While I’m not sure I’d call it my best time running a race, I feel like I did a fair job after rolling my ankle at the beginning of March. And while I was doing somewhere in the neighborhood of eight (8) minute miles when I last got into running, read Born to Run and was free to roam the flat, clean-enough-to-eat-off-of streets of Irvine, California, I am currently averaging about twelve (12) minutes per mile these days.
I’m sure my time would have been much improved had I not taken a few walking breaks during the more uphill-friendly parts of the race. Overall, I liked the course. I was able to zone out of what was going on around me and listen to RunKeeper giving me feedback on my pace. A few times, it was hard not to feel the pressure of other people running. The voice in my head was adamantly reminding me that I’d paid good money to test myself.
So to repay (or punish?) myself for all that walking, I decided to sprint the last half mile. I have been doing some sprinting during my weekly runs, and uphill of all things, but it has been 25 yards at most. I haven’t sprinted more than 50 yards in a few years, so I’m sure my body found this quite alarming. As I neared the finish line, I saw a nice lady running at a reasonable pace and decided I had to destroy her.
No, not … destroy, but just cross the finish line before her.
And I did! I think. In the end though, who really wins? The person who crosses the finish line first or the nice lady not barfing on the side of the road? Yup, that’s right. As it turns out, the best thing you can do after shocking your body with a sprint is to immediately stop and catch your breath through dry-heaving. While this may result in breakfast making a return appearance and generally feeling miserable, ultimately it means you can eat more.
At the end of the day, isn’t that what running is all about?