I ran my first official race this Sunday, April 23rd. It’s been quite hot lately, especially when training, but race day was very cool at just around 50 degrees. I waited around for about an hour before stripping my joggers and hoodie, lacing up the shoes, and heading down to the starting area.
I knew it would be chaotic, but it’s hard to understand it until you’ve started a foot race with a herd of humans. It’s painfully slow, and there’s just no rhyme or reason to it. I stupidly started in the middle of the pack. Smarter and faster runners had positioned themselves more toward the front to avoid being held back and having to make their way through the pack.
For the first 2 miles, I was just bobbing and weaving. I then noticed I was part of a small group of people running at what I’d consider my “daily” pace. I stuck with them for about a half mile before hitting the afterburners, pulling away, and dropping them after another half-mile. The runners in front of me had established a good lead by then, but I kept getting after it. For the rest of the race, I was alone. I never caught up with anyone else, and no one caught up with me. It was kind of nice running those last miles by myself.
In the end, I took 8th overall and 1st for my age group. I’m most proud of beating my previous record by 2 minutes and running a sub 7 minute pace. I went out with that goal as my main objective. I only wanted to compete against myself and to make sure I was consistently improving through my training.
Now, I’m preparing for the Maryland Half Marathon coming June 10th. Only slight adjustments to the current regiment are needed, but consistent training remains the focus. I’m excited to get back in the gym and hit the weights, excited for the longer runs ahead, and excited to see where I can take myself moving forward.