Good Saturday afternoon everyone! Wow – another week that has flown by. I know that I haven’t been on here for the past couple of days but rest assured my half marathon training is doing great. Two weeks from today, I will be running my first half marathon in Athens, GA. I started to train in early January but it feels like I just started my training yesterday.
Well today, I participated in my first 10K race. I was suppose to run in the 2013 National Veteran’s Day 11K Run in Atlanta, GA but to my surprise and disappointment, the event ended up being cancelled. Instead, I did a virtual run: I ran my 11K here at home and after I was done, I logged in my mileage. I got a certificate, a medal, and lapel pin for participating. My time for that was 1:05:01 with an average pace of 9:30. Not bad for a virtual 11K. But it wasn’t a RACE!
It was late February when I was scrolling through the local race calendar and I noticed that there a Cherry Blossom Road Race scheduled for March 22, 2014. It was one of the many festivities to kick off the Cherry Blossom Festival. In addition, the race benefits Wesley Glen Ministries, an organization that serves adults with mental disabilities. When I noticed that they had a 10K route, I signed up without hesitation.
Before I went to the race, I met up with the Run For God 5K and 10K groups that were training early in the morning at 6:30. For the 10K group, they were running the longest distance that the training called for: 6 miles. I didn’t run; I was out there to cheer them on as they past by while I was enjoying my toasted peanut butter bagel.
I couldn’t stay long, so I left and headed to the race. When I got there, I “ran” into friends from the Run Fit Sports, Robins Pacers group, and even Air Force coworkers. It’s funny how you run into the same people race after race after race. But that’s okay, I enjoy seeing my friends! Since I had a little bit of time, I used the restroom (a must!) and did a couple of warm up laps around the parking lot. Well the race was about to start, so we all got to the starting line. And the race started and off we went. For some strange reason, my Pebble SmartWatch was not syncing with my RunKeeper when I started so I said whatever and put my phone in my waist pouch. It was a pretty good course that was out in the country, similar to what I was running in the For the Love of Kratos 5K last weekend. It had some hills but nothing major. The course was simple: run to the halfway point and turn around. When I turned around at the halfway point, I cheered my friends as they passed by. While running, I noticed that a train was passing by. I was hoping that didn’t effect the runners up front (the tracks had to be crossed to get back to the finish line). From what I heard, it did. While I was running, I thought I had a good comfortable pace. I could tell that I was pushing myself. I didn’t bother pulling my phone to check my pace; my focus was to cross the finish line. I think it was at mile 5.25 when one my running friends caught up with me. It was funny because that gave me an incentive to pick up the pace, which I did. Well, before I knew it, the finish line was in sight. One of my Air Force friends was there cheering me on and I decided to sprint for the finish line. Yes, I am done! My first 10K race in my life is now complete. One thing I like about this race was that it was chip timed, so we didn’t have to fill out our results when we were done.
Even though this was my first 10K race, I did a some goals for myself. I could have set the goal of just completing it but I knew I could do that since I have been doing all of this long distance running for the past three months. So I set the goal of competing the race in an hour or less and to beat my 11K pace of 9:30 per mile. I looked at what my RunKeeper but I wanted to see what the unofficial results said. Soon the board was updated. According to the sheet, these were my results:
Time: 53:23 with an average pace of 8:36!!!! YES, I BUSTED MY GOAL!!! I couldn’t believe it. I shaved 54 seconds off my average pace from my virtual 11K run last November. And again, I didn’t think I was going that fast! Just for kicks, I compared my average pace to my 5K races and my pace today was faster than 8 of the 10 5K races I have run so far. I even did a 4 mile run before Christmas and my average pace for that was 9:10 per mile. I am just blown away on my achievements and seeing how my training has been paying off. And I am just getting started!!
Well today was a great day! Now that I have an official 10K race time on the books, I have a goal for my next 1oK race to set a new 10K PR. My next 1oK will be the Chick-Fil-A 1oK in Dublin, GA on April 26, 2o14.
Well that’s it for now. But I am not done today! Tonight at 6pm, I am meeting up with some friends and running 12 miles. This will be my longest distance and duration run to date. Even though I ran a little over 6 miles this morning, I still want to get my training miles in for my half marathon. Somebody was half joking that I should run 6 tonight. I could but that’s CHEATING..IMO 😉
Have a great Saturday and happy running! Thanks for reading!