2019 Giving Thanks 10K run was a random race that I signed up to do. Running a 10K seemed like a good idea as a lead-in to a half-marathon. I registered to do a half-marathon as preparation for the Chevron Houston Marathon.
To my surprise, I wasn’t nervous going into this race. I saw it more as a practice run. Not exceedingly long but not too short.
I told my family not to bother getting up to watch me run this one. I didn’t think it was worth the effort. The race began early and the morning was colder than I expected. The race director did some warm-up calisthenics just before starting the race. Beyond raising my body temperature, it seemed to lighten the mood and create a friendlier atmosphere.
My goal was to run a consistent 10min/mile pace or faster. I didn’t expect to be able to finish faster than 1 hr 20 min but would try for 1 hr. However, I was torn because I was reluctant to commit to a faster time, but I really wanted to finish within an hour. Ultimately, I was grappling with the fear of feeling like a failure…so I hedged.
I ran conservatively.
The course was relatively flat and meandered through a local park in Sugar Land, TX. The 5K runners made one lap and we went around twice. At mile 4, I noticed that I was (relatively) comfortably maintaining a 10:30 pace. I felt the desire to have a 1 hr finish time get stronger. If I still wanted it, I’d have to push, but the opportunity was there.
For the next mile, I ran 9m 40sec /mile and I was struggling. I still wanted to break my time so I reached a bit deeper and ran 9m 01s / mile for the next mile (mile 6). I was able to turn on the afterburners and run 8min 32sec for the last quarter mile, but it was too late. I finished in 1hr 02 min.
In the end, I felt proud of my finish time. I also learned that I am more capable than I want to acknowledge. I’m justified in expecting more of myself.