This morning, I set out with a goal. My goal was to be sub 34 on my 5K today. I was excited to run, but I was calm and relaxed. I had a different excitement for this race. I wasn't wondering if I could run the whole thing; I knew I could do that. It was the thrill of having a goal, something to chase. Something to look at and stretch for. Today was my day.
We had about 6-7 of us from Nixa start together. We were all around the same speed. We knew who was going to pull ahead, and we knew who was going to stick together. It was fun to see so many familiar faces. Of course, I started the race talking and joking with everyone. I know some people do not like to talk on races, but I was just having so much fun. It was funny, because Kellie yelled back at me to stop talking and race! That is when my game face came on.
I really started getting loose about mile 1 and fell into a rhythm. I looked down at my watch and saw that I was maintaining a 10:20 pace! I have never been able to do that for a mile. I started to get a little nervous, because I always go out too fast and putter out at mile two. I knew for my sub 34 I needed to be at 10:57 per mile. So I pulled back a little. The second mile had some hills, so it was easy to pull back. At mile two, I heard my watch beep, and I checked my pace. It was 10:55 for that mile. I was right where I needed to be, and I felt great.
I decided to pick it up. I suddenly realized that if I could finish strong, there was a chance I could be under 33 minutes! I knew that I had a hill at 2.3 miles, so my goal was to get over that hill and then kick it in. My body was screaming at me to stop; it was not happy with me. The old Chris wanted to give up. I ran this course one other time this year and saw the spot where I pretty much gave up. Not this time! I had a goal, and it was in sight. I buckled down and worked through the pain. I could hear "SUCK IT UP" in my head.
I made my last turn at 2.7 miles, and I could see the finish line. I wasn't going to drop below a 10 min mile. My lungs where burning, but I was passing people, and my friends where there cheering me on. I blew through the finish line at 32:59! Here is my Garmin data! Mile three was a 10:39 pace, and the last tenth of a mile was a 8:19 pace. I smashed my goal by a whole minute! I was on Cloud 9!
I went to the time results, and it said I finished the race in 23 hours, so I knew there was something wrong with my time. I stuck my head in the tent and asked my friend Amanda about it. She looked at my time and told me she had me at 32:17 and placing 3rd! I about did a back flip. I thought there was something wrong with my watch and that I did way better than I thought! I was all smiles. My wife looking at the pictures said she thought she saw that same kind of smile on a teenage girl that just met Justin Bieber. I was so happy.
I almost thought it was too good to be true, because I was just joking around with everyone the day before that I will never place in a race. I guess I was holding my breath when they got to my age group and started handing out the awards. Then they called my name, "Chris, third place!" Everyone cheered so loud for me, I was all smiles! It was like a cheesy Lifetime movie starring me!
|Most of the Nixa runners who got bling|
|Nixa Running! Good People, Good Times. Lots of Kool-Aid.|
My first 5k I ran in March this year, I did it in 43:50. Today, I ran a 5k in 32:59. It is only going to get better, and I am going to get faster.
|The Bondi Band makes me go faster!|
After the race, I drove down to Branson to help with the Branson half Ironman. An Ironman is on my bucket list, and 2013 is looking like a good year. I wanted to volunteer and just see what it is all about. Such a cool thing. The Expo was fun. I worked with a church youth group passing out shirts and bags. Really cool kids. On Sunday, I will be at the finish line handing out medals. I am really excited about that job. I am also really excited to see my friend Abby cross the finish line! She is going to rock it. I am really loving volunteering!
Best day in a long time!