To stay motivated and on track for my running goals for 2013 I decided to sign up for a 5k on campus. It’s a small race that runs through and around Santa Clara University.
It was also the first race I did without my running buddy (who has recently been side-lined by an injury), and I set out to just do my best and hopefully run faster than I did in September at my first ever race. I started the race a little faster than my normal training pace, and I was careful to slowly pick it up. About a half mile in the crowd had spread out a bit and I could see a professor who is absolutely beloved on campus up ahead of me. Unbeknownst to him, I decided then and there I wouldn’t let him beat me (Sorry Father Tracy!). I’ve never set my sights on a single person before as a way to motivate myself, but it turned out to be effective for me this time.
It took me two and a half miles to catch and pass him. A few minutes after I passed him I rounded the corner to the last stretch to the finish line saw my roommate. While she cheered for me all I could say was “I’m going to hurl!” but I took off sprinting anyways. I didn’t throw up, I did PR at 23:53 (a 7:42 minute per mile pace and three minutes less than my last PR), and I even won my age group (Females 21-30).
I did not expect to win anything (even though it was a super small race with about 250 participants), it was still a great feeling (although I have to admit I had walked home before the awards and my roommate is actually the one who picked up my prize and called me to let me know I won).
It feels great to know that I can still push myself to win races like I did when I swam competitively in high school. It's also nice to know that all of those miles I've been logging are making a difference.