It has been a while since running became a hobby. About a year now. Along the way, I’ve been setting up goals for myself to meet or exceed. This particular one was the most ambitious this far. On May 14, 2011, I accomplished this goal.
The decision to go for this goal was due to a compromise. A 5k was seeming too short and a marathon too long. A 25k seemed like a good compromise for a newbie runner like myself. I work with who have run the race before and gave me positive reviews. I would like to echo them and say that if you’re considering the race, it is quite a rewarding experience.
The under two hours part of the goal was more of a personal decision. If I’m doing this, I’m doing it good. There is also special recognition for those who are able to beat the 2 hour mark. If I run next year, I get a bib that acknowledges the achievement. I also knew what shape I was in. A goal of 2 hours would mean that a lot of work would be required; it was going to be tough.
Like most things, the preparation was 90% of the race. On the Riverbank Run’s website there is a training schedule that I tried to follow. Because of my lofty goals, I decided to follow the expert running schedule. At the peak of training, I was running for 45-50 miles a week.
The time commitment was larger than expected. Most of my Saturday was spent recovering from a 12-15 mile run. This gets especially rough when your wife decided to throw a surprise birthday party involving 70 people and indoor rock climbing. 🙂 The time it takes doesn’t just count time spent on the road. There is time to stretch, time to dress, time to clean, and time to recover. Looking back at it, I’m glad that I opted for a distance shorter than a marathon.
On raceday, I was buzzing. The weather was perfect for a long run. Out of the gate, the wind was at my back. The first 8 miles were fast. Probably a little too fast. Around mile 11, we had turned back, the wind was against us, my times began to slow down. Along the side of the road, there were people, lots of them towards the last two miles. There were people from the community, cheerleader squads, and military service members. I, of course, didn’t take water from the service members, but gave them some applause as I ran by. They had already given enough.
It was due to the people who were cheering and the volunteers that I kept pushing. There was some slack in my goal time, but why not do better? I finished strong, going uphill, with people cheering all over.
Mile: Pace in Minutes per Mile
1: 7.11 — Watch lost my position during this time. This distance isn’t totally accurate
5: 7:15 — Passed the 7:30 pace guy here
9: 7:36 — Switched back and lost the wind. Also a bit more hilly
Being healthy helps me to enjoy my life. I would recommend that everyone who has the ability, set up some goals and get out on the road. Life is too short to sit! There are lots of running clubs out there. The ones that I ran with were awesome and encouraging. Find one in your area and get to it.