If you’ve poked around the blog this year you may have noticed that I posted my goals for 2011 on my Train page. If not, here they are:
2011 Running Goals:
- Help a friend run a race PR.
- Volunteer at a minimum of 5 events.
- Successfully race direct my own trail races.
- Finish my first Ultra.
- Run a successful marathon in Boston.
On Sunday, I checked off the first item on that list: Help a friend run a race PR. When I signed up to run this year’s Superbowl 10k I was optimistic about my race preparedness and thought the race would be a good test of my fitness half-way through my training cycle. About a month out from the race I knew I wasn’t going to be race ready so I got in touch with a friend of mine and asked if I could run it with her. As it turns out, this was a completely satisfying and smart approach to this race.
As luck would have it, or perhaps misfortune, I tweaked my achilles two weeks ago and ended up taking some time off from running. Last week I logged short, easy runs on the treadmill ranging between 15-30 minutes in length at around 10:50 pace. Success! By Saturday my achilles no longer ached and all phantom pains had disappeared. I was a tad nervous about Sunday’s race but once we started running I stopped worrying. I had no problem, and especially because our overall pace averaged at 10:20 minute miles.
I have never run at the back of the pack. What a new experience for me. Everyone back there is working just as hard as I do up front. They struggled and sweated up the hills, just like I do, and plugged on to the finish. A few even finished with a great kick. I spent the majority of the race distracting my friend with stories and conversation and keeping her on pace. I have to tell you, I really enjoyed myself. It was extremely satisfying to help my friend run her very first 10k and it’s probably exactly what I needed right now.
I have struggled to even CARE about my training. I feel guilty for not being very excited about heading to Boston. I mean, some people want to go to Boston so badly, they try and try to qualify but keep missing the cut. I think that Boston means so much more to them than it does to me. I never cared about trying to qualify. And when I did, I said a bit half-heartedly “well, I guess I’ll go to Boston,” but only because it seemed like that was what I am suppose to do. I figure I’ll go up and see what all this fuss is about.
So, my head hasn’t really been into this particular race, it’s been a horrid winter, my training was just beginning to pick up and I was starting to get back into the distances when my achilles starts to act funny … pacing a friend was a perfect distraction! And I’ve realized one thing lately – I cannot wait to get Boston behind me so that I can focus more on trails and running for the sake of running. I have lost any and all pre-race excitement. No more race nerves. No more planning and obsessing. All I can think about is going out to run for the pure joy of it. And that is what I plan to do for the rest of the year after Boston. I will vanquish any and all plans for races, in fact, I highly doubt I’ll be running the Ragnar Relay but mostly due to logistics, and only hop into an event if I feel like it at the last minute.
Time to start thinking about the rest of the Goal list …