This past Thursday night I had the opportunity to run an odd distance race of 7K! I like to do unique runs whether it is a unique distance or theme. Our local Road Runners group hosted the 7K race in Harrisburg along the riverfront. The race started at 7p, so it offered beautiful views of the sun setting over the river.
The distance is unique and difficult as well. It’s further than a 5K but not quite a 10K so it can be difficult to pace yourself and to find your rhythm. I ran this race last year, so I was somewhat familiar with the course and distance. I had placed 3rd in my age group last year and was hoping to try and place again, but if not, at least improve my time.
I will be honest to tell you that other than beating last year’s time, I had no real “game plan” for the race and I paid for that!! 🙂 My thought was I would try and go out like it was a 5K and try and keep my fast pace the entire time. With that distance, that was easier said than done. My first mile was crazy fast (for me). It ended up being 7:57.1, but almost immediately my body and brain…..mostly my brain, said “Holy crap! I can’t do this!” Due to going out too fast, my pace for the second mile dropped by over a minute.
The last mile was definitely the hardest for me. I kept thinking over and over in my head, “I hate this race.” Lol, not necessarily the best thought to have when you are running a race!! But, I had my goal of beating last year’s time and I knew my son was waiting at the finish for me, so I had to finish strong. I wanted him to see me not give up until I crossed that line.
Initially, I was disappointed in myself for going out too fast in the beginning. I could have easily kept on that train of thought and beat myself up over loosing so much speed in the second mile. But, in the last year, I’ve made some improvements in looking at things with perspective and that really helped me on Thursday.
- The temperature that day was NASTY! At the start, it was 88 degrees with a Real-Feel of 90 degrees and 46% humidity.
- My pace went from 8:45/mile last year to 8:36/mile this year.
- I knocked an entire 1:32.2 off my time!!
So I didn’t place or come home with some hardware…..I still walked away with a great finish time, improvement from last year, a fun memory with my friends and son and pride in myself! :)Those things matter so much more than anything else. I look forward to what next year’s HARCC After Dark will bring me! 🙂