This week has been one of the best weeks.
Both Googs and JMan are staying with us from Wed through Saturday. If you have little ones or no kids, it's hard to explain how much fun adult children are. I hate even using the term "children", but you get what I'm saying.
We all got up to run our Annual Turkey Trot on Thursday. I always joke about the RACE of the CENTURY and what it means to have family bragging rights. I didn't clue you all in, but this year was a little different. About a month ago, Googs dislocated his toe. He's been unable to run, so the race wasn't really going to be the bloodbath of previous years.
Wed night, the menfolk stayed up late drinking and talking and playing games. I always get worried that I've sort of "forced" this tradition on them. I told them repeatedly that they could all stay home. I was planning on racing, but that didn't mean they had to.
It was a beautiful morning. Chilly at the start (for my little tri shorts and lightweight t-shirt), but it was perfect for running.
The biggest thing that I've gotten from Coach Liz is "goals based on a process". Once again, I didn't have a time goal.
Several weeks back, she and I were talking about the 10K. She told me that a fit person can hold threshold for about an hour. A 10k should be run at threshold. I told her that based on what I see at races, I don't think most people run a 10k that hard.
She said, "That's why people hate the 10k. It hurts really bad."
I (obviously) have never run a 10k like that. Hell, I don't believe I've ever really run at threshold for any particular length of time.
I made it my goal to run the 4 miles at (at least) threshold. I knew it was going to really hurt. 4 miles....longer than a 5k.....not 5 miles. This is going to hurt.
I took the first mile a little easier, intentionally....not slow, but I needed to build to threshold. I've never done this before, so I wasn't quite sure how I was going to handle it. All I knew was that I was going to do it.
And, I did. I ran miles, 2, 3 & 4 at over threshold. Honestly, the first 2 miles were ok. By the time, I got to 2.5 and then 3 miles, I was starting to really feel it. I'd check my HR, if I dropped to threshold, I ran harder.
I didn't mentally give up, not once. I just kept pushing. When I came up to the last half a mile, which is a false flat, I could see the finish. I knew my pace would drop, but I didn't care....the EFFORT had to be there.
People around me started dropping off, slowing down, walking. All I could think was, there was a time I would slow down RIGHT HERE.
When I crossed the finish line, I had nothing left. I ran +3 miles at over threshold. I was weak. I was dizzy. I wanted to sit down, but I knew I need to walk around. I needed water. I had forgotten to hit my garmin. When I looked at it, it said 38:18 which was almost a minute PR. Then I realized I had forgotten to turn it off. When I check my 4 mile time, it was 37:57.
I snuck in just under 38 minutes. I couldn't believe it. I have these goals. 36 min, 37 min, 38 min. I know at some time, I will get there. Yesterday, I thought I could PR, but I never expected over :15 seconds per mile PR.
A few minutes later, Googs crossed the finish line. A few minutes after that, JMan came in. I ran back looking for Mr. Tea. He hadn't done the full 4 miles in years. I wanted to make sure he had support for that last mile. I ran back to mile 3. I thought I had missed him when I saw him on the other side of the street. I ran to him. We finished the last mile together.
We all found each other, and I listened to everyone telling their race stories. Then Googs said the best thing ever.
He said, "Thanksgiving wouldn't be the same without this race."
The entire drive home, I got to listen to them talk about how they did and how they paced, or didn't.
When I got home, I uploaded the race. I felt so awesome about how I did. I felt so great about my effort. At every race, I'm showing what I can do. Not every race goes the way I want, but I go home. I talk to Liz. I figure out what I did right or wrong, and I go back out there.
I was typing up an email to Liz.....when I got a notification of a new email.
That's when I saw it.
----to be continued----