Training begins with a lesson

The Baltimore 10-miler was yesterday.  I started and finished with two amazing women, both of whom inspire me to dig deep and step up to the next level.  I will admit now that I really wanted to bail on this race.  The odds were not good that this would be a “good” race.  It was hot (never my favorite), I was tired (a long week at work with far too little sleep), and my training since Cherry Blossom has been erratic.  Oh, and the end of the course is a series of tough hills.  Any one of those excuses would have been sufficient to take a pass.

The reality is that I didn’t want to run a race where I was going to be disappointed in my time.  My ego wants to see an ever-improving speed trend, not a glad-I-finished result.

Fortunately  I had made a commitment to ride to the race and run with friends.  My husband had offered to make a post-run breakfast for us.    And then -that final straw-I read that Facebook post from the organizers,”…Remember Saturday is not about the finish line. It’s about the courage of stepping up to the start line…”

So I stepped up to the starting line, friends beside me.  We each had different goals for the run.  Mine were simple: run the whole race and  finish the race with your friends.

Mission accomplished.  One friend set a 10-mile PR, and – if her pre-race comments are to be believed – ran a pace 30 seconds below what she expected.  The other pushed through the late hills after only minimal training, and even then with a max distance of 5 miles.  It was an honor to run with them by my side.

So what’s next?  Actually, I was supposed to have my first long slow run with the marathon training group on Saturday, but ran my 10 miles in the race instead.  I couldn’t have scripted a better way to start my training.  Not with a great PR finish, but with having the courage to step up to the starting line.

It is very rewarding to feel and see progress. I am going to put my head down and keep plugging away. I believe the best is yet to come.” –Shalane Flanagan, 2nd woman finisher at the 2010 New York City Marathon

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