Running is very therapeutic for me. During my runs I can think through life’s problems, listen for the Lord to speak into those issues and come back to face life and all of its challenges.
But running wasn’t always so therapeutic for me. I was a competitive runner in High School. I ran the mile (1600m) and the half mile(800m). My times were good enough to place in the top 4 in every race I did. But by today’s standards they are slow. These were the longest distances available to women in the day and I was a decent runner. My best time for the mile – 5:28 and for the half – 2:20 – both these records stood at my high school for several years!
The half mile was probably the most challenging race as you had to be fast the whole way – not a flat-out sprint, but pretty close. The mile strategy was to go out fairly quick, grab a place and hold it until the last 200 meters and then pour it on and hope you had more at the end than anyone else and move up in the placings.
I bet all my competitors except one – Donna F. She was 8 seconds faster than me in the mile. Eight seconds is a lot and I could never catch up to her.
Now I run marathons and the strategy is so much different. I need to hold a pace for a full 26.2 miles which means starting off slower and holding steady when adrenaline is pumping through the body and one once to be a rabbit and go hard. However when one does that, you can easily tank towards the end (and I have).
This summer as I was training a friend kept telling e to slow down and holding me to a pace – I struggled and fought the entire time, but if paid off when I did Grandma’s in June. I was able to hold the pace between 9:50 and 10:15 for most of the race. I was running well until I began cramping due to high humidity (never good for my body). I still ran a 4:35 – even with the cramping. But the important thing was I FELT GOOD POST RACE! I was sore and still cramping, but not flat-out exhausted and depleted all of my reserve. I never felt this way before. Recovery was much faster as a result.
This new revelation made me want to train at a consistent pace. It made me realize that getting a Boston Qualifying time was within my reach! I have wanted to run Boston since I was in my 20’s and now with a new paradigm it could become a reality. So I trained more consistently. Erin still has to reign me in because when I feel good, I want to take off like a rabbit!
So my next marathon is to run a consistent pace for the full 26.2 miles and pray that I don’t have any cramping issues! The goal is to run 10 minute miles for the first 13 and see how I feel – keep that pace or maybe just a tad faster through mile 19. If at that point I feel good, I will pick up the pace! The goal time is 4:20 or better – IF everything falls together on that day – I feel good; the weather, etc. Otherwise it will be a great long training run! My Boston Qualifying time is 4:10:00 – but with the new registration system, I really need to run a 4:00:00! The marathon to do that – Fargo is the target in early May 2014! I will be doing some shorter races to get my speed down, but for the first time I can actually see running Boston in my future!
And then I will work on New York City Marathon – which has faster qualifying times!