A couple of months ago my thoughts during a run were “am I going to finish?” Now after 2 months of solid training and improvement the thoughts have transitioned into more positive and goal orientated ideas. If you’ve been following along with my blog you’ve seen my pace pick up quite a bit over the last few weeks. If you are just joining this journey I call my life, July I started treatment for Grave’s disease. Labor day weekend I started running again.
That weekend consisted of 2 runs, a 3 and a 2 mile run at 11:20 pace. My pace prior to the Grave’s disease was a little quicker. Half marathon pace was 8:30 and 5k was 7:10. 11:20 was a far cry from those paces. Hence the thoughts of would I ever finish those runs. Persistence does pay off. As the treatment improved, so did my pace. With my pace improving, my desire to run more inproved.
I still can not believe for a guy that love’s running as much as I do, I fought for the better part of the last year just to run. It was a bitter struggle to put left in front of right. Running sucked in my life. I never knew which run I would bonk out on entirely. It was running roulette so to speak. One day I’d feel great and run well, the next I couldn’t finish and would drop halfway through. Discouraging runs became the norm.
Those runs are getting further behind me and being replaced with runs of “I could have given a little more up that hill” kind of thoughts. The ability to dig deeper has returned and it feels good. I’ve been watching my split times improve dramatically over the last month. Times are starting to get back into the range they were prior to Grave’s disease taking over.
Seeing those dramatic jumps allowed the ego to think it might be farther along than it is. Ego encouraged me to run a 5k this past weekend. Truth be known all of me wanted to run. Its been a long time since I’d pinned a bib on. With my interval training times improving like they were, my ego was thinking sub 23 min 5k. That would put me back at my healthiest phase of running and in only 2 months.
In reality sub 24 would be the better call based on my training times. As this debate went back and forth in my head for the 4 days prior the event, I found myself as anxious and excited about a 5k as I used to get about marathons. I started thinking of strategies and diet for the end of the week. Yes I know! Its a 5k! Like I said earlier, its been a while since I’d pinned a bib on and even longer since I’d been excited about an event. I’d even decided to go out of town and run the 5k. Traveling to a race has its own excitement built in.
The Outer Banks run festival is where I chose to go. Mainly to support a friend running the half marathon but did take advantage of the trip to run the 5k. Race morning was just as exciting as I’d remembered. You can hear the chatter in the air if runners. Goals, wishes and dreams all get tossed around before the gun goes off. I had to keep reminding myself its a 5k to see where I’m at. I kept getting caught up in all the excitement, which wasn’t a bad thing. I didn’t recall all those miserable months of feeling like crap, I was recalling the last month of good workouts. I had a race plan, logically sound I might add and not ego driven.
I wanted to go out at 7:15 and see where my breathing was. Too desperate or labored and then I adjust. The gun went off and so did I. At the 1/2 mile mark it dawned on me that I’ve been passing a lot of people. Checked the watch and my pace was 6:50, ego said hang on this is going to be fun. Logic won out and I stepped out of traffic and eased my pace back. I did maintain breathing for the most part. I fell into a good rhythm and just ran for the next mile or so, wasn’t a whole lot of racing with the crowd that I was in. Checked my pace after mile 2 and I’d fallen back to an 8:00 min pace. Seriously felt like I was running faster than that. I started to push and wanted to really give it my all this last mile. I dug a little deeper and tried to keep up with those starting to pass me. Now they want to race, where was this at a mile and a half? I kept a couple people as targets to go get but they were to strong. I did keep digging and breathing. I know I say kept breathing a lot, but that was one of the hardest things for me to do when the thyroid was wacked out.
Entering the last 10th of a mile for the race I was able to let it all go and just run. I like being able to do that. Being able to run as fast as you can is liberating I think. Its motionless, soundless and yet full of both sound and motion. Strongest kick I’ve had in a very long while and it felt good. A look at the watch and I’d come in at 23:50, felt a lot faster I swear. Not what the ego had wished for, but it was what the body could do. I was able to run and finish strong. I was able to go out too fast and recover. I was able to join others and celebrate the run. Now you all know what I now know. I am at just the right place to keep running.
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