I Won, I Really Won! Thanks For Everything!
(St. Petersburg, Florida, United States)
It was all worth the work...
On Saturday October 4, 2008 I ran the Florida Suncoast Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure 10k. To commemorate the 10th year of the race they added the 10k... And I actually won!
I don't know if I'm surprised or if I'm just overwhelmed. I haven't actually raced since May of last year and I didn't really train for that race. I just ran it to get me started. Don't get me wrong. I do believe in my abilities as a distance runner and I train very hard, but since I trained alone and haven't ran any races, I had to run my time trials without any competition but my watch, and I had to go by these times as my max. I thought my times were impressive, but I wasn't sure about winning.
Since I lost my mother to cancer, I'm not going to lie, I really wanted to win this particular race. I dreamed about it, I visualized it, I studied the course which runs right through my neighborhood, I checked into all of the other local races to see what times other runners were putting up, and on race day I watched as the other runners warmed up. I thought my PR of 36:38 would put me in the top five... I saw the runners that had belonged to running clubs, and I must admit I was kind of intimidated. There was something about their unity that made them seem like such strong runners. I was just there by myself running for mom.
When the horn sounded, I just took off. I haven't felt that type of adrenaline since I ran in high school, I wanted this race so much. I went right to the front and ran strong. I was amazed by how much support the crowd and volunteers were giving me. I did my best to acknowledge them and give them a smile and a few nods. The feeling was incredible! I was running with the police escorts and the Mustang pace car with the cancer survivors taking pictures and cheering me on. People from the neighborhood recognized me, and watched in disbelief as I lead the pack through downtown, even the other runners were cheering me on as they saw me at a few turnarounds. It provided me with so much energy, and I carried through to the finish. I crossed the finish line with a personal best time of 34:20, 2 minutes and 20 seconds faster than my previous best time trial, and about 15 to 20 seconds ahead of second place.
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So thank you, to the posters in the Runner's World forum who provide so much advice, support, and insight into running. It has really helped me tap into my potential, and has also made me feel proud to be a runner. You guys and gals are great!