Sunday, September 23, 2007

Another Race, Another PR

Anyone who knows me at all knows that I'm not an overly competitive person - at least not in the sense of the word that most people first think when they hear the word "competitive." Back in high school, Stephanie was always incredulous that I never wanted to keep score when we'd play cards (or any sort of game to be honest). Granted, we always beat anyone who dared to take us on whether in Spades or, a personal favorite, Kemps. I honestly don't know why I felt that way other than the idea of winning and losing was never something that affected me very deeply. I'm certainly not opposed to the idea of competition and that means someone wins and someone doesn't. But I was never concerned that much with winning things.

I do, however, tend to be somewhat competitive with myself. I don't think I've ever been one to think much about being THE best. Instead, I'm much more content with doing MY best. This has been the driving force behind numerous things in my life: friendships and relationships, school, dancing, acting, singing and so on. Running is no exception to this.

I'm sure it's really cool to go run races and win things, but I'm perfectly content to cross the finish line if I know I've given it my best. I honestly do want to improve with each race I run, but I'm realistic... there are bad days. As long as I know I gave it all the effort I had that day, then I am pleased.

I ran yesterday in The Middle Half. I was excited about this race for several reasons: it was being held around MTSU on roads I used to run when I lived up there, it was the first half-marathon ever held in Murfreesboro, and I needed to run 13 miles for a training run this weekend anyways. It ended up being a good day for me. I enjoyed the familiar scenery. I REALLY enjoyed the incredibly flat course. The band out on the square provided a bit of an energy boost around mile 10. I saw some old friends. And I ran my fastest half-marathon yet with a time of 2:02:04, beating my previous PR by 2 minutes.

I'm certainly thrilled with how well the day went. I still have a lot of training to go before the Huntsville marathon, and I'm not jumping to any ideas that I can run a 4-hour marathon based off of this.... but it certainly makes me feel like a 4:30 marathon is a very realistic goal if I keep putting in the miles and speedwork over these next two months.

Unfortunately, this was also a really hot Saturday for a race. Never before have I finished a race and found that every single thing I had on was soaked through with sweat. You would have thought I jumped in a pool somewhere along the way. In the ten years or so that I've been a runner, I have not once experienced any trouble with chaffing... until this race. I don't wish it upon anyone. I also developed a bit of a tummy issue the rest of the day. I'm not sure if I just got so overheated that my body took a beating or if the Accelerade disagreed with me since I usually drink Gatorade. I ended up spending the rest of the day on the couch and wasn't able to eat until today. I don't much care for all of that, but it's part of the life of distance running. Occasionally your body takes a few hits. You get past it.

So all in all, it was a good day and another good race. I can't explain sometimes why it is that I actually enjoy all this running, but a part of it is definitely the sense of personal accomplishment that comes with it. I feel like I'm constantly challenging myself, and it's fulfilling to reach goals and improve myself. I feel strong. I feel healthy. I feel like I'm trying to live my life in the best way I can on a regular basis. It's not really about winning or losing... it's about sleeping well at night because you gave back in this life just as much as you receive from it.

Oh, and in case you ever wondered, it's very dark out at 5 am. I don't like knowing that.

PS - Way to go Colts today!

1 comment:

smc said...

Congrats! I can't believe you ran 13 miles in 2 hours. I could probably run 4.5 miles in 2 hours.

Correction: I could probably stagger 4.5 miles in 2 hours.