8:06, 8:26, 8:25, 8:43, 8:34, 8:16, 7:11, 7:33, 7:47, 7:47, 7:42, 7:32
On Sunday I ran the Boston Buildup 20K. This is a 12.4 mile race.
It was about 25 degrees out, but with the huge wind it felt much colder than that. I didn’t really get to warm up. It was so cold out, plus I figured I would warm up in the first mile.
Right from the beginning, I heard Tara’s words in my head. (Tara is an amazing runner and marathoner from my running group who coaches me.)
“Hold back.” “Hold back.” “Hold back.”
Mile 1, 2, and 3.
“Keep your hands down.” “Be relaxed.”
I went up a few small hills.
“Shorten your stride.” “Lean forward.” “Elbows back.”
In the 6th mile, I started going downhill.
“Let gravity pull you.” “Don’t keep looking at your watch.” “Listen to your breathing.”
And you know what? Although I was halfway through the race at that point, I felt like I was just starting out. I had so much energy, it was incredible. I didn’t hear my breathing at all.
Then, I knew it. This race was MINE. This was going to be a really good race for me. I was sure of it. Nothing would stop me now. I can’t even describe it as having a second wind because I never really felt I had a first.
There were a few more small hills, but it didn’t really matter by that point. I was flying.
Mile 8, 9, and 10
I passed the heavy breathing guy with the white beard on my right. I passed the unidentified person whose face was completely covered in a scarf on my left.
I passed a young woman with a long ponytail swinging behind her. I passed a man who wore the same sneakers as me.
As I neared the finish, I saw my super-fast friend Peter from running group, who was already on his cool down. He told me I only had a little bit more to go and was doing great so far. Thank you Peter!
When I reached the middle school where the race started, I noticed one runner ahead of me go in one direction while another went a different way.
Help! I stopped. Which way do I go?
Fortunately, someone who was standing nearby pointed out the right way for me. Thank you to whoever you are! (I assume the other runner had already completed the race and was running to his car or something.)
I crossed the finish line in (according to my watch) 1:39.10. I averaged a 7.59 minute mile. While it isn’t wonderful or anything, I was most happy I ended the race significantly faster than I started. Negative splits! Thank you Tara, you’re the best!!!
I went home happy and counting the days until next week, when I’ll race again.