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Week 15: Reach for the sky

Itís time to set some goals for this yearís marathon. Do I reach for the sky or do I go for a walk in the park? Thatís what I must decide. To help me decide I signed up for an event that I ran today 5/31. This was my dress rehearsal. Read on to see how it went.

My event today was a bit different than usual. Generally when I go to an event I donít really have much expectation other than to finish standing up. I usually have an idea of what my time and pace will be but if I donít meet that, itís no big deal. Today I truly had a goal in mind and I wanted that goal or better. I had a very specific need to be met at todayís event.

No need to keep you in suspense, I am extremely happy to say I finished slightly better than my goal. This is probably the first time I ran an event with what I would say was a smart run. I went into it with a plan and stuck to it. I managed to pull in the reins and let the pack take off. I stuck to my pace. All in all I did it and I feel great.

For the most part I would say the course wasnít too difficult. It did have its spots though. The hills were not bad. The difficult part came from about mile 13 to 17. That is where most of the hills were. The one downside was the roads were not closed to traffic and we had to run along the right side. I would rather run on the left so I can see the traffic coming. Overall I liked the course.

In reviewing my pace I was pretty steady for the most part. My pace for the the first four miles ranged from 9:25 to 9:27. It was into mile 5 and through 6 that the wind came into play which slowed my pace a just a bit to 9:39 & 9:44. Taking out the miles that I walked through the water stops I paced 9:23, 9:31, 9:32, and 9:34 for miles 8, 9, 13, and 15. There were a couple of good hills going from mile 16 to 17 which I posted 9:54 for that mile. My time for the 18.6 (30K) was 3:05. According to my Garmin it was 18.78. Close enough. Average pace for the entire event would be a 9:55 and my goal was 10:00.

A couple of other things were different about this event than most of my prior events that I ran. I knew another runner was doing this event also. That certainly helped motivate me. The other thing which I think is the only time was that no one passed me over the last 3 or four miles. I actually caught up and passed other people. I must say I had a little bit of a competitive feeling towards the end. Those factors also made today a special day in my running history.

I also thank all of you that have given me support by making positive comments. As I run itís like you are out there with me. Along with the spectators that are out on the course you donít really know how much you influence me as I run. My appreciation is beyond words.

Provided the next 3 weeks go smoothly I think the sky might be the limit. The walk in the park I can do anytime.

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