Later today, I will head out to my last race of this calendar year, a 10k in Hilton Head, South Carolina. I’ve had a goal all year to place in my age group in all of the races I have ran and this race is no different. I’ve come close to placing, but most importantly, I’ve gotten stronger and stronger each race and each month I have trained.
During the last couple of months I have worked really hard at improving my speed and endurance on my runs. Since The Nations Triathlon in September, I have had 28 runs for over 133 miles. I have improved my pace from 7’59” per mile in September to 7’47” per mile the past couple of weeks, with a couple of runs under 7’20” per mile. During those runs I’m averaging 4.75 miles per run.
I love looking back on my runs from this past June and see how far I’ve come. Then I was averaging over 9’24” per mile. Now, my pace is well below 8′ per mile. Persistence and commitment has been key to that improvement.
I use the Nike Run app to track my runs and I love getting certain achievements for my faster runs. Most recently, I “smashed” my 5k record by running a 5k in 22:27. If I can keep that pace for the entire 10k, I will certainly place, maybe even win the 40-45 age group.
No matter what happens on Saturday, I know I have put in the work and the effort to put me in a position to do very well. I’m going to go out there, relax and try to settle in to a nice pace from the beginning. If I feel like I have enough left in the tank during the last couple of miles, I’m going to increase my pace and fight hard to the finish. I know I have what it takes to accomplish my goal, especially if I can get my mind in the right place on Saturday morning.
Something I will probably write about on future posts is the mental aspect of race day. This year, during the triathlons especially, I realized how important a proper mental approach is to performing strong on race day.
Tomorrow, I hope to have a clear mind and a clear focus on my race strategies so I can perform well in the race.
As I continue my journey to be an Ironman, I look at this race as one to end the season on a positive note heading into winter training. I’m not much of a cold weather runner, so I will be spending most of the next few months indoors, focusing on technique and increasing my strength.
I’m going to keep working hard, with you all by my side, to accomplish my goal of being an Ironman in 2019.
Thank you all for the positive comments from my last blog post. I feel so much love and support, not just heading into the race tomorrow, but my Ironman journey, as a whole. Your encouraging words and your small tokens for motivation are greatly appreciated.
Let’s do this.