Let My Race Be My Race…

This past weekend, I welcomed in the arrival of spring by running in the Cheshire Medical Sports Medicine Center 5K, and it was the perfect way to begin the season.

First the weather was perfect, and when all was said and done there was at least 500 combined runners and walkers at the Center that morning.  This is me, of course, post-race.    (You will notice the winter running gear, which came in handy in the shady parts of the run…but was certainly not needed)

My goal for this race was simple;  Let the race be my race, and as a result finally overcome some rather odd training hurdles I have been struggling with in the real world.

In the way of some back story; it is amazing the issues that have come to the surface in both my physical and mental character, as I continue to push my running.  Over the past winter, all my goals have been focused on establishing my distance base, and I did so primarily via the treadmill.    

More specifically, my three goals were 1. to keep my long runs at approximately 10-15 miles throughout the winter, 2. Maintain my weight over the dark months of winter and 3. Keep free of injury.    In the end I successfully pushed my weekly mileage up to approximately 40miles a week at a slower than my targeted marathon pace, and although there was a blip around Christmas time, I  survived the winter with relatively little added weight and injury downtime.

Now I begin the process of hitting my training with renewed vigor.

Despite the overall success of my winter training, I have found myself coming face to face with a new and rather unique roadblock.    I am starting each and every run WAY too fast.   Whether it is a run outdoors or on the treadmill, it seems as if I have become impatient and believe that I am Flash Gordon straight out of the gates.

Over the winter, at least two days per week, I had scheduled speed work days.  As such, I had been able to cut approximately three to five minutes off my total 5K with an average of approximately 24 to 27 minutes.  These runs are awesome tests of wills as I fight with my lungs, my legs, and my head to push harder and harder.   In the end, I enjoy the epic battle.

Yet, I fear that they reveal a lose circuit in my noggin;  the lack of any idea on how to maintain a consistent pace.    Ultimately, this is something I hope to rectify very quickly, as running sprints is not my goal.   I have finished a 5K…  My goal is 26.2miles.     My plan is not a 8 or 9min/mile marathon, but rather a substantially more pedestrian 10:30 which would put me on target for my Marathon finish of roughly 4hr 30min range.   

This said, I need to figure out a way to regulate my pace throughout each of my runs so that in the end, I am not falling apart when I hit an end of the run hill or challenge.

With this mental and physical juggle in mind, this past Saturday’s race was to be my first three miles of my marathon plan.     In the end, this should have put me at 31 to 32 minutes.  

I ended up closing at 28:52, which was about a minute too fast per mile.

I enjoy running faster runs, but in the end, cannot help but look at my results with a mix bag of approval and disappointment, as I failed to regulate my legs as I hoped, but have made enormous progress since last August. 

 In the end, the legs were moving…in the sun…  with hundreds of other runners…and my girls cheering me on…so it’s all good.   

 I have attached my favorite pic from that race below.  

  Races on this year’s  calendar include:

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