Runners Take Your Marks

Roughly 3 years ago, I set a goal for myself to run 5 miles at under a 10 minute mile pace.  The tough part about this was 1) I lived in Iowa at the time and the weather doesn’t always cooperate.  2) I was going to be doing most of the running on a treadmill because I had a 6 month old baby and a 2 year old at home.

A little less than 6 months after that, I was up to 3 or 4 miles, not quite at 10 minute miles, but close.  I ended up having some health issues (not related to the running) but the running had to be put on hold for about another 6 months.  Less than 5 months after that we moved back to San Diego.  I didn’t really get back to running until January of 2011.

I did OK for awhile but got bored because I was running a lot on the treadmill again.  I would stop running for about a month and then get back to it once I would see the scale creep up 5 or 7 lbs.

I was at my 10 minute mile pace, but even getting 3 miles in was kind of a struggle.  I bought a running stroller so I could run outside with Rory when Kamryn was at school.  That was really hard, but at least I was getting a few miles in during the week.

Somewhere in there, I started running with my brother, Dan.  He runs a lot and has a few marathons and other races under his belt.  I, on the other hand have a total of one race under my belt, excluding any of my junior high and high school track meets.

I. Do. Not. Like. To. Race.  At all.  I get so incredibly nervous that I feel like I’m going to either puke or shit my pants.  It is horrible.  Once I start running, I’m fine, but that anxiety I feel before is horrible.  And it’s not just immediately before – it starts the minute conversation veers in the direction of racing.

I tell anyone that will listen about my racing neurosis, but no one seems to care because my friends and my brother are still suggesting races for me to enter.  I keep turning everyone down and so instead, my brother came up with his own race for me.

Today was my race.  I had to run a 5 mile course in under 50 minutes.  It’s actually like 5.1 miles because my anal retentive brother thinks the markers are off a little bit.  His job was to run with me as my pacer.  I told him to wear the watch and keep me where I needed to be, but I also told him he wasn’t allowed to tell me if I fell behind my pace.  He would just have to make sure I finished where I needed to.

49 minutes and 26 seconds later I finished my race.  I ran seconds under 10 minute miles for the first 4 miles and then my last mile was 9 minutes and 30 seconds.  To say I was happy with my time is an understatement.

Dan’s strategy was to get me to meet this goal – something that I didn’t really know if I could do so my confidence would increase.  Did it work?  Yes.  Have I signed up for a race?  No.  Am I seriously considering it?  Yeah, I think I am.

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6 thoughts on “Runners Take Your Marks

  1. Races are addictive…but fun! I did my first tri in October 2010 and a year later I had done 10! (7 solo, 3 relays)

    I’ll do one with you. I am a slow runner so you will be the friend waiting for me at the finish line. We should do the Chocolate 15k (or there is a 5K option).

      • IF and that’s a BIG IF, I do a race, it will definitely not be a tri, unless you are going to tug me along in the water. I am not what you would call a strong swimmer. I also don’t have a bike.

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