This past week I had an excellent intervals class and was feeling a little speedy. I realized that if I could run the mile as fast as I had that I should be able to run my 10K pretty darn close to my goal. Since the instructor for my intervals class is the one who was putting on the 10K race I was running today, she asked me what my goal was for the race. I wimped out, thinking in my head "55:00!" but saying out loud, "56:00 or 57:00". I just couldn't put words to my actual goal. Putting it out there made it real, right?
Me, actually trying to bend down a bit, with S and C, post race
This morning at the race I saw my friend, C, whom I hadn't seen at class in a while as she has been travelling. She asked me what my goal was and I said, "well, 55:00 is my "A" goal". I had read somewhere it is good to have two or three goals. If you can't reach your first, have a "B" goal to reach for, so the race isn't all or nothing. My "B" goal was 56:00 or 57:00. I also told her I was going to basically do the opposite of how we were taught to run races. You are supposed to finish faster than you start. I was afraid if I didn't start out as strong as I could I would run out of steam and not hit my goal, so I decided I would be okay finishing slower than I started.
I felt good the whole race and checked my watch a wee bit obsessively, though I pretty much just ran as fast as I felt like without trying to run to the numbers. At the turn around my instructor shouted at me "27:00!" which meant I finished the first 5K in that time (which is also faster than I have ever raced a 5K!) and I took off for my second leg. I kept staring at my watch for the last half mile or so and the math finally clicked: I was running fast enough to hit 54:00! I kicked it up a notch just a bit too soon, then slowed down again for a few seconds before ramping it up for the home stretch. I looked at my watch as I crossed the finish line and it said 54:00 exactly, though I still don't know what my official race time is.
I had smashed my "A" goal! I couldn't, and still can't, even believe it. It felt so good!
My post-race meal of the most delicious sandwich, ever, which I randomly discovered
at Safeway, and a caramel macchiato. YUM.