So, I am officially registered for a 5k. A few weeks ago I was jogging on the treadmill, having a jolly good time watching American Idol and sprinting during the commercials. When I was done, I looked at my time and I had run 4 miles in about 30 minutes....and I thought, hey, that's a pretty good time. Did I really just run a 7:30 mile for 4 miles? Is that right? I couldn't really believe it. (It turns out, it was probably more of an 8:00 minute mile) I knew I was getting in good shape, but that was definitely a PR for me, as far a pace is concerned. So, driving home I was thinking, hey, I should get in a race. I had always thought about it, but I decided to commit to it. So, I talked to my sister and my boss (both runners) and got a little guidance. (This was about 3 weeks ago)
So my race is June 7th. Finishing the race is not an issue, I go that distance or farther every time I go running. The issue is speed, I want to be speedy. My goal is to run a 7:00 minute mile. 3 weeks ago I was at a about a 7:30, then 1 1/2 weeks ago I was at 7:20 and last Thursday I was at about a 7:15. I have run in the past, but I never really tracked my progress. I would just run to get exercise and burn off some of the junk food I may have eaten. Now my motivation is completely different. I am running harder and more consistently because I want to get faster. It's cool that it's good for me too, but it's really just this competitive spirit in me saying, you must kick booty, train harder.....lol. But let me tell ya, in the running world of Eugene, I'm a TURTLE! I went to a running group called the FastRunnerz last week, cuz I wanted a challenge. These people are crazy. They are so speedy! They were disappointed that they were only running a 6:00 pace. Another guy was saying he needed to get back in shape cuz he ran a marathon at a 7:30 pace. Needless to say, I had to keep reminding myself that I can't compare myself to seasoned veterans. So, it was my first time ever going to a running group, and I chose one of the more difficult. Naturally, I was feeling a little out of my league, but I held my own pretty well. Just when I was getting confident this lady shows up. She looks like a stinkin' model......tall, long legs, big bosoms, beautiful, toned, a golden tan (not orange)....wearing this cute sports bra and shorts. I'm thinking.....DANGIT.....at least I was one of the cute ones before.....now this chick has to come along and take away the one thing I have going for me. I mean, if I wasn't super fast, at least I could be among the cutest females. Then I'm blown out of the water by Heidi Klum....lol. Ol' well. It really wasn't that big of a deal. It was just another instance where I had to tell myself, Jess, you're doing your best, and you're not ugly, so be happy with whatcha got.
Even if I do run at my goal pace on race day, I will probably be the 40th female to cross the finish line. (it's true, I looked at past race results) But, it's the challenge to run faster than I ever have that excites me. I admit, many times when I'm running for speed, I think......gol, this is TORTURE, I want to stop, I'm never going to try to run at this pace again.....but then when I finish and my breathing is back to normal, I look at my watch and say, wow, that was pretty dog gone fast. I feel a sense of accomplishment, and then I think, I bet I can run faster next time. I'm still debating whether to go to that fastrunnerz group again, but I think I will. A tough workout only makes you stronger.....it's just getting through it that's the hard part. But really, what's 40 minutes of pushing your physical limits? Half the battle is fighting against your brain's dialogue of, "I can't go any faster/longer." I really believe that training for a race helps you face other challenges, because you become accustomed to telling yourself, "I can do it," when you really question if you can.
I am so excited for my race. It will be my first one EVER! We'll see how it goes. For those who may not know, a 5k is 3.1 miles. A marathon is 26.2 miles. I will run a marathon one day. I simply must. Though, I'm not too anxious to tackle it quite yet. YIKES!