Crossing the running threshold

This past week I believe I have crossed a threshold as a runner. Up until this point every race had been a challenge, including most of the 5ks. Every race I have entered required a good amount of training preparation.  My last big race was the wine and dine in November. I trained pretty hard for that and was still disappointed that I didn’t beat my time. However for the first time I was able to enjoy food and alcoholic beverages post race without getting a massive headache.
Since that race my training has been sporadic. Some weeks I had no runs at all; others only 1-2 times a week. I even had a long break of no running while we were traveling through India. I needed motivation, I needed a race on the schedule.
One distance race that I like to do was coming up soon. I haven’t trained seriously for it but I really wanted to sign up. I decided one cool Florida morning the week before that if I could complete 6 miles (run/walk) that I would sign up for the Winter Park Road Race Distance Dare (10K plus 2 miles). I went about on my run and even finished it with a sprint at the end to beat someone running on the trail with a heavy backpack (I always feel bad when old people or people with heavy packs pass me). Because I completed this long run, I decided to sign up and I did.
Race week I did one short training run, played volleyball, and rode my bike one day. I didn’t want to overdo it pre-race but I also wanted to keep up my fitness level.
Race day I felt ok. I sort of regretted signing up since my training was so sparse. I started the 2 mile race. Pushed myself hard so I could complete in time for the next race to start.
Race 1 was done so I immediately traveled up to the start line again. I ran into my friends who were getting ready to start the 10k. They were smart enough to only sign up for one race for the day.
The race started and I tried jogging with some of my friends for a bit but I let them go since I could never maintain their pace.
Later in the first mile another two friends caught up to me. I chatted with them a bit but then they decided to hold back a bit so I carried on by myself. The first 5K was good. I felt mostly ok during the 3 miles. It was after the 5K mark that I started to lose my wind and did much more walking breaks.
This was another race where I had to pee the entire race but luckily I ran into a row of porta potties near a lake around mile 4.5. After a quick bathroom break I was on to the finish.
I finished and picked up my two metals. I attempted to fully hydrate afterwards. I thought I was hydrated and decided to try a free post race beer (New Belgium Brewing!!!) – that proved to be a big mistake since I had terrible tension headache/migraine the rest of the day. I should have learned my lesson by now – I am not one of those people who gets to partake in alcohol post race.
The part of the story I wanted to note is how I have crossed a threshold as a runner. My body now has muscle memory. I can complete (albeit slowly) distance races with very little training now. I never thought I would get to this point. I now have hope that I can speed up some day. With time and training I will eventually see improvement; I just need to put in the work.

Pre-race salmon

Two medals

Really nice wine glass as gift

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