Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Running to the Beat of My Own Drum

Last Friday evening I ran the 4-mile Out & Back Party Run and I did two things I've never ever done before during a race:

1. I didn't wear a watch

2. I ran without any self-induced pressure
I've got to tell you, it was refreshing.

A friend of a friend put a team together for the race and we all got matching tech shirts.

I'm in the compression socks
Gotta love a little Blue Steel on a Friday evening.

I didn't really have any goals for this race other than to specifically adhere to numbers 1 & 2 above. I decided to run the 1.5 miles to the start, run the race, and run back home, giving me a nice 7 miles for the day.

This was my first racing experience since my injury. In the five-some weeks I've been running again I've been ridiculously slow. I'd be surprised if I'm breaking 10 minute miles on my runs, which is a lot different from the 8's I used to throw down.

I probably would have gotten caught up in the race excitement had it not been for my friend Greg, who I ran with the whole time. We chatted and enjoyed the scenery while keeping a completely relaxed pace. We hit the halfway point and saw the clock at 20:00 on the dot. We both suggested that we pick it up a little on the way back. Greg really wanted to break 40 minutes. I was happy with whatever, but I was slightly curious to see what pushing it felt like after so much time off.

We passed person after person on the way back and agreed to kick it in gear about a quarter mile from the finish line, which was up a hill (of course). I put on the sprint as I cruised up the hill, ran across the finish line, and felt something I hadn't felt in a long time. You know what I'm talking about. Your heart is about to beat out of your chest. Your body is squeezing out every last inch of energy to get across the line. I missed that feeling. There's a big difference between running and sprinting, but in my opinion there's no better way to end a race (pending that you haven't been chugging vast amounts of caffeine or have any heart issues).

Final stats: 4 miles, 37:41, 9:25 pace

I'm quite certain that is the first time in nearly 3 months that I have broken the 10 min/mile barrier. Not to mention that we had some lovely negative splits on the way back. I definitely don't intend to get caught up in all sorts of pace times and splits and competition in the near future, but on a personal level it's nice to feel like I'm getting back into running shape. More importantly though, I ran this race for me, not to compete with anyone else, and I put in as much effort as I did or didn't want to, regardless of what the clock said.

I feel ready to tackle Broad Street the same way this Sunday!


  1. Yay! Running for the enjoyment of it, that's what it's all about! :)


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