Every race has an unexpected element. Often, this comes in external ways: an unexpected hill, design of the course, or energy of the crowd. Today’s unexpected element came in an internal drive.
Last week I signed up for a five mile turkey trot. Running on thanksgiving morning has become a bit of a personal tradition, but this year I didn’t specifically train for the run. I figured I would just use it as a training run for a December 5k.
However, as the race began, I found an internal motivation I didn’t expect. Perhaps I was still hanging on to some lingering disappointment from the Air Force Half Marathon. Maybe I’ve crossed too many finish lines feeling like I left too much on the course. Either way, I felt a strong desire to run strong. I didn’t have my watch on so I didn’t worry about time. I just wanted to run a solid race all the way to the finish–and I did.
I planned to run 9 minute miles on the wet and gray Wisconsin morning, but actually ran negative splits starting with the first mile at an 8:38 pace and finishing the last mile at 8:10. 5.1 miles in 42:32 not only exceeded expectations, but the solid run left me thankful.
Thankful for strength in body and spirit, thankful for time with my family, thankful for the gift of life.