Enjoying a race

On Sunday I had one of my best runs EVER!  Or being a person who now lives in New England, I guess I should say, one of my best runs EVAH!  I didn’t even plan it.  In fact, my focus has been on training for the marathon in October and this was just one of the races that I have on my calendar.  This was one of those races I have done for 4 years now and keep coming back because it is wonderful.

When I first competed in this race, the Lone Gull 10K, there were about 600 runners, parking wasn’t a problem and there was breakfast at the end on the beach.  The only thing that has changed in the 4 years has been the amount of racers.  I say racers because now it has changed from running to racing.  It has become a USA track and field event, which means it attracts VERY fast racers.  The amount of runners has doubled, in fact there were 1361 runners registered for this event.  Okay, so maybe the parking has changed too.  In fact if it keeps growing, it may have to change locations because we maxed out the parking lot at the beach.

Yep, I said it, this race starts along the beach.  It is beautiful.  Nothing like starting a race next to the Atlantic Ocean, hearing the waves hit the shore, the wonderful smell of salt in the air and let’s not forget about the seagulls announcing their presence.   Here are some pics that Dave took, enjoy: (sorry for no real beach pics but believe me it is there!)

Getting all warmed up in the 50 degree temps.

Getting all warmed up in the 50 degree temps.

1300 of my closest running friends out for a sunday run.

1300 of my closest running friends out for a sunday run.

Already relaxin'!  Kind of floating on air.

Already relaxin’! Kind of floating on air.

Finishing up strong.  Serious game face too.

Finishing up strong. Serious game face too.

Having run the race so many times before, it was easy to relax from the beginning because I knew the course.  I expected to feel pretty bad for the first two miles but my body said, “not today, today you are going to enjoy your run”.  And I did.  My first mile was 7:28.  In my mind, I was like “holy crap, you need to slow down” but it felt so comfortable.  In the end, I did slow down but not too much.  I felt strong, knew where the hills were, knew when I could push it harder, and was so excited when I was finishing the race in under 49 minutes, this was my goal that I was okay if I did not make but deep down wanted to make.   My official race time was 48:16 with a 7:42 pace.  If I had run this 4 years ago I would have placed in my age group.  Now I think I’m somewhere in the 30th something for my age group.  Oh well, I loved it.  It made me remember why I run this race and why I run in general.

Sometimes, for me, running races becomes a lot about completing it, another race completed.  This run was more about enjoying it.  Taking a moment, being mindful of where I was, what was going on, and how I was feeling.  In doing this, I had the best race EVAH!

I think we do this in our daily life too.  We become overwhelmed, we don’t enjoy the moments in our day, we set expectations/goals and then work our hardest to live up to them or achieve them.  I discovered on Sunday that sometimes, enjoying the moment, enjoying the race, gives you a better outcome.

Have you ever tried this, enjoying a race?  How about your day, ever tried to just live in the moment and take it as it comes?


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