I didn’t want to run yesterday.
It had been raining on and off for days, it was cold and I’d hardly run during the past few weeks.
But, like I tell my students on a regular basis, sometimes you have to do things you don’t want to do. So, yesterday afternoon Brian and I headed to downtown North Adams. I had signed up for Greylock Federal’s 5k Fall Classic because I wanted to run one last 5k this season. I don’t know why, I just felt like I could fit one more in. Since the race was local, I gave Brian a choice: watch me run or join the race. To my pleasant surprise, he chose to run.
This was also the first race I’d run without an experienced runner by my side. In my two previous 5k races I ran with blogger friends who could advise me about pacing and distance. Here, I was alone. No watch, no timer, no idea how fast I was going.
If I’d trained and the weather hadn’t been iffy (the showers did actually stop for the race), my goal would’ve been a sub-30 minute race, a goal set for me by Heather after our last race in July. Yesterday, I didn’t think such a fast run would be possible, especially with the wet pavement.
So, I ran the best I could. Brian took off almost immediately, but I worked hard not to overexert myself at the beginning. I’d rather start out slow and finish strong than the reverse. The 5k is followed by the North Adams Fall Foliage Parade, so the race route was lined with people including a few familiar faces. I didn’t want the crowds to see me walking, so I pushed myself to run longer than usual and took fewer walking breaks.
In the end it paid off. When I rounded the final corner, I was amazed to see the clock read just over 29 minutes. Was it possible? Could I cross the finish line in less than 30 minutes? I tried to pick up my pace as much as possible and watched the clock as it seemed to move in slow motion.
Miraculously, I crossed the line at 29:41. I was ecstatic.
I quickly found Brian, who finished at 26:46, and had a cup of water. We celebrated our excellent times (he hardly even trained!) and headed home.
It was the perfect finish to my first race season, even if my legs are really sore today.