"He is able who thinks he is able."
Official Time: 1:08:27
Overall Place: 595/13,359
Age Group: 32/999
I had one goal for the Hot Chocolate Race yesterday: to run to prove something. The time leading up to the race was not ideal, as we hit traffic going into the city and then couldn't find a parking spot. I got out of the car at 8:05 just so I could make it into my starting corral on time.
The 5k race, which started at 7:40, was still starting. Many runners had not crossed the start line when I got to the starting area. Apparently, they had to re-route the 5k course which took some time and caused delays.
Soon after all the 5kers left, the 15k runners got in their spots. Runners were supposed to line up on the street, but since I got there late I didn't and just jumped the fence. I was in good company, as I saw a few other runners going the same thing.
I got to start in Corral A based on my running times from this year, which made a huge difference. It only took my about 20 seconds to get to the start once the gun went off and although the first 1/2 mile was a little congested, I had no other issues the entire race.
My goal was to run between 7:20 and 7:25 miles for the race. I thought this was a rather ambitious goal, given my lack of speed training the past month, but knew with my motivation, it was possible. I decided to run with my music this race, too. I haven't been running with my music but thought it would be nice. I am glad I had it as there were not many people out on the course for the middle 7 miles.
The first 5k went by and I was feeling great. I ran it in 22:10. At that point, I knew I should slow down a little bit so I would not die at the end. We were going into a headwind that wasn't pleasant, too. However, Foster the People and Pitbull provided me some motivation to stay strong.
I crossed the 4 mile mark at 28:58 and my pace started to catch up with me. One thought of self-doubt crept into my head, but then I refocused mentally, reminding myself of all the miles I put in this year and why I wanted a major PR. Thinking to myself...imagining someone else telling me..."you are not a good enough runner"....made me run faster.
Before I knew it the race was 2/3 of the way over. I crossed the 10k mark at 45:19. The end was close. By mile 8.5, I knew I could break 1:10. Pitbull came back on my ipod and my goal was to finish the race while he was still playing. I was so happy when I crossed the finish line and saw 1:08. I met my goal. I ended my running season on a good note.
Once again, this race has provided me with the confidence I need going into the winter (off-season). Next year I will come back a stronger runner. I've been on a remarkable journey this year, and am excited to see what next year's races will bring for me.
It also helps to have extra motivation to run. This race was purely fueled by someone else's decision/words. Although I really wouldn't recommend running a race motivated by someone else, it worked for me. Running is a gift that people give to themselves. So although I ran because of a comment and not for myself, I am glad the end result worked out the way it did.