Why I did it

On Friday, almost on the spur of the moment, I signed up to run the Meteor 10K on Saturday, part of the Martian Invasion of Races in Dearborn. I had originally played with the idea of this race as a tune-up midway through my training for the half-marathon, but those hopes were dashed by my misunderstanding of when exactly the race fell. I was expecting it to be at the end of April, but when it turned out to be at the beginning of April instead, I lost a little interest in it.

Last week was a fairly good week for running, after completing the treadmill challenge with an 11% improvement and a successful short run earlier in the week. I was vacillating a little back and forth with deciding on this race. I thought that I was capable of running the 6.2 miles of a 10K, but I wasn’t sure. After the last few failures, I think I had a lost a little bit of confidence that I was on track for half-marathon goal.

One of my co-workers had been training for the Martian Half-marathon, and my supervisor had been planning to run the Meteor 10K as well. By Friday morning, I was feeling good, and decided I should just take the plunge, and do it. I hesitated throughout the day, not really sure if I was going to do it. At one point, I pegged it at 95% certainty, which is like saying yes, but with an escape hatch if I chicken out. After work, I went over and registered.

At that point I got the pre-race jitters, even though I was focused on making this a training run and nothing more or less. That, I think, is also an important part of practicing for a run. But I was in, and at the very least, I had my new technical running shirt (which for me is a huge motivator).

As it turns out, I’ll do almost anything for a Technical Shirt. Isn’t this one wild?

It turns out I was exactly capable of running 10K. The race went very very well. I stopped for short walk breaks at 2 and 4 miles, just like my plan has me doing. I maintained a fairly consistent pace, right at 10 minute miles, right on plan. The race started out cold and windy, but after about mile 2 you stop noticing that. Around mile 4 and a half, we ran by the Henry Ford Estate, and there were delicate bluebells blooming alongside the road. In short, it was a beautiful day for a race.

More importantly, however, was the sense of accomplishment that came with it.
March, as you may have heard, was a difficult month for goal achievement for me. I struggled with my writing goal, and I struggled with my running goals. The two long runs that I attempted failed. In fact, I was supposed to have been at 7 miles by now, and I hadn’t successfully completed anything longer than 5. Tackling this 10K, for which I hadn’t specifically trained, and actually feeling good at the end of it was validation that things would work out.

Here’s the race. I got a new toy: a Garmin Forerunner 305, which is a GPS watch that will let me track my runs better.