Boy, is this ever true. I never believed it until yesterday.
I still can’t quite believe I finished my 15 km race. I have run 15 km twice before; the first was just a 15 km long, slow distance run and the second was during my last long training run of 18 km.
I decided to sign up for this 15 km race right after the 10 km race in May. Since I finished that race, I started flirting with the idea of earning 4 running medals this year – 5K, 10K, 15K and 21.1K. Yesterday’s race seemed like the perfect choice. The race course was along a trail I have run before, it was close to my house and looked like a lot of fun. Challenging, for sure, as it had a few small hills as well.
I got up two hours before the start. Baby boy was just starting to stir but everyone else was still asleep. I got a ride with my neighbor who was also running. It was a beautiful morning, a little cool and overcast with the threat of rain. Honestly, the conditions were perfect.
I also started to notice that I passed a few runners who had been ahead of me for most the first half of the race. Suddenly I realized that I wasn’t going to finish last. Sure, I’d be in the pack of final runners, but I wouldn’t finish last. I think this is when I got my second wind.
At 10 km I checked my time – my first 15 km run before this race I completed in 1:49:32; during the 18 km training run, I reached 15 km in 1:52:59. I knew I could finish this run a little faster if I kept up my pace. I dug real deep and ran full tilt to the finish (even with my scheduled walk breaks!). There were some people who were running in their friends with 150m to go. They were really motivating and I stole from them to cross the finish line.
I really understand the concept of a “Personal Record” and a “Personal Best” now. I wasn’t running against anyone but myself and I almost felt like quitting when the little devil on my shoulder told me I was out of my league. I ignored that voice and persevered.
Yesterday I set my own PR and PB. And damn if that doesn’t feel good.
Running really is 90% psychological.