I make these declarations on a weekly basis and I could probably fill an entire book with “my favorite things about running,” but today’s is this:
I surprise myself.
On Sunday, my husband and I ran the Coronado Independence Day 15K. In the past couple years that we’ve gotten into running, we’ve been all about conquering distance. We’ve done 4 half marathons, 4 marathons and only a couple 5Ks and 10Ks. This 15K distance was completely new for us, and I had no idea what to expect (or hope for) from myself. This was also my first week of marathon training and according to my plan, I was scheduled for a 9 miler at 10:04/mile.
I didn’t set any goals for myself out loud, but my secret, pie-in-the-sky, dream goal was to run at what my plan defines as “Marathon Goal Pace” (9:09/mile or faster), but I had huge doubts and wouldn’t dare to verbalize my goal.
We showed up for the 7:00am race at 5:30, so we chilled in the car, tried some cola-flavored Clif Shot Bloks (NOT a fan of this flavor!), made a couple nervous trips to the bathrooms and finally, it was go-time! The first mile was ridiculously congested, with narrow pathways, so jockeying through the crowd was impossible. When we got to the 1st mile marker at 12 minutes, I thought there was no way I’d hit my secret goal and I let it go.
We got into a good groove during the 2nd mile and I didn’t bother looking at my Garmin until we hit mile 6–in 56 minutes! I kicked it up a notch, realizing it wasn’t completely out of reach to finish in 1:25. The last few tenths of a mile took us through grassy fields at Tidelands Park and one by one, I sprinted past other runners, FINALLY taking down the chick in the purple that I’d been trailing behind since the start! I hit Stop on my Garmin and swung around to watch Jared finish, just seconds behind me! As we walked toward the water tables, I looked at my Garmin and almost exploded with excitement when I realized I smoked my goal!
According to my ol’ buddy Garmin, I ran 9.48 miles in 1:22:23 (8:41/mile)! “Officially,” that was 9.3 miles in 1:22:23, which is 8:51/mile but shoot, I’ll take it!!!!
The post-race party was virtually non-existant. There were paper cups of water, orange slices and some green bananas, so we threw back some water, and stretched out on the grass for a bit while I squealed in excitement, saying over and over: “I can’t believe we did it! I can’t believe we did it!” ***I should also mention that I felt so GREAT, I’m 100% confident I could have held that pace for a half marathon, which would have me finishing in under 2:00, easily!
This race rocked so hard I couldn’t care less about the lack of swag, medals and post-race goodies! And yes, I surprised the heck out of myself.