So it’s the second race of the season and I had one goal in mind. That was to beat my time from The Super Run. I knew it was going to be hard but with a lot of effort it could be done. Night after night and a few early mornings, I went out in my garage and got on my treadmill and just started running at 7.0 mph and then worked my way up to 8.5 mph. The Wednesday before the race I got on the treadmill for the last time before tapering began and I finished in a record-breaking 30:31. Although that was great I knew I was not going to make it at that time during Shamrock. I would have been happy to finish between 32:00 and 36:00.
So it was the big day. I pulled up to the race excited and nervous. The Shamrock 4 Miler was a very packed out event. There were people everywhere. They had booths set up from Chickfila, Running Works, and State farm, which were all giving away freebies to all the runners. You all know I love free stuff. I felt alone walking around. My wife had made plans prior to my registration to go to a mega kids consignment sale. I was not mad but I knew my biggest cheerleader was there in spirit.
It came time to line up. Like all my other races, I started to get nervous as I watch the clock countdown the last-minute and then the anticipation grew as I watched the volunteers getting the finishing medals ready. Then I looked up and the clock had ten seconds left. No going back and no stopping me now. Then I was off…
I started at a 8:00 minute mile pace. Pushing my legs while trying to reserve my energy. People were passing me but I still kept my pace. This was my race and not theirs. We turned on Elm Street, which was mostly downhill and I could feel myself starting to breathe hard. It was rather foggy and there was a lot of moisture in the air. When I turned on Ballantyne Commons Parkway, my legs were moving faster as I sped down hill reaching the 1 mile marker that read my time was 8:06. I started to smile as I pressed onward.
The journey to mile two was all downhill. I kept getting faster and had to put the brakes on a few times cause I did not want to be that runner who falls flat on their face in the middle of a race. I started to see some of the people who passed me as they had already made it to the turn around at John J. Delaney Drive. I was not worried but just glad to be reaching the turn around spot. When I finally reached the 2 mile marker the time said 16:39. I knew then I knew then I needed to hurry.
One lesson I did learn in my high science class was that when you run downhill you almost always have to go back uphill. Yes that is right. Almost at the beginning of mile 3 I could feel my legs start to burn as I struggled up the first hill. I could hear the runners behind me moaning in pain which told me that I was in good company. It seemed that my pace was slowing down. I was breathing harder than ever. Now this was a mental race cause I had to talk myself out of walking a few times. I pushed and I pushed and then I saw the 3 mile marker and the time read 26:10. This was a victory cause I was I was in the home stretch.
Mile 4 was even more of an uphill battle. As I passed the places I was at in the beginning of the race, I kept saying that I was a fool. You knew you had to come back uphill. This was not going to be an easy 4 mile race. Get real. When I turned back on to Elm Street, I saw that last hill and I knew that as soon as I got up that last hill and turned left, I was almost home. I pushed, and pushed, and pushed until I was there. When I saw the last turn to the finish line I ran like Forrest Gump. As fast as I could until I saw that finish line and heard that loud music.
Crossing the finish line is by far my favorite part of any race but when I get that finisher medal in my hand, It makes it all worth it. Every pain in my legs, thighs, and feet worth it. I looked at my stats later and it said I finished in 35:33, which means I met my goal of beating my Super Run 4 Miler time!
Now that this race is done, I still have seven more races left for this year. The next one is going to be a rematch for me. The Oak Island Half Marathon, which is going to be different cause the last time I ran this race it rained the entire time and I was miserable. I am going to try this again and see if I could beat my time. This will be a challenge cause due to the raising popularity of this race, they moved it and changed the course. So I can’t wait to see how I do.
Next stop….Oak Island Half Marathon!