Great things are not done by impulse, but by a series of small things brought together.-- Vincent Van Gogh
Well I’m sorry Vince, can I call you Vince?.... today’s greatness WAS the result of something a bit impulsive… in an over planned kind of way.
See, here’s how it went down.
In March, my coach and I were talking about prioritizing my racing. At the time, wearing a boot, I said, "I’m just going to concentrate on TWO races. My Sprint Tri = B race. Richmond Marathon= A race".
Q said, “…and I want you to run a 5K ‘C-race’ in September time frame, just to remind the legs that they know how to run fast.”
On Monday of last week I was sponsored to run an 8K on 10/1. Two reasons my sponsor sent the dough. 1) Bright Beginnings YMCA program could use her $cash. 2) There’s something poetic about sponsoring a runner who’s deathly allergic to Shellfish to run the West Point VA Crab Carnival 8K… don’tchya think?
I told a total of 3 people that I was racing this weekend because I didn’t want the pressure, and yet, I woke up nervous.
I’d never even run an 8K. I made a sub 40 goal.
And, I can run slow for 20 miles, but what does that mean at an 8K?
Regardless, I showed up, and feeling heavy I pinned my bib# on and went for a warm up mile. At the end of the mile I did a few minutes of strides alternating with easy, and during those strides, my running became effortless.
The small race started with a “on your mark…get set….GO!”
Great works are performed, not by strength, but by perseverance. -- Samuel Johnson
The game by the end of the first mile became chicking the men ahead of me.
By the time I was 6th overall in the standings we were nearing the turn around of the perfectly flat out and back course. The collegiate level athlete in 1st gave me a First Female shout out and a coaching tip/heads up on location of my competition. At the turn around I realized Girl #2 was 20 feet behind me, maybe... For a nano-second I thought, damn, I really wanted to win. And then I came to my senses.
If you want it bad enough, you will work to get it. So, how bad do you want it? -- GBA gf
I wanted it. Around 3.5 my pace was 7:15ish. I focused on running the tangents of the road, on my forward lean and on arm swing. By mile 4+ I was struggling to hold this pace but was too determined to slow down much.
I sounded terrible. I’m sure I looked worse. WTFC? I wanted it.
I have never been the one to hear the words, “LOOK, IT’S THE FIRST FEMALE FINISHER!” before. I’ve said those words at the many races I’ve volunteered this year. To hear it? Wow. It’s ~ like ~ wow.
Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm. -- Ralph Waldo Emerson
The highpoint of my day? Yeah, I admit, being called up for the awards ceremony was pretty freak-tastic. But, overhearing the local high school cross-country coach say, “that little one can really run” and realize he was talking about me was right up there too.
So speed is relative, right? I beat the other women… sure… But here’s the real news of the day.
I crushed my goal. 37:41...
Suddenly all those long term goals that I have look realistic. And all those short term goals I have look really short sighted to be honest with you. I think I’m going to crank it up a notch around here and see what happens. Yeah. I said it.
Self-trust is the first secret of success. – Ralph Waldo Emerson