I’ve been running off and on for almost 10 years now. I’ve been running seriously (and doing long distance) for three years. In all of that time, I have never won anything. Sure, after some races I get a medal, but that is a finisher’s medal it is not based on speed or skill.
So imagine my shock when I won an award at a 5k last weekend! I had no idea I’d even be in the running. In most races (big or small) I’m in the age group that is always huge, filled with some pretty fast women.
For the past four years, my company has been involved in the Spend Yourself 5k run / 3k walk. One year I couldn’t run because it was after my first marathon and I was having terrible knee pain. Last year, I was out of town.
Well, this year I was in town and I convinced my fiance to come with me. We had a goal time of under 30 minutes, more specifically to keep a 9:30 pace.
The race started at a local church and was mostly on the W&OD trail. I forgot that there is a small hill you have to go up at the end and that there was a significant hilly bridge that you had to run over…twice!
I started running with my friend K while my fiance ran ahead, but then I caught up with him. For the rest of the race we focused on staying warm and keeping up our pace. It was an out and back so I was able to keep mental tabs on where we were the whole time.
The turn out was great and there were a lot of people running and walking! It’s challenging towards the end because you have to dodge the walkers since everyone is on the same course, but we did it and rounded the corner to see that last uphill. I pushed through with everything I had (maybe not everything, but a lot) and made it over the finish at (almost) the exact same time as my fiance!
After the race we all went out to breakfast. I didn’t stay for the awards because I never win and then not five minutes later I get a text that I had won second in my age group! I was shocked and elated. I’ve worked really hard to get my pace down and I really truly never thought I’d ever place at a race, so this was awesomely unexpected.