Sunday, April 1, 2012

Tying my 10K PR

I had hopes yesterday of besting my personal record in the Monument Avenue 10K. Instead, I did the next best thing - tying it to the second. Fortunately, I could still look up my best time on the Internet, which was set in 2009 at 1:03:21. I finished 170 out of 526 in my age group of 60-64 year old males.

I feel good about my results, even though I didn't set a new PR. My pace per mile was about 1.2 minutes faster than at Shamrock just two weeks ago. If I just skipped that last water stop though, I would have not had to slow down to a slow walk for twenty seconds or so - and I would have had a new PR!

As I reported yesterday, I left the camera at home, which was just as well. First, it rained for the pre-race period. Second, had I stopped for even one photo, I would not have tied my PR.

I pretty much stuck to my strategy of running 2.5 minutes and then walking for 30 seconds. There were a number of times that I ran for an additional minute or half minute, and a couple of times that I walked a little longer. I did not look at my stop watch once until the six mile point. Therefore I could not fret along the way about whether I still had a shot at a PR or not, and perhaps assume that I didn't. See - I have learned a few lessons along the way, and actually applied them. It really helped that I wrote down some of those lessons here and was able to review them before the race.

Mainly, my feelings of running yesterday were of joy. Joy at being alive. Joy at being healthy and strong enough to compete (against myself, not against the people that won the thing in under 29 minutes!) in this race at any pace. Joy at seeing all of the activity around me. This race is just a lot of fun - it really is. Yeah, it is crowded, and it can be annoying when some guy spits in the street right in front of you, or when four people are walking abreast and you have to scramble to get past them. But mostly, it is just pure fun! And I am thankful to be part of it once again.

Wearing the shirt I had made in memory of my sister, my joy was tempered a number of times by my reflections on losing her last year. I wish she could know that I was running in her honor once again. I wish Faith could know, too. At least Nancy, Bill, and Ed know. I even stopped by Nancy's home yesterday to show her the photo of her pinned to my sweaty race jersey!

The other thing I thought about yesterday a few times as I ran along was that 10 years ago, I had cancer growing in my body and didn't even know it. I would not learn of it until the end of April. Now, as far as I know, I have been cancer free for more than nine years. That fact alone is worth celebrating by completing my ninth 10K!

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