I mentioned, in a previous post, about needing to run an officially-timed 10K to get a qualifying time for February’s Disney Princess Half Marathon. It’s not really a “qualifying time”, but a race pace so that I don’t end up in the last corral with the balloon ladies. I was only two corrals ahead of the ladies last year, which basically meant an approximately eight minute lead – not nearly enough time. The solution was to run a 10K and submit a pace. Not just any time, mind you, but a pace that was faster than the Disney Princess Marathon 16 minute mile race pace.
After a restless sleep, I woke up to an outside temperature of 24 degrees and a 30 minute drive to the race. You know when something doesn’t feel right? I’ve stressed about this race ever since I signed up for it. I made the mistake of looking at the results from previous years, after I had signed up for the race and noticed the slowest time was about a 15 minute mile, give or take a few seconds. Sure, I’ve run faster than that – in a 5K. What if I couldn’t finish? I’ve never run outside in below freezing weather. What if I came in LAST? Horrors!
Arriving at the staging area, I realized that this was definitely a mistake of huge proportions. First, absolutely everyone looked like a Runner, not just your average every day runner, but capitol “R” runner. Everywhere I turned, all I saw was youth. What was this grandma doing here? What had I done? All I knew is that I didn’t want to be the last one over the finish line.
I discovered a few things about myself today. First, I may not be super-fast, but put me in a fast race and I can hold my own – in other words I didn’t come in last. In fact, I finished before they opened the roads back up 90 minutes after the start of the race. Second, it’s so easy to self-doubt. What was I doing here today with all of these Runners? Guess what, I’m a runner too. Perhaps not the capital R variety, but I’m further ahead than anyone still sitting on the couch talking about running. Finally, forget about everyone else on the road. I’m not out there trying to impress anyone other than myself. I’m doing this for me.
Did I train enough? I still have a ways to go, but the good thing that came out of today. I managed a time that should surely keep me out of that last corral.