It isn't over until it's over. Today, I learned a valuable lesson that I'm sure will help me in future racing endeavours to come: how you feel at the beginning of a race can change in an instant, with hard work, perseverance and a prayer.
Today was the 4th time I've entered the TC 10k, and with the eventual goal of dropping my time to a sub forty (38-39) as the long term, my coach and I decided that a good target for this race would be a 41-43 10k. With this in mind, I was anxious and excited to start the race this morning...I had been dreaming of racing all week.
The first 3km felt like death. I'm not sure if it was my breakfast or starting too quickly, but my stomach turned into a knotty mess of side stitches so painful I had to slow down and seriously considered quitting several times. After 3.5km I decided I would run to the end of the TC turn around and reassess how I felt and whether I should continue due to the fact that I would most likely have to slow down! Many thoughts where rushing through my head, the pain, how crappy it would feel to quit, my excellent splits, the pain again ect..... And this, is where I believe God came in, for some reason, perhaps beyond my control, I didn't quit. Despite the pain, I kept on hammering and before I knew it I was descending down the 7km mark. At this point, the K's became much more effortless and God allowed me to run freely, fluidly and pass a lot of runners along the way. Before I knew it I was surging to the finish for a personal best 10k of 43:40. It is by God's grace that I was able to muscle through a race, that I previously thought I would have to quit, and achieve a Personal Best. Thank you God!
The lesson learned: mental fortitude, strength and trust in God are paramount in racing effectively. The race isn't over until it's over, and things can turn around for the better! Yeah 43:40.....and counting the days until a 39 10K!