Saturday, September 26, 2009

The Little Engine that Could

Today I ran a red light in front of four police officers.

Fortunately for me, the road I was on was closed, I was on foot and the police officers were volunteering for the Virginia 4 and 10 miler races. That's right, I successfully accomplished my goal, I ran, walked and jogged the 4 miler earlier today. It was no easy task, Lynchburg's nickname is Seven Hills and I think I ran on every one of those hills this morning, but it was extremely invigorating and ultimately rewarding. Running amidst 1900 other runners was amazing. There is something about being involved in this sort of event that is even further motivating, just as I'd hoped.

I had set out two goals for myself for today's race. I am very happy to inform you that I accomplished both goals. The first was a tad bit silly, I will admit. I was very concerned about finishing last. I don't know why but coming in last was just not going to do for me. I ran three miles the other night in 36 minutes and decided that I wouldn't indeed finish last. So I set a new goal of completeing the four miles in under 50 minutes.

Where we have been training is relatively flat and the course, which included four of the most hilly miles in Lynchburg, was anything but flat. I figured this would slow me down as I don't take on hills very well and sure enough a mile and a half in a very intimidating hill slowed me to a walking pace. Of course, I only allowed myself the luxury of walking because so many other people were. You see, I am extremely competitive, even when I am not really as fit as everyone else. I didn't want to let other runners see me walking and this, I'm sure, helped me reach my second goal.

The last half mile though, what a trek it seemed. I really didn't know whether or not I would make it. Here's where I should tell you, I suppose, about my third 'secret' goal of doing the 4 miles in under 47 minutes. I hadn't told anyone but I had decided that 47 minutes or under was really where I wanted to come in at. So at the end of the race when I thought I wasn't going to come in under that time, and with the big time clock in view, I sprinted the last 300 feet, which resulted in my almost losing my breakfast. Luckily for the people taking the time chips and handing out finishing medals, I didn't eat any breakfast. Otherwise, it may not have been so pretty.

But I am happy to announce, that I did indeed reach all of my goals today. I came in at 45:45 for my first ever race. Sure a lot of people came in ahead of me and I ranked almost bottom for my age group, but I am ecstatic and ready to begin training for my first 5k in a few short weeks.

Todd also did well. He completed the 10 miler in 95 minutes.

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