|Approaching the finish line!|
Fortunately I have an Angel on my other shoulder who balances that out. "You can do this. You have trained hard. The pain is temporary. Think how good it will feel to cross the finish line knowing you reached your goal -- and then post it on Facebook!"
Yes, sadly, I actually think about that when I am running :)
This past Saturday I beat the devil at his own game. I used him as motivation to run harder. I was expecting him. And when he showed up my Angel was prepared to fight with words of encouragement.
|One of the angels on my shoulder was my friend Sheila Ressler, who not only helped plan the race but also finished her first 5K!|
|Yet another angel, Kathy Tokach, handled many of the details of planning her first race like a pro.|
|Turns out I had several angels on my shoulder! Two Facebook friends, Sarah and Teresa ran their first 5Ks in identical times of 36:21. I'd have loved to see them cross the line together (but I was still out on the course!).|
I kept Brie and Jared in my sights up the mile-long climb to the 5K turnaround point. But when I crested the hill into Fort Lincoln they were long gone. I hoped they could follow the markings we had made on the pavement. When the landscape opened up at the bottom of the big hill (the same brutal one we would climb on the way back) I could see them make the turn on the road that would take them to the turnaround point.
Brie and Jared were still running together when they passed me heading back from the turnaround. We high-fived as we passed. I was still in third. And when I made the turn at the 5K mark I was right on my goal pace. I had just run my fastest 5K ever!
I like an out-and back course because I think it's fun to see all of the other runners, give some high fives and offer words of encouragement. I saw my friend Calli on the way back and she said "nice work." I liked that comment. It reminded me that there was still work to be done. A hill to be climbed.
Turning back on the main road it hit me. The wind. The hill. The devil. But this time I was ready. I actually talked to him. "Shut up!" I said when the negative thoughts creeped in. "Go away!"
That hill sucked. But I didn't let it beat me. That mile was my only one over eight minutes and it was 8:00.10! At the top of the hill I checked my Garmin Forerunner 410. I was still on pace to break 48:00. In fact, I had a shot at 47:00! The devil bowed his head because he knew that he'd been beat :)
After crossing under the road and turning towards the finish line I saw the clock was still on 46:00 and change. I heard the DJ announce my name and sprinted towards the finish. I was still in third. I was going to make my goal. I crossed at 47:04 and yelled. Something like AAAAAAGGGHHH!
It was a painful, happy, satisfied, ardurous sound. I had just ran the fastest race in my life. Not only the fastest 10K, the fastest pace at ANY distance (7:35/mile). Take that, devil! At age 48. I'm not getting older. I'm getting faster!
|The Beefin It Up! planning committee: from left: Michelle Marohl, Sheila Ressler, Sheyna Strommen, and Kathy Tokach.|
The first-ever Beefin it up; Fuel for the Finish 5/10K was a huge success and provided me with a memory of a lifetime. Thanks to the North Dakota CattleWomen for inviting me to take part. Congratulation on putting together a tremendous race.
P.S. Jared and Brie took first and second in the 10K. Check out the full results here.