I’m not sure when I will wake up and respect myself as a runner. You would think after running a marathon at 19, four years ago that that would have convinced me but it didn’t. Or the 3 marathons and 4 halves that have followed. Nothing really has been able to convince me I’m a “real runner”.
So with this mindset, I arrived with my friend Maribeth at the second in the 5k series to find many members of the local running group present. I pretty much decided after seeing them that I would try to beat my time from last week and be completely content with no award this race. No worries, bettering myself was good enough for me.
The race got started and I went out hard but comfortable.
My first mile I clocked in around 6:37 and was still feeling decent. I kept pushing but started to fade at about 1.4ish, deciding to bump back to a slightly more comfortable pace until mile 2 was over. Right around the mile 2 marker I saw the two girls from the running group about 30 yards ahead of me and another girl I didn’t know about 15 yards ahead of me. I went to catch up to the last girl and planned to just draft for a bit and get my bearings before kicking in at the end. She started to slow down and the two girls in front of us split so I sped up again to catch the second girl. I caught her with the same plan to draft again but she had started to slow as well. With the third and final girl about 20 yards ahead of me at this point I thought “This is good, I’ll take this spot right here.”
I rounded a corner with about 0.65 left and there was a girl from that group standing on the sidelines cheering. To say she was shocked to see me in front of her other friend was a HUGE understatement. She promptly yelled to her friend behind me, “Don’t you dare let that girl beat you!!” Which may have been meant to fuel her friend but really ended up lighting a fire under my a$$. I finished 3 seconds behind the first girl from that group and 38 seconds in front of the other.
On top of all that, I PRed by 30 seconds and got third overall female again. I got a different picture/plaque thing this time which was cool.
What I really got from this race was confidence. I was in there with these girls that I view as “the real deal.” I had put myself, in my mind, in a league far behind them.
So the moral is, give yourself a little credit everyone, guaranteed you are better than you think!!