First off, let me say I’m no good at this… and by ‘this’ I mean adequately judging my own abilities. A year ago I never thought I could run a mile, I was wrong. Eight months ago I didn’t think I could finish my first 5k, I was wrong. Four months ago I didn’t think I could run a 10k, I was wrong. Three months ago I didn’t think I could break 30 minutes on a 5k, I was wrong. Last week I didn’t dream I could run 3 straight sub-9 minute miles in 45 degree weather for a 5k, boy was I wrong…
Which leads me to my latest self-doubt. When I signed up for the Iron Horse Half Marthon I had, what I’ll say was an ambitious goal based on my self-assessment and previous results, of finishing around 2:30. About three weeks ago I had a great run at Legacy Trail where I ran10 miles at a 10:30 pace. After that, knowing how hilly both that course and the Iron Horse course are, I thought…maybe, just maybe I could run that pace again, or a little better, and hit 2:15. In the back of my mind I thought it was equally realistic and a false hope.
Today, I think I’ve learned to stop selling myself short. I busted out my first half marathon in
2:11:28. Wow, that was good for me. That was a pace of 10:02. If not for that stretch from mile 9-10 where I ran a 10:37, and a few little other hiccups, I could have easily broken 2:10, which was my really far-reaching goal that I had during the race. I was on pace for it most of the way too, but, the hills got me.
This has been the most memorable event I’ve participated in. Not just the fact that I never thought I could run a half marathon, or the silly notion that half marathon is for only the ‘elite’ runners, but because of all the people. Yeah, I’ve been in events with more runners, but not the same type of runners. This time I had co-workers, church members and the biggest part of my motivation today, my running group. Thanks to all of them I had a blast today.
But, you know what the best part of it all was? When I came around the final turn and there was my wife and two sons cheering me on. Copying a page out of the book that I saw at the RunTheBluegrass Half Marathon, I grabbed my 3.5 year old son and held him as I finished.
A bit corny? Maybe…. but it was a memory that is one of the proudest in my life.
To keep with the theme of my blog, “Bring It”… today, I feel like I “Brought It”. And that, as Charlie Sheen would say, is #winning.