It’s funny how things change throughout the years, and you get surprised each time. Change is constant, immeasurable in fact, until that moment when something so drastically different makes you aware of said change. Today was one of those moments when I made a realization that something had changed.
The only other time I have run the Virginia is for Lovers 14k was in 2010, when I was sick as a dog, and had had a sprained ankle for about a month. Despite my injury and my illness, I chose to run this race because it was new, I was determined to get another race under my belt, and I was determined not to give up on one of the few things I had control over- running. I am one of those people who likes to run with little of nothing on my person. Literally. If I don’t have to carry water, I won’t. The same goes for gels, sunglasses, headphones, gloves, extra layers of clothes, etc. To make my case and point, I ran this race the first time with a long sleeve technical shirt and not one, but TWO, hoodies so that I wouldn’t become more ill than I already was. I did manage to twist and sprain the same ankle again within the first mile of that race, but within two days after running the race, it was if I’d never been sick!
In 2010, I had a lot going against me when I was running. In 2012, the only thing I had going against me was rain and rapidly dropping temperatures. Thankfully, the rain stopped before the race started, and didn’t start again until after it was finished. The cold kept up, but it was tolerable while I was in motion, and honestly probably kept me moving until I crossed that finish line inside the Sportsplex. I had a lot of things going for me today that I didn’t in 2010. I can honestly say I am in the best shape of my life, and fortunately, knock on wood, without any injuries. I feel good, my stride came easily, my gear was light, breathable, and warm enough, and I was mentally prepared for today’s race.
With all this in mind, I kept getting in my own way when I reached and passed mile marker 4 and saw all these runners passing me with so much ease. I had to quickly and repeatedly remind myself that those individuals were the 2nd half of the relay teams, and that I was going to run the ENTIRE race today, and finish strong. Thanks to Runner’s World for the article on positive energy and self-talk. Be fierce and run strong were my two mantras today, and they got me to the finish in record time. With all the obstacles in 2010, I managed to finish in 1:48:37. My goal for today was 1:30 because I just wasn’t sure where to set it since my minutes per mile times have varied so much lately. Plus, this is the first race since I ran the marathon in November, and I didn’t want to let myself down. Today, I finished the Virginia is for Lovers 14k in 1:21:01!!!!!!!!!!! I kicked my predicted time’s butt! Woo-hoo! That is a solid 9:20 minute per mile pace, and I am stoked that I was able to maintain it for that long! My hope is that I can keep this up for Shamrock and get even closer to my goal of a sub 2hour race!
I run because I love it. I run because it is stress reliever. I run because I want to. Today, I ran for me, and flew like the wind. Live. Love. Run. Passionately. Always! ❤