Well I’m dropping something down to let y’all know how it went. Don’t worry I’ll try to give more details in another post, as well as a picture of my number. But ya, I broke 24 minutes. That wasn’t an official goal I set for myself, but the fact is I usually run my normal runsat about an 8 minute mile.
Few quick things I can mention though…. And it’s probably good for other people to think about. For all my talk about running being a solo activity and testing yourself, it’s damn harder to do in person. Looking around there were lots of people in quality gear all appearing to be in great shape. It’s hard not to compare yourself to others. For all my noncompetitivenature, I was getting nervous. In fact I about psyched my self out with all the tension building up without a focus .
And I think that affects a lot of people. Whether it’s your first time or first in a long time, there is that sense of public scrutiny. How you handle that anxiety is another matter : raw self-confidence, pride, vanity, frugality, or whatever. Something that will get you to toe the line, waiting for the gun. For me, it was a little pride and vanity. I had brought along my cheerleader, my beautiful wife, and there was no way I was going to back down in front of her. Especially for fears that seem silly even in my own mind.
Pacing around at the line, I jockeyed for position. Didn’t want to get too far in front or too far back. Once the race started, all the built-up tension was focused and flowed out of me into my running. Sadly, it left a little present behind. Lactic acid in my arms. People may not think your arms get much of a work out while running, but proper and more efficient form uses the movement of your arms. By a mile and a half, my arms and shoulders were killing me. I had kept them so tense waiting for the race to startthat they were worthless. They hurt so bad I’ll even admit I walked 4 times, for about 5 seconds each time, because of the pain.
As is obvious from my numbers (60 out of ~250 and 7:43 min miles) it goes to show that you should NEVER go on appearances. You, and they, might be surprised as you pass them by before the end of the race.