“One day, when the glory comes, it will be ours.” -Glory, John Legend and Common
About a month ago something in my running clicked. I don’t know what it was, but I felt stronger, faster, smoother. I attribute this to an overall sense of wellness. As an example of one factor of wellness, when we arrived in Ohio I had gained several pounds in the midst of travel and holidays. On race morning, I stood on the scale and hit the mark of my goal weight. When I walked out the door this morning, the weather felt perfect.
Everything was falling in place to break the elusive 25 minute 5K mark. I have run about a half dozen 5Ks where I finished in 25 minutes and some change, but have never been able to cross the barrier. Two years ago I was on pace to break the mark, but the run finished a quarter mile short of a full 5K.
The perfect weather at our house turned cold and windy when Noah, Nathan, and I got out of the car at the Columbus Audubon park. However, we were greeted by the warmth of our friends and favorite barista. The cold dissipated on the hills of the course, but pushing against the wind on the banks of the Scioto River was more challenging.
“Got a man of the people, says keep hope alive, Got fuel to burn, got roads to drive.” -Rockin’ in the Free World, Neil Young
Throughout the course I maintained a pace of eight minutes a mile. I could see by the water tower and mileage on the Garmin that we should be coming to the finish line. However, the guides on the course pointed us away from the finish line. I gave them a quizzical look, put my hands up asking if this was right, and was pointed to another out-and-back stretch. I shrugged and climbed another hill, but quickly saw the tenths of a mile click away and knew this was more than a 5K. The course ended up being 3.5 miles long instead of 3.1. Another opportunity to finish a 5K in less than 25 minutes thwarted.
“What counts is that the rhymes, Designed to fill your mind, Now that you’ve realized the prides arrived, We got to pump the stuff to make us tough.” Fight the Power, Public Enemy
Nonetheless, it was a great morning. I finished in 14th place out of 164 runners. I maintained a PR pace through a scenic nature preserve. I watched our sons cross their own finish lines (Nathan finished 62nd, beating half the adults). The morning was spent with my friends Erin, Will, and Darlene have made me feel at home in a new place. I listened to music that spoke of a call to freedom as we raised money to end human trafficking. Glory!