A few weeks ago I ran Brazen Racing’s Bay Breeze 10K race.
I chose this particular race as part of my training plan in preparation for the Oakland Half Marathon. My goal is not only to PR at Oaklandthis year, but to cut over two minutes off my best time. My hope was that by running a 10K race five weeks before my scheduled half, I would have a better idea of what I am realistically capable of accomplishing.
Like most people, my race pace tends to be faster than my long slow distance pace. Despite knowing this, I was still surprised while running Bay Breeze when I looked down at my Garmin and saw that I was maintaining a pace that was a minute and a half faster. I thought I had made a rookie mistake by going out too fast. But my legs felt strong and my breathing consistent, so I kept with the pace. While running I thought to myself–why is today different than past races? Then it hit me. I talk while running. And I mean I talk a lot. ALOT.
I realized that since joining Run365 in 2009, I have not run a race solo in quite some time. From the SF Marathon to the North Face Endurance Challenge and countless other races, I always seem to have a buddy or two (or more) by my side when racing. But it wasn’t always like that.
Before Run365 I was pretty much what you would call an “independent” runner. It was just me and my iPod. I typically trained for and ran races by myself. Any conversations were between me and myself. It could get lonely at times. That all changed when I decided I should run a marathon and joined Run365. I was shy at first but after a few long Saturday runs I opened up, started to bond with my fellow trainees, and actually looked forward to the increasing mileage. Too many great conversations ensued and friendships were born.
Talking while running does seem to slow me down some in regards to breathing and concentration. It’s quite possible that I could have run the same pace I did at Bay Breeze had one of my running friends been right there beside me but I think being able to primarily concentrate on just the race that day was to my advantage-I ended up placing 4th in my division. Does this mean that I’m going to stop running with my friends to solely focus on speed and PRs? No way. Never. Not in a million years.
While my running goals have definitely changed over the years, my number one goal has always been to make running a part of my life. Had I not joined Run365 three years ago, I’m not sure if I’d still be running as often or as far as I do today. I love how running makes me feel but it’s the people I’ve met that get me excited about waking up at 6:30am on a Saturday to run. I look forward to catching up with these people that I never would have had the opportunity to meet had it not been for Run365. The sense of community and support from Run365 is more than I could have ever asked for and that’s exactly what keeps me going.