I think I was putting unnecessary pressure on myself for the CIM and RNRAZ and it took its toll. But now I’m back, baby, and I feel great!

I signed up for the Run for Ryan House 10K this past weekend and I was a little surprised how much I enjoyed the exhilaration of race day. I was flyin’ solo at that morning, so it was just me, my nervous excitement and the road. The only other 10K I’ve raced was in 2008 when I was still a newbie to running and I was training for my first half marathon, so I didn’t really know what to expect of myself for this race. But it turned out that my no-stress running lately left me with loose legs and no agenda other than to conquer the crazy hills and finish with a decent time.

The morning started off breezy and cool, but as long as I kept moving around it wasn’t so bad. The announcer for the event did an awesome job keeping everyone pumped up and energized while we waited for the start, which was a big help to me since I didn’t have anyone to chat with to keep my mind off of the task ahead. When the horn sounded and we were off, I felt great. The first mile or so was pretty much flat, but then came the SBD (silent but deadly) hills. I swear they crept up out of nowhere and lasted for several miles. Living in an area where there are no hills to practice on means I struggle with getting through them during a race. But to my surprise, I was able to activate my go-go-gadget legs to keep my pace up. Carrying my water for this race also helped. No slowing down to grab a glass of water which inevitably ends up all over my face and shirt instead of in my mouth! The last mile felt good. I actually caught up with the tail end of the 5K participants who started after the 10K, which I admit was an awesome feeling! With only one last set of hills to get through before the end, I knew I was on pace to end with a time I’d be ok with. I eeked out the last bit of energy for the finish and crossed the line a happy runner.

I ended with a chip time of 54:06! Say what?! Was that me in those shoes? Hell yeah! I finished 5th in my age group (out of 28) and 37th overall for women (out of 185). I consider myself an average runner, so finishing in the middle of the pack is my norm. Being in the top 20% is a feat for me!

Lesson learned from this race: having a little confidence in my running makes a huge difference. I’ve also learned that having a race event to look forward to is important to me. What’s up next? I might do the Rock N Roll half marathon in San Diego in June. Until then, I’m going to try to keep my mind clear and my training as stress-free as I can. I do have a goal time in mind for the half, but I’m going to try to not let it pressure me too much.

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§ 5 Responses to Who’s That Runner I See In the mirror?

  • bearrunner says:

    I have bombed a couple too, it is very dis-heartening! Esecially after all the training a body goes through …

    Good job on the 10k!

    cheers

    • girlturnedrunner says:

      Thanks, bearrunner! The key is to pick yourself back up after the disappointing races and keep going – which is exactly what I am working on!

  • Joanna says:

    What a great time! Great job. I must agree, less pressure on running has made it more fun for me as well. I’m so glad you are back to enjoying it all. Can’t wait to hear more about the next run you do. Keep up the positive attitude!

  • Paul M says:

    2 words… Awe Some. 🙂 You killed it out there Mandy. Congratulations on such an awesome time! You are absolutely right about having a race on the horizon. I had a couple of bad races where I thought to myself, “I don’t have time to dwell. I have to get back to training.” Seeing how you adjusted your schedule to get your runs in after work and now this awesome performance, you deserve kudos! It is fun watching your training progress and I look forward to the opportunity to meet you at a race one day. Keep it up!

    • girlturnedrunner says:

      Thanks, Paul! Your support, along with all the other great peeps on DM have helped me keep going.

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