Monday, July 29, 2013

New PR and Race Re-cap

Today was a great day for many reasons, but let me start from the beginning.  I woke up bright and early to get ready for the Unstoppable 5K and left my house around 6:30 a.m.  The temperature in my car said 56 degrees and it was sufficiently chilly that I turned on the heat in my car to take the chill out of the air, but I knew that it would be great racing weather.  I arrived at the designated parking area for the race and grabbed a shuttle bus which took me to the area of the starting line.

As I headed to the starting line, I noticed a gentleman in front of me with a sign pinned on his back.  As I read the sign, I snapped a quick picture because I was moved by what he wrote.  The top of his shirt said Spectator Mile 26 April 15, 2013 2:50 PM and below that he wrote: To All Terrorists You may kill us, you may hurt us. But you won't defeat us, We are Runners! We are Boston Strong!  Indeed! While this was a smaller race compared to some others that I have participated in, it was so powerful to see everyone in blue and yellow and to know that we all came out to support the victims of the Boston Marathon.  I admit, I got a little teary eyed at the end of the National Anthem.  We live in a great country and while we are far from perfect, I am always amazed at how we band together in times of adversity and support one another.  Today's race was an example of that and I am anxious to hear the total donation made to the One Fund (I hope to have that soon and share it with you!).

...We are Runners! We are Boston Strong!
After a moment of silence for the victims and the playing of the National Anthem, we were off!  I felt pretty good heading out and ran the first 1/2 mile or so and then took a quick walking break.  I got back into my running groove (on a lovely downhill stretch) and finished the first mile in about 13:36.  The rest of the race was a mix of walking and running, as there were a few gnarly hills throughout the course, but I really, truly enjoyed the race today.  The weather was perfect and I had a great podcast playing so it made the time fly by.  When I got to 2.6 miles, I knew I had my PR in the bag and that was a great feeling!  I ran the last 1/2 mile and heard the announcer say "Laura from St. Louis just finished. Great job!" as I crossed the finish line.  Shortly thereafter, I got a text message and an e-mail from Fleet Feet with my official time:  43:10!

Not only did I crush my goal of completing the race in under 45 minutes, but I also PR'd by 2:30!  When I ran the Komen St. Louis Race last month, my time was 45:40 with an average pace of 14:44/mile.  Today, I finished in 43:10 with an average pace per mile of 13:55, nearly a minute faster than last month.  I'm incredibly proud of myself and I can't wait to keep pushing myself to improve! 

I know I've said it before, but for me, running is almost as much (if not more) about mental strength than physical strength.  I had such a positive mindset going into the race this morning and it made a world of difference. Not once today did I doubt that I would finish sub-45:00; I knew I could do it and that positive attitude helped me run faster, longer, and up a bad ass hill that I would have normally walked up. 

After the race, my tired feet were treated to a pedicure (thanks, Mom!) and it was heavenly!  Mom and I also set out to find some new running shoes and while I found a few that I liked, I'd like to get fitted at one of our local running stores to see which pair will be a better fit for my feet.  Mom scored some new Saucony kicks though and they are pretty awesome! I also had a nice, long nap with Jack, which was much needed after such an early (and active!) morning.  We finished off a great Sunday with one of our favorite dinners; spaghetti!  Yum!  

It will be hard not going for a run tomorrow since the weather is going to be just as beautiful, but it's a cross-training day, so I think the recumbent bike will be calling my name. 

"Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will."