Friday, November 21, 2014

Run Forrest Run!

The Governor’s Cup Road Race is one of the oldest, prestigious, well run and fun races in South Carolina.  The half marathon is the featured event and takes runners on a challenging course through the hills and neighborhoods that boarder beautiful downtown Columbia.

I was particularly looking forward to this year’s Governor’s Cup as I had not raced since July, missing a couple key events due to illness.  I have recently started working with a new coach (yes coaches have coaches too) and I was excited to see how my fitness had improved since we started working together.

The morning brought perfect weather for racing and I was ready to go. I had my plan to run near the top of my heart rate for most of the race and watch the pacing per mile with the goal to really push the envelope the last three miles.

With an aggressive race strategy in hand; I knew the race was going to be fun, but also painful as running at near max effort for 13.1 miles was going to be as much a test of mental toughness as it was physical toughness.

One benefit of racing is you can always push yourself harder, faster and for longer duration in a race than you can when training.  As I set off for my 13.1 mile venture, it dawned on me the numerous and various incoherent, random and sometimes funny thoughts that race through a runners mind when pushing near maximal effort.  Here is a glimpse into my mind during the race:

Mile One – clop, clop, clop of the runners feet…wonder if this is what the Kentucky Derby sounds like?
Mile Two – I’m cold, I think I under dressed!
Mile Three – Did I lock the car?
Mile Four – Now I’m hot, so much for proper wardrobe execution!
Mile Five – Maybe I should try and some Gatorade in my mouth!
Mile Six – I wonder how many times I have looked at my watch already? Did I pay the mortgage?
Mile Seven – If I fall down this hill, I hope whoever helps me stops my watch! Tacos sound good!
Mile Eight – Oh great, a dog off his leash. I hope he doesn’t bite, oh who cares!
Mile Nine – Ouch this is really starting to hurt, oh look, a bird! I wish I could swim this well!
Mile Ten – I think I am going to puke, no cant puke that would take too much time.
Mile Eleven – I thought liked hills….I was mistaken!
Mile Twelve – Ok almost done and feeling good. Oh great there is a runner back at mile 12 that is already done and they are cheering us on. Show offs.
Mile Thirteen – Why do I do this?  I don’t want to do this ever again.
Race End – A new personal best by nearly 6 minutes!  I Can’t wait to do this again!

HERE’S TO BEING FIT FOR LIFE! Chris is a Certified Personal Trainer, USA Triathlon Level 1 Coach, Group Exercise Instructor, exercise and endurance enthusiast.  He competes yearly in numerous running races, marathons, ultra marathons, triathlons and other endurance events.