(This is a little late, but I had a crazy week.)
Something has been shifting, and today I noticed it...finally!!
First the details...
This was a 5 mile race with most of the miles along the rocky coast. It was beautiful...had it not been pouring rain with strong winds. ;) The rain started as we were leaving the house and it rained the entire time, but the downpours held off until the last half mile. I felt really good at each mile marker which caught me off guard. I am used to fighting to finish, making sure I still have something left to actually get across the finish line. I noticed that I felt faster and my legs felt good. I decided when they yelled out my time at the first mile marker that I could do this one faster than my 5 miler in November. It seemed possible.
Mile 2 was across the causeway with open ocean on either side. I took my hat off for fear of losing it in the wind. I started to doubt a better time, but I was still ahead of a 12 minute pace. I refused to stop for water fearing that if I missed coming in under an hour by a few seconds I would be kicking myself. The end result was that I cut 3 minutes of my previous 5 mile pace and finished in 57.11. Now I know I'm not breaking any world records, but for me that was a decent pace!
This was an emotional race for me. Around mile 3 I came across a boy who was probably 12 and was going back and forth between sprinting and walking. I told him "good job...slow down a bit and you've got this one". He struck a jog and stuck with me. Pretty sure I had a target on my back. :) He came up beside me near the end and made small talk. He gave me some words of encouragement in his 12 year old way and then sprinted around a corner to the finish as I cheered him on.
I also got to high five a crowd of preschoolers lined up along the sidewalk...my kind of crowd!! I felt like a rock star! I also passed other runner during this race. I caught up to the person in front of me and I knew I was picking up speed the last 1.5 miles. As I passed her, she said " Good job girl, way to finish." I wanted to hug her!! Whoever you are...thank you so much for those words...I needed them!!
The changes have been subtle, almost unnoticed until today. Today I realized I wasn't running to try to finish, I was running for a better time. All of this training is working and I think my head is starting to make some changes. What I lack in speed I make up for in determination. :) Race Four is in the books!!