I ran my first 5k of the season. The picture of me to the right is not the picture of the race today. But I like the picture, and it’s of me running, so I’m posting it so those of you who don’t like to read can know what the post is about, without looking at all this boring text.
Anyway, I brought my iPod this morning, but alas, the battery was dead. I was forced to run without any tunes. I NEVER run without tunes, and I think it threw off my pacing.
Last year I ran a race and started off too quick. I ended up sucking air the entire race, and almost vomited at the end. My race time was horrible and I was hacking for days. I learned my lesson–you have to pace yourself.
So this morning I started off a little slow. I settled in behind a woman and then finally passed her when she started walking. There was another guy ahead of me in blue shorts, and it seemed that he and I were running about the same pace. I set the goal trying to keep up. He was about fifty feet ahead of me.
But with about half a mile to go, I realized I wasn’t breathing that hard, nor was I sweating. I decided to turn up the heat a little. I’d sprint for a bit and see if I could catch up to blue shorts.
It felt fantastic. I realized I had been running at a much slower pace than I thought. I caught up to the guy very easy, although I slowed down when I passed him. I also breathed hard, so he wouldn’t feel bad. Then I saw I still had time to pass yet another guy before the finish line. I passed him and finished the race with a decent time for a pudgy, middle-aged white guy. I sprinted the last half mile.
Anyway, it reminded me of the important of pacing. If you run too fast you’re going to burn out too soon If you run too slow–if you don’t push yourself–you’re never going to improve.
So the next time you come up with some wild and crazy idea, go ahead and get excited–dream big, and then set some reachable goals and get started. Push yourself, celebrate the victories along the way, and don’t forget to use Vaseline so you don’t chafe.
Wait, forget that last piece of advice. I think the analogy kind of breaks down at that point.