Five years ago my daughter, husband, and I ran our first 5k races at the Channel Islands Harbor 4th of July 5k and 10k. We’d started running earlier in the year. Megan and I were close together but she had a better kick and beat me at the end. She still has a better kick. We both remember our excitement at completing this first race. My time was 36:16. I’m very proud of that time because it is a marker on a new, fit way of life.
We don’t do the race every year because we sometimes travel for Independence Day, so my next race was in 2015, this time a 10k. I was training for my second marathon at the time and this race was in the middle of a longer run. I was absolutely thrilled with my time of 1:04:44. I remember finding one of the coaches for the training program and excitedly showing her my time.
I didn’t run this race in 2016, but ran a 10k on July 23rd in 55:22. I don’t remember the same level of excitement that day. Maybe it was because I was also running a 5k…and it was hot! But I was certainly pleased with the time.
Today I ran the 10k…just my third 10k. I wasn’t sure what to expect. I just started hard running last week, after my recovery from the Mountains 2 Beach Marathon (Recap here). I raced a 5k last Wednesday and was disappointed with how hard it was for me…and for my time. My coach thankfully told me I should be happy that a bad day was better than my best day a year ago. Ok, I’ll take that!
Then on Saturday I had a nasty fall 1 mile ito a 9 mile run. I’m still battered and bruised…and I completed the run.
My goal today was to beat my 55:22 from last year…and not crash at the end the way I do in a 5k. I started a bit conservatively, felt good after the first mile, and pushed the pace a bit. Almost every mile felt good, with miles 5-6 being the hardest (as they should be). I got a cramp in my side for part of mile 6 but then it went away. I sprinted the last .2 and finished with a time of 51:56. That’s a 3:26 PR! WhooHoo!
A lesson in all this is that progress happens when you stick with it for the long haul. Another…enjoy the journey along the way.
Today I’m personally thankful for: community races; all the volunteers who were out there this morning; and FREEDOM, may we not squander it.
Like many people do at this time of year, I’ve done a bit of a look back at the last year. All in all its been a very good year. My work as a pastor has been going well, and connected to this my life as a runner has been amazing. I say these two are connected because I discovered a couple years ago that running has been a wonderfully spiritual activity. It is when I pray, meditate, relieve stress, and thankfully get a lot of sermon prep done.
I cannot count the times that I’ve discovered solutions to various problems while running. I cannot count the times that I’ve been able to just let my mind go and relish the moment, enjoy the scenery, and feel that life is wonderful. And those weeks in the past year that we’ve had very bad news in our country, running has helped me to process my own anger and grief. I hope that this has made me a better leader.
From a physical standpoint, running along with a vastly improved diet has helped me move from obese to merely overweight. I am working hard to lose more weight as part of becoming a better and faster runner.
As for improvement in the last year I’d say that the biggest impact was my participation in a training program for the 2015 Ventura Marathon. I wasn’t able to run with everyone due to my schedule, but I still felt part of the group… And the people in this group are awesomely nice, accepting, and encouraging. Now I’m a member of Vendurance Running Tribe and it has been great. I highly recommend joining a running club. I’m still kind of new in the group and hope to become more acquainted with people in the coming year.
Here are some statistics for the last year:
# 5k races: 8, all part of the Boogie Nights summer run series in Ventura.
# 10k races: 1, 4th of July in Oxnard (this was part of a training run so in all I ran 16 miles that day).
# half marathons: 2, in October (PR in the this race) and November (and another PR, beating my October time by 4 minutes). I also ran a half marathon relay with my daughter… making it 2-1/2 half marathons.
And 1 marathon, The Ventura Marathon in September. This was my second marathon and I improved my time from the first (Sept 2014) by an astounding 47 minutes!
Total miles run: 1,220 (compared to 846 in 2014, an almost 50% increase in distance).
Total hours run: 231
Weight at beginning of year: 220
Weight at the end of the year: 182 (goal is 155, which puts me at the top of the suggested weight range for my height).
A bonus is that my husband and my adult children are also running. It’s been a good family activity. When looking at all this I can say it has been a good year and I am looking forward to continued improvement in 2016!
It’s not really a resolution and will actually (hopefully) be accomplished in 2017… but my big audacious goal is to qualify for the Boston Marathon. This will require me to improve my marathon by an hour… more on this later.