Sunday, May 18, 2014

Feelin' Stronger Every Day

Not only is the title of this post my favorite Chicago song but it can also be used to describe my running.

After the disappointment of the DBacks Race Against Cancer 2 weeks ago along with the failure to hit my goal time on Pat's Run the week prior, I knew I had to bear down harder in my training if I wanted to achieve my goal of a sub-20:00 5K.

Things went great over the past 2 weeks and I was ready as I was going to be for yesterday's Splash Mob 5K.

Had a busy morning planned with some non-race related things to do before the 7am start but I managed to get there in time to meet up with people from work, stretch and get a spot near the front at the starting line.

When the race when off I was able to clear traffic pretty quickly and settle in not too far behind the lead pack of runners. Not worrying about nothing but my own pace I hit the first 1/2 mile right where I wanted to be at around 3:12; a tick fast but only by a few seconds. As the first mile progressed, the lead pack started to come back to me except for 1 runner who started to break away. Soon I had caught and passed them but I was then overtaken by another runner who would go on to be the eventual winner.

Throughout the race I managed to keep my pace where I needed it to be even as I was pelted by water balloons and squirt guns along the course. Yes, that is why it is called Splash Mob; they have "splashers" along the way to soak down the runners and it makes for a fun event.

When I hit mile 2, I was off on my time by about +:15 seconds but I knew that I had trained hard and the extra speed work was going to pay dividends. Where on the DBacks Race I was -:15 at this point and struggling, here I was strong and had another gear or 2 left in me.

As the last mile progressed I began to reel in the runner that was ahead of me to where I was only about 20 yards behind him but he must have heard me coming in the last 1/4 and found another gear of his own.

Catching him was not my motivation though. With the finish nearing, I looked at my watch and saw it just pass 19:00. With about 100 yards to go I knew that my goal time was within reach as long as I finished strong and when I looked at my watch as I crossed the finish I saw it read 19:51.

Mission accomplished! My official time of 19:52 was good enough for a 3rd place overall finish and a new 5K PR.

Considering in 2012 when I first ran this race, as I began running, finishing with a time of 28:52 which I improved to 22:04 in 2013, it goes to show that you can achieve anything as long as you put your mind to it and make the commitment.

Now it's on to bigger and better things.

This was just a milestone along the way as my ultimate goal for 2014 it to run a sub-1:30:00 half marathon. To achieve this time I will need to train even harder throughout the summer but I know I have it in me.

I took a well deserved rest day today with the next phase in training set to begin tomorrow.

I do believe I'm feelin' stronger every day
Yeah, yeah, yeah

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