I ran my first race of 2011 on Saturday. Blizzard Busters 5k in Ashland. It has been by far the hilliest course I have run thus far. It was challenging and made me realize that I definitely need to incorporate more hills into my runs because I know not every race course is flat. But I was proud that I ran a new PR for a 5k even if it was only by a second.
This race was exactly what I needed to get me back into the groove with training. I took the majority of last week off from my training regime because of the winter storm Northeast Ohio got blasted with. Plus, last week was just not a great week for me at work or personally, so I was glad I took the week off. But getting back into a race and seeing where I stood after my last race in early December was a nice gauge of how far I’ve come and where I need to go. With the Cleveland (half) Marathon feeling so far off (96 days), I needed something to breathe life back into me and motivate me and keep me focused. And I’m happy to say that it has given me a breath of fresh air. I ran a little more than 4 miles yesterday outside with a couple of running friends. It was a loop that I had run plenty of times last year and was completely familiar with. I took off running. I felt great and strong about 1.5 miles in and wasn’t aware of anything until Susan caught up with me and we started talking. I was a little out of breath at first, but as we kept going I was able to recover and manage a conversation while keeping a steady pace. After looking at my stats from my run, I ran a pretty fast first mile and finished with a 9:58/mile pace. I was so proud of myself. I usually run around a 10:30/mile pace. So I know that even though I took five days off, three days in a row of running did me good.
Now with a rejuvenated focus, I am driven to get back in the training saddle and push forward with my training. I’m very excited for the smaller races on the road to the Cleveland Marathon coming up. Chili Bowl Classic 5k, Catch a Leprechaun 15k, St. Malachi Run, Sole to Sole 5k, and Cleveland 10-miler.
All of these races are just miler markers on the path to crossing the finish line in D.C.