I know that I'm a turtle trotter - and mostly, I am at peace with this. However, sometimes I get little whispers from some place deep within that thinks I could run faster if I really push myself.
Ever so often, I give in to that voice. Like last week. On Wednesday, while thinking about my usual 4 mile run that I do when Claire is at her enrichment class, that little voice whispered, "You can run this 4 miles in under 40 minutes". It probably wasn't too much of a stretch, since the last 2 times I ran that route I did it in 40:44 and then 40:11. So, I listened to that little voice. I took off feet flying, arms pumping, which I kept up for the first mile and half (a mile and half I shared with a manure truck that was spraying fertilizer as God intended it all over the field I was running through...if you've never run in the heat while aspirating manure, then you are a lucky person).
Then, I felt like I was going to puke. I've never run so fast that I've come to that point, though many runners have (especially at races when they push themselves...be careful when you cross the finish line not to step in the fruits of their achievement). I ended up needing a 3 minute walk break, along with two other minute walk breaks...and my time was 41:something. Not too bad, really...but slower than I'd done that route and slower than I wanted. That little whispery voice drew me away from my relaxed running ways and nearly had me puking right next to the golf course.
Which brings me to My Secret Hope. I've nursed this secret desire way down inside of me that I would finish in the top 6 in my age group at the annual Memorial Day VA 5K Race here in Lebanon. For most races I've been in, I am to ridiculously slow to even contemplate an age group finish. But the VA race is local - and they give out not the usual three, but SIX, awards. Wow! I thought, this might be possible...To do so, I'd definitely need to finish in under 30 minutes, but six months ago, that seemed totally do-able. I'd have to run, train, even do a few speedwork sessions, but I planned to be in GREAT shape by the time May rolled around.
Well, the race is tomorrow and I am in pretty decent running shape. I've consistently brought my overall pace time down to nearly a 10 minute mile - woohoo! But, realistically, that's not going to bring me a Top 6 tomorrow morning. Sigh.
I guess I'll just have to keep nursing that secret hope. There's always next year!