Yesterday, after a week off of all exercise due to illness, I ran the Celtic Solstice 5 miler in Druid Lake Park. I approached this race with trepidation and anticipation. Trepidation, in that I knew I was quite under-trained. Anticipation, in the hopes that this under-training would provide fresh and fast legs. I also presented this race to myself as a coin flip; do well and keep running, do poorly and reassess the possibility of “retirement”. Well, someone out there wants me to keep running because it was a great day. Yes, the course is incredibly forgiving; flat after mile 1 with a huge downhill finish, but I was able to be a game day player. I was able to run a consistent pace for 5 miles with negative splits (again, downhill finish), and I was able to fight through the gunk in my chest and the side stitches that started at mile 3 and get through the race in a respectable time. It was not the fastest in the field or the slowest, but it was a validation. A validation that despite my waist size, inconsistent training, terrible fall, and wonky gait that I am supposed to do this running thing. It was a validation that while I am not the fastest in my small circle of running “people”, I am also not the slowest. This race, however, like many that I have run in my short running life of five years, is a bit of a carrot. It dangles in front of me and says, “look what you can do when you sit on your rear and eat donuts! What could you do if you actually put effort into it?” So now I as the holidays draw closer and the holiday cheerful food sits before me on a regular basis, I ponder my options. For the rest of today, I bask in the glow of being a game day player, despite a month of inconsistency.
Celtic Solstice 5 miler. 37:29 (7:50, 7:30, 7:30, 7:30, 6:55) Woo Hoo!