On September 21, 2014, I accomplished something I had dreamed of since I began running competitively over 3 years ago......placing 1st overall in an endurance event. The race felt like a dream, too good to be true, but when I crossed the finish line, it all became vividly clear.
It was my first 10k. I chose to do this race as a tune up to my upcoming Morgan Hill Marathon this coming November. I did my running warm up and took a position at the very font of the starting line. My goal was to average a 6min 15pace. In my race pace training runs, I was hitting my splits, so now it was time to see if I could pull it off. The gun went off and I began the race, looking at my GPS Running Watch to see when I would reach my race pace. Within the first 50 meters I had reached my race pace and also noticed something unusual………….I was in the lead, and there was only one runner behind me. His breathing was heavy and fast, and his music was blaring out from his headphones. It was annoying to say the least, but at the rate the runner was going, he wasn’t going to be able to hold the pace, so I would soon be free of the torment.
At the end of mile 1, I gained a significant lead on that runner. By mile 2, he was nowhere behind me. At this point in the race, the thought occurred to me that I could actually win this race. There was just one thing that was bugging me, I was in the lead. It's Chasing can be very motivating and is often a good strategy because the lead runner is using up more energy than you. Now that I was the lead runner, what was I to do? I decided to chase a ghost, which was the current course record. I also reminded myself that I was the prey, and that put a healthy sense of fear inside me, motivating me to run hard. I checked my watch occasionally to see how close I was to the course record. I was behind the time but close enough to that I could taste it. When I had reached 800m to go, I began my kick/acceleration, and let everything out in the final 200m. I crossed the finish at 38:43, placing first overall.
It was exciting to achieve this. The only sad part was that I was less than a minute shy of breaking the course record.
Be well and run on!
Note: In the photo below it shows me wearing Vibram Five fingers. I ran the race in my Asics Gel Lyte 33, which performed great. I use Vibram Five Fingers for post race and cross training.