I mentioned in an earlier post, that the Couch to 5K program that I looked forward to helping coach this summer was canceled due to a lack of participants. Our coach who leads the program offered to go ahead and meet with the rest of us that were going to help with the program during the summer.
After a discussion, we all decided we wanted to be better at what we already do. So, he helped us come up with a training schedule. Monday nights we did hills or speed on a rotating schedule. Wednesday nights was distance. Thursday nights was a slow run. Saturday mornings we met again.
We were fortunate enough to have great weather this summer. None of our runs were canceled due to the weather. We had a few where a storm was chasing us, but we always made it back before getting dumped on. We had lots of warm days, but only a few were extremely hot. Overall, it’s been a nice summer.
All of us signed up for the 5K that was to be the culmination of our efforts. After working all summer, this would be the big finale. It was a date to mark on the calendar with our goal or goals in mind.
Race day came and we were all ready and excited even though it was all familiar to us. We had been meeting on Saturday mornings, so getting up to go to a race on a Saturday morning did not seem out of the norm. Also, this was a race we were familiar with. It had been the finale for the Couch to 5K program the last few years, so we were all familiar with the route. For some, this race had been their first 5K.
Cool, crisp, fall weather would’ve been nice but that is not what we had. It was the coolest day of the week, and 65 degrees at race time but humid. It was a clear, sunny day so the race promised to be a warm one.
The gun went off and the runners leapt ahead. We gave it our best and our all. I checked my Garmin occasionally for my pace. What a surprise! I was always under what I expected and what I had hoped for.
The last part of the race is on a long straight away. I could see the finish line from a half a mile away. It seemed so far. It seemed like I would never get close–that I was never going to cross the finish line. Finally, I got close enough that I could see the clock. I looked at it and said, “What?” out loud. I had never seen numbers like that before! We all did well, and we knew it.
Later that afternoon, I was able to check Strava and see what it had to say about my run. I love Strava because it keeps track of everything for you and lets you know when your pace is improving. Strava gave me five achievements that morning–four PRs and one second best. Garmin clocked the race as 3.09 miles, so it did not count it as a 5K. If it had, it would had also recorded my fastest 5K that morning.
I am still the slowest and worst runner on the planet. I still have the biggest margin of improvement. However, that margin is just a little bit smaller now. It would not have happened without the work I did all summer. I also owe part of my success to the weight I’ve lost with Bright Line Eating and how it has made me feel better than ever. I didn’t receive a first place medal or even place in my age group, but I’m still a winner.
Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but [only] one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win.I Corinthians 9:24