Were getting ready for a race in June up on Mackinaw Island. Dad and I go up there every year to spend some time away from the normal but to also get some fresh air. We camp out a lot and we also have some delicious food and alcohol while were up there. The weather is usually a perfect 60 to 70 degrees with sunny days and long beautiful nights. It really is quite wonderful. Every year we have been up there we have missed the lilac race and every year we are upset by this. I think it’s just because we usually miss it by a couple of days or by a few hours so it really hits you hard when you realize just how close you were to being able to do something new and exciting.
This year though we made sure to sign up for it and plan accordingly. So were getting ready to rock and roll this race. It’s a 10k (which is a nice 6 miles) race that goes half way around the island and then cuts through the middle and comes back to the starting point. The only thing that sucks is when you cut through the middle you end up going uphill for a good portion of the race so I just know that it will kick my ass for a portion of it. The upside is when you get to the other side it’s all downhill so you can be like the roadrunner and just high tail it down to the finish.
I’m excited but I am a little bit nervous. We have less than three months until the race and the closer it gets the more I wonder if I am ready. I do hope I am because I would love to finish strong.
Yesterday was the Lucky leprechaun race. In the past I have never had the pleasure of being able to do them before and this time I had the chance to run in the race. So I decided to go ahead and give it a try. Of course when it comes to races it means that you have to be up really early to not only wake up but to also have some coffee beforehand. If you don’t give it enough time to settle then things can get a little "messy" while you are out racing. To avoid any messes I take extra precaution.
For this race I knew that it was on a course that I really enjoy and I also knew that two of my favorite people were running it. One of them was my bf D and the other was my Dad (or as most of you know him, the market ticker). All three of us were running and all three of us were going to see what we could do. For dad and I it was a routine. We run and then I split right when I finish so that I can head to a friend’s house to shower and then go to work right after that. For D it was a test to see how far he had come along in his running. We wanted to see how he would do in a 5k so that we can get a feel for a possible time on a 10k.
This race was slightly crowded (more than others I have been to) and this one was one of those races that you know everyone is trying to finish quickly so that they can have drinks at the end. So when the race started everyone was moving like a pack. Everyone was moving together for a while and the people that have raced before or were faster than the people in front of us found ways to weave in and out of the crowd so that we can actually challenge ourselves. That quickly happened for me. I found my way in and out of the crowd and I passed many people in this race for the first mile and a half. Once I turned around I saw D and he ended up High fiving me on the way.
For me it felt like the race was over as soon as it started. My time was really good and I felt good after the race. Of course I Had to catch my breath for a second so that I could actually drive home without suffocating. I had given it my all the last half mile so I was having some trouble with breathing. Once I had cooled down I told my Dad the time I thought D would have and I told him I loved him. Then I went ahead and started making my way back home.
The day went on and I found out I placed second in my age group which is awesome. I also found out the first place in my age group ran the 5k in 22 minutes which was four minutes faster than me. So I was glad to take second. Dad got third place in his age group so he got to go home with a prize himself. D got to know his time for a 5k and now has a goal to work towards. I think it has lit a fire in him.
I can't wait to do other races and see how much better and faster we all get. It’s so exciting.
On the eighth of this month I had my three year anniversary. What was it for? Well it was for running. It has been three whole years since I have made a commitment to myself to keep running and to not let anything keep me from treating myself and keeping myself in shape. I have been able to keep up with that commitment and I am so happy about it. Of course it has been longer than that since I really gave running a try but the three years are for being consistent. Consistency is key when it comes to this sport. If you don’t keep up with it then you won’t be able to keep a good pace.
When I did my first run three years ago I was running a twelve minute mile and I really thought that the sport was terrible. I didn’t want anything to do with it and I really was sure that I was going to just forget about it. The first three months were terrible and I was really struggling with my ability to keep going. My motivation was so low and I was not sure how to keep pushing myself. It took a while but before I knew I found something to keep me going.
I want to say what I found was a companion to keep running with me. I want to say that it was something magical but to be honest with you it was just myself. It was my own confidence and stubbornness that kept me running. I realized what path I was going down if I didn’t keep going and I made a promise to myself to keep going. To keep working and striving to be better than the previous me. I worked my butt off and kept pushing myself and within six months I got my time down from a twelve minute mile to a nine or ten. Really that’s huge. I was pushing myself in ways that I never thought were possible and because of that I eventually made myself do a half marathon. I wanted to do better. I wanted to be able to say that I did something that felt impossible to me. I wanted to be able to look at myself in the mirror and be proud of myself.
Running has given me a confidence that I never knew I had. It has given me strength and has taught me a discipline that I never thought was possible.
I am excited to see how far I can go and to see what else I can do in the running world. So cheers to another year of running, conquering my own insecurities and getting stronger than before.
While I was in New York with D I was able to keep up my running. Even with all the snow, slush and ice I was able to find time somewhere to go out and run on this little island that she lived on. To be honest it was one of those things that I was really worried about because I really didn’t want to spend money going to a gym when I could just run outdoors. Somehow I got away with my routine. D's sister doesn’t have a treadmill so when we arrived I made sure to look around and see if there was any chance of being able to run here or if I would have to research to find a nice gym. The first few days we were there it was snowy and when it came to my time to running outside I made sure to double and triple layer myself up. It was a nice twenty degrees outside and when I got out there I realized that my feet were going to be nice and wet. I mainly ran in the slush which meant that I was running in the middle of the road.
Believe it or not people don’t want to hit runners. It sounds weird but it’s true. Even though I was running on the road people did their best to avoid me at all costs. Of course I also helped by moving to the side as much as I could when I saw or heard a car coming my way. People were staring but just kept going on their way. So the first one was cold and wet but I still managed.
I ran a total of three times while I was down there. The first one was wet and slushy, the second one was nice and sunny and the snow had mostly melted so I could run on the sidewalks and the third was somewhere in the middle. By the time i got to the last run I knew why D's sister lived in the area she did. The neighborhood was well spread out, the roads were nice and they all mostly had sidewalks on them which don’t always happen in neighborhoods. Having any sidewalk is a blessing to people that actually like to do things outside.
By the time we left I felt a little bit excited to make the trip back to his sisters someday. Not only was it a welcoming home but it was also somewhere I could keep up my routines. Somewhere I could work out and enjoy my time. I’m so thankful for them and I am glad we got to take this chance to get away from home for a while. It was so much fun and I enjoyed every bit of it. Even the running.
For the past two weeks I have been running like the wind. It’s quite extraordinary how much I am improving and I just can’t believe the numbers. Last year alone I was running a 3.13 mile in 27:08. Now for some of you guys that sounds pretty fast but to be honest it’s still pretty slow. The average for that is around a 9:30 which is still pretty good but I always want to do faster if it is at all possible. Of course I have no idea what has brought on this sudden burst of speed, maybe the consistency of my diet or maybe the fact that I just do better in the cold, but I will gladly take it and work with it.
Now I can say that I don’t know what this will do when It comes to my races but on Thanksgiving we are doing the Recycle run and even though that is not competitive I will be putting my new speed to the test to see what happens when I am in a "competitive environment". Will I run even faster? Will I just keep pace? How many other females are running that kind of time at this moment?
The new times I am running opens new possibilities and it just makes me excited to see where I land in this competitive sport. Historically women have always been slower when it comes to running and sadly we may never truly know why that is but just maybe there are a few who will be able to break the barriers and wow the world to seeing a new generation of athletic women. After all we work just as hard if not harder to break barriers and to accomplish bigger things. It will truly be exciting to see if I will continue to stay in the eight minute range or if I will get faster than this.
Only time will tell.
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