A surge of speed

Alright, so I’ve teased you long enough… let me tell you about one of the reasons I’m back on the blog, some of my recent runs and races, and some of those unexpected accomplishments I mentioned in my last post. I’ve recently discovered a surge of speed. No, no guys, not that kind of speed.

Until very recently, I’ve considered myself a middle of the pack runner, a little faster than I was a few years ago, but still nothing special. I figured I would average about 10 minute miles when it running by myself, 9:30s when running with the hubs, and somewhere around , 9s in a race. That’s what I thought. But recently I’ve been pleasantly surprised!

A little less than 2 weeks ago I ran the 5 mile Beerun in Greensboro. At the start of the race I told myself that I just wanted to PR, which wouldn’t be very hard since this particular race has never been kind to me and I hadn’t run out in 2 years. My previous record was 49-something, so I just had to keep it under 10s and I’d be fine…

Well, I finished in 41:37, with an average pace of 8:21. Holy crap!

That’ll give you some confidence!

The next surge of speed happened the following Thursday at the second Tri101 practice (a sprint tri training class I just started mentoring). I was getting close to reaching my 100 run miles for March, so I wanted to run the entire 3 mile fun run with the group (rather than direct traffic). The other run mentor and I were handed the “run” sign and everyone at the fun run (not just the tri group, another training group and other fun times from the community too). If that doesn’t give you some anxiety and adrenaline, I don’t know what would!

Off we went and after telling the group we would keep it around 9-9:30, we took off. Whoops! Sorry to anyone who might have been there counting on a more relaxed pace. I had set my phone to tell me the pace every half mile. The first time “she” talked to me (she is my phone), she told me we were at 8:14…we attempted to slow slightly, but that was short lived. Next I heard we were at 8:04. Eventually, we decided just to keep it up and even push harder when possible.

The route consisted of two small out and backs. The first went out a half mile and brought you back to the start. The second went out a whole mile before turning around. At that second turnaround we were able to congratulate and encourage the other runners – this turned into the fastest part of my run (7:25 pace). I think that really says something – that the fastest part of my run was when I was talking/shouting but most importantly encouraging others.

Ultimately (according to my phone and mapmyrun), we ran somewhere around 3.3, but I was done with 3.1 in 24:10! That smashes my 25:53 PR, too bad it’s not official.

Anyways, I guess it would be most helpful to you all if I could tell you where this surge of speed came from… but I’m just not quite sure. I’ve been pretty surprised by it, myself. If I had to hypothesize, I would say this…

Having completed the IRONMAN, which for me was a 14 and a half hour race, I’ve discovered more about my limits than the average person. I know that a 5k will be less than 30 minutes and a 10k less than an hour, so I’m a little more aware of how much I have to give for these shorter durations. When I started the Beerun it occurred to me that I hadn’t actually raced a race since Louisville, so I was going to give it all I had and see what happened. The result was surprising and personally inspiring.

I’m writing this post from the car enroute to Charleston for my seventh Cooper River Bridge Run (please excuse any typos or grammatical errors). I’m planning to give the CRBR all I’ve got tomorrow morning, so we’ll see what it gives me back.

Wish me luck!

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