What a Difference a Year Makes!

Hello, everyone! I hope your weekend has been great. The weather is finally starting to turn around for more than just a day or two at a time. Soon enough, we’ll be sweating before we even start running.

I haven’t mentioned it a whole heck of a lot in previous posts, but this morning I ran the Point of Honor 5k here in Lynchburg. I’ve been pretty relaxing in my “training” all year long so to be honest, the thought of pushing at 5k pace hasn’t been all that appealing. The Point of Honor 5k course is no joke. I’ve never broken 20 minutes there, even in my prime. There is a killer hill and OF COURSE you have to do it twice.

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Last year at the POH. Jeremy and I walked (and ate donuts).

The Point of Honor 5k and I go WAY back. It’s usually the first race in the local race series and is a great indicator of just how much you slacked in the winter months. My fellow Hill City Harrier Kevin Shroyer is the race director and he’s raised a great amount of money for an extremely worthy cause that is so dear to his heart. That being said, I DON’T MISS OUT ON THIS RACE. This year, it was the 5k State Championship for the Road Runners Club of America.

One year ago, I wasn’t even cleared to run this race. I begged my PTs (thank you Rachelle and Rebecca) to let me speed walk it. I promised that I wouldn’t get “the bug” and start doing anything stupid. I stayed true to my word and averaged about a 14:00 pace.

So here we are, a year later. People still ask me how my achilles is feeling. It feels fine. My body feels fine. Truthfully, my body feels as strong as its felt in quite a while. It’s my brain that needs the work. My drive to push limits comes in spurts, but most of the time I’m cool with not doing that. Racing 5ks requires a person to find the spot as close to their limit as possible, without going over. It takes a strong desire to want to stay there for 18-21 minutes. I haven’t been there for the longest time.

I was asked what the plan was for the race this year. Truth be told, I kinda hate that question. I really didn’t know what I was going to do. I did send this text out as my prediction.

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Race day morning, I felt pretty good. I rolled without music (not normal). I hate the sound of my own fatigue. For some weird reason, I decided that I wanted to “hear the race experience”. Truth be told, I was happy with my decision. I always have a song inside my head anyway.

Running fast is like riding a bicycle, I suppose. My legs remembered how. My lungs, however, were COMPLETELY unprepared for what I asked of them. I started to sound asthmatic as I climbed the big hill for the 1st time. I thought I was going to red line and ruin the whole race. Luckily, I survived the hill and steadied my breathing as I headed down the hill and into the flat part of the race. Mile 1 (hill included): 6:44

It sure felt nice to not be running up a hill anymore, so mile 2 I kept it steady with a 6:41 as we headed back toward the hill. I like the out and back of POH because I know so many runners and I get to say hello on my way back. They cheer me on too, and that REALLY helps. 🙂

As we climbed the hill for the 2nd time, I had only one goal. DON’T WALK. I shuffled and probably looked like I actually was walking for some of it, but I swear I wasn’t. I just about hit my limit but managed to survive it and head back down with a mile 3 time of 7:10.

I kicked it up a little out of fear of being passed by the 12 year old girl lingering behind me and fooled the spectators into thinking that I was still strong to the finish. I was holding on for dear life! I crossed the finish line in 20:51, just one second from what I texted Robbie. I am one with my body haha.

My finishing time was good enough for 2nd in my AG, which has become a super tough group! I feel bad for the guys that aren’t placing, because they would be in most other groups.

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I have some work to do if I want to improve and grab a PR. That will come, but for now it’s really cool just to reflect and see what a difference a year can make. One thing’s for sure, Running >>> Walking. Trust me, I checked the math. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

9 Replies to “What a Difference a Year Makes!”

  1. Woohoo! So glad to read a race report from you – and a happy one at that! What’s your PR for that race? You said you haven’t run it under 20 so I’m guessing you were close? It’s nice to go into a 5K without a real plan and then surprise yourself a bit, eh?! Great job dude! Have fun and good luck for next weekend! 🏃🏾‍♂️

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great job! Those are some fast miles for a tough hill twice. I agree out and back can be fun for the sake of cheering on others and having them cheer at you. I also fear being passed by children in the final stretch… last year at the Spring Valley 4 miler I couldn’t catch a girl who was probably 8 or 9 years old. I beat her this year though so I felt redeemed.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. A 7th grade girl ran a sub 12 second 100m dash at a track meet last week and the 5k I ran yesterday had a Jr high girl as the overall winner, she ran a low 22. I was like wow I’ve never ran a 22 lol

        Liked by 1 person

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