Monday, May 28, 2018

I'm Back

I had just a fantastic race in Victoria at the Oak Bay 10k.

It was a perfect day. Warm and sunny for an 8am race. Beautiful breeze by the Oak Bay Marina with an inspiring walk with Charmaine, taking many photos. I was off for my 2km warm up to check out the course and felt really good.

There was a total of 1600 competitors and I managed to finish 9th overall, 2nd in the over 40 age group. (I was announced as 7th place, but it turned out a couple of runners ran faster than me even though they finished behind me. Obviously they crossed the timing chip machine at the start line later than I did.) I came down with the goal of finishing top 10 overall and top 3 in the masters category. Mission accomplished!

My official time was 40:36, though my watch said 40:27. Either way, I'm super happy with a minute improvement over my Sun Run 10km a month ago.

I felt so in control and so comfortable on the run. My breathing was calm, the heart rate surprisingly low and my legs never hurt. I definitely achieved the elusive "flow" as I call it. I was in the zone. And I was calculating in my strategy. It was pretty much a perfect race, and just the start of a fantastic vacation.

This could have been the race where I finally broke 40:00. Had I known the course better before hand, I think that would have helped some. But my biggest stumbling block was, as always, the brain. I ran by feel really, and I felt invincible. But I did not get to that level of pain needed to get to the next level of accomplishment. I need to get comfortable with being uncomfortable.

That is good news in that I am that close and very comfortable. So ultimately I need to learn to train more so that I can get below these goals while being comfortable. It is a doable option. But I would like to learn to break these mental barriers when I really need to dig down deep.

The other really good news is - and this will help my mental game - I really believe that I am back. The past six weeks or so I knew I was getting close. Now I am there. Last year I overtrained so much that I literally stressed my central nervous system. And it has taken over a year to get back to where I was.

I'm back and, thanks to the many lessons learned in the struggles of the past number of months, I am better than ever.

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