Just a few days before my 50th birthday, I was able to accomplish a goal I set for myself one year prior – running a 10k. Setting that goal was quite a stretch for me, given that a year ago I’d never “run” even a mile in my life (much less several in a row). Since setting that goal, I’ve thrown all sorts of abuse at my body – from sweating buckets on the treadmill, to nutrition tracking, to limping around on sore knees/shins/ankles, ice packs, “prescription strength doses” of Advil, to twisting my body into pretzel-like shapes in yoga (many of the balance poses are good for ankle strength), to physical therapy and orthopedist appointments…
Fortunately, my body does seem to be holding up to the abuse overall – and on April 28th, I successfully completed the 10k distance of The North Face Endurance Challenge (trail) event here at Algonkian Park in 69 minutes.
That’s not really a very speedy time by any racing standards, but it was still such an amazing feeling as I crossed the finish line (and made even better by the fact that my wife finished just a few seconds behind me).
One interesting thing I learned from that event – “trail” can be much easier on your body overall. Prior to that event, I’d never actually run a full 5k all the way through from start to finish – I would still always stop a minute or two here and there to give my heart and legs a bit of a rest. But for the trail format of the 10k, it was much easier on my legs/knees/joints … and I was able to run the entire distance with only a single exception of a 20-second break for water (and other things you simply can’t “run” through on a trail – like a fallen tree on the path). So now I’ll be adding a few “trail” events to my calendar for 2019.
And as an added bonus, what was really exciting to see was that my last mile … was actually my fastest overall! That means I didn’t burn myself out on the course and am learning how to pace myself (typically my first mile has always been my fastest).
- Event #1: Bluemont Shamrock 5k (results link) – 74th place out of 100 (male) runners
Official finish time: 36m 24s
Running pace / average speed / max speed: 11’45” / 5.1mph / 8.47mph (runtastic link)
- Event #2: Rock Creek Park 5k (results link) – 27th place out of 38 runners
Official finish time: 35m 4s
Running pace / average speed / max speed: 11’19” / 5.2mph / 6.9mph (Garmin link)
- Event #3: National Beer Day 5k (results link) – 127th place out of 163 runners
Official finish time: 38m 10s (ankle injury)
Running pace / average speed / max speed: 12′ 19″ / 5.0mph / 6.8 mph (Garmin link)
- Event #4: The North Face Endurance Challenge 10k (results link) – 279th place out of 369 runners
Official finish time: 1h 9m 26s
Running pace / average speed / max speed: 11’32” / 5.2mph / 6.6mph (Garmin link)
Total distance completed: 25 kilometers (12-May EDIT: Now 30km with event below)
Updated as of 12-May:
- Friends of Claude Moore Park 5k, May 11 (COMPLETED 41m4s – 14’11” pace, total mud bog!)
- National Wine Day 5k/10k, Leesburg/Tarara, May 25 REGISTERED
- Virginia Wine Country 5k/10k, Purcellville, June 1 REGISTERED
- Fountainhead 10k Trail, June 2
- Blue Crab Bolt 5k/10k, Gaithersburg MD, June 22
- Freedom 5k, Fairfax Corner, June 30
- Firecracker 5k, Reston, July 4
Also, I am currently registered for the 10k distance at the Marine Corps Marathon event in October this year. That will likely be the “endcap” event for me for the year.
Given that it’s entirely possible I’ll hit my #50for50 goal before the 4th of July, I’ve been pondering some new optional “bonus” goals to strive for. It will be interesting to see which of these I might be able to hit before the end of the year:
- 50 miles in 2019, instead of the current goal of 50 kilometers
- Complete a 5k in under 30 minutes (10-minute mile / 6.0 mph)
- Complete a 10k in under 60 minutes (10-minute mile / 6.0 mph)
- 100 kilometers in 2019 (was planning on this being a 2020 goal, but hey … who knows?)
Thanks to all of you who have shared words of encouragement, or have come out to see me run, or have actually run with me!
If there’s one thing that is even more fulfilling than the sense of accomplishment of completing an event … it’s the outpouring of love and support from friends and family that I’ve received! It truly is a blessing, and I thank each and every one of you for it! Your support helps me go farther!