Monday, March 12, 2007

Rock'n out to the Shamrock'n Pace of Life

Time: 1:46:13
Pace: 8:06.5 min/mi

I can't tell you what a thrill yesterday was. Not only did I exceed my own expectations of anything I would ever have done, but I had an amazing day, filled with fun, excitement, energy, and true joy. I was always told joy could only be found in Christ, but there is no better word to describe yesterday. The energy of life and of friendship is one of the most thrilling and compelling energies I have ever felt.

I have dropped 45 pounds in a year and a half, and I've gone from a guy who was sedentary and content, to one who is outgoing and full of energy. My whole self exudes confidence and fun, and I'm amazingly happy.

Now for the details of my run! I expected to finish in 2:15, in fact, I was planning on using Amanda as a pacer, since she has the most steady and perfect pace for long distance running. After mile one, however, I felt the energy of the day pulling on me, and ended up pulling ahead of my two friends, fully unintentionally. By the time I realized we were no longer together, I decided to keep going!

By mile four, I realized I was getting a bit tired, but was feeling like I was getting into that mile eating pace that just keeps on going and going. By mile six or so, there were a couple other guys, both who looked in much better shape than I, that I figured I could keep up with. So I paced them all the way until mile eleven. At any point, I'd pass by one, or another would pass by me, and though I doubt they were pacing me as well, it made for great inspiration and competition.

Each time my energy started to wane, and I'd feel myself starting to fade, I'd remember the lessons from Dr Lau and the running workshop and would just stand upright (straighten my column), relax my legs, and elongate my stride, and all my energy would come rushing back. Along with good solid breathing techniques (three strides in, five strides out, nice slow breaths for strenuous work), my body felt good!

By mile ten, I started passing some of the runners who were starting to run out of energy (like Harry did). That was a great feeling, seeing myself continuing to push those extra miles and knowing that my fears of early over-exertion weren't holding me back. By the last 200 meters, I had enough to just bump up my energy a bit -- not enough for a final sprint, but enough for a nice solid finish. And solid is how it ended.

1:46 for a finish time, averaging 8:06 per mile. My 3-mile pace! I'm so amazingly stoked by my finish, and feel great about it! Yay me! Finisher #309, and #18 in my age group.

On other great notes, Amanda and Harry were able to pace each other for the first 11 miles. And Amanda, my 10 min miler and steady energy and pacer, pulled herself forward to finish with a 9 minute pace, and broke two hours! That was so awesome! Harry was doing equally as well, but encountered his first "wall" and bonked at mile 11. He finished at just over two hours, still an impressive time, and still in the first half of the finishers! I know I would have been right there with him if I hadn't done that 12 mile Lake Natoma run with Steve Lease and folks (thanks Steve!) And I know Harry's got it in him to beat that pace by a long shot next time, and he will.

Anyway, that's more than enough for one blog, but if you can't tell, I'm still thrilled, and enjoying every bit of the high from doing this. I even think I'll do a full marathon, this was that awesome. Just another major accomplishment, and I can imagine how wonderful I'll feel after that.

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