|Looking East - my run route.|
|Pepper, still alert, after his 22km run at a 4:40/km pace.|
There's something about seeing other runners, especially friendly faces that gets me wound up to run. I can be driving home and see runners out, and even though I've perhaps completed my workout or have one scheduled for later in the day, I just want to get out and run right now because of them. That's why I couldn't pass up the Twitter Road Race. Sure, I didn't toe the start line with anybody physically, but virtually, 800 plus runners signed up for a race in January. Now that is social media power at its infinite. Tweets were coming in all morning about icy, snowy, blustery conditions, but the idea of running a race with a fellowship of worldwide runners was clearly too good to pass up.
I had minimal expectations going into the run today. In fact, I had no idea what to expect. The plan was to run hard and hope for something around the 25 minute mark - I even thought that might be ambitious. Months ago I did a 24:18 5km and I had no expectations of being anywhere near that number. Let's be honest, the work effort since Vegas has been minimal to moderate at best. There's been little consistency with my training. So, when I posted a 24:26 today I couldn't actually believe it. However, despite my time it wasn't a great run, but it wasn't bad either. Average. It wasn't a great run because I felt inconsistent. I couldn't hold a steady pace so I felt like I bopped between working too hard and not working hard enough. It's like there's this area I can't quite hit - the comfortable uncomfortable. As much as I wanted to be out running, I didn't want to be racing. But! To be able to pull through mentally, with no one around to be competitive against, was perhaps the biggest accomplishment. I amazed myself and I feel like I've still got a great base and perhaps with some consistency and commitment to my training I'll be able to PB my 5km this year after all - that is, break 23:30.
But as much as the TRR is about personal achievements it's really about something more. Being part of a virtual community of runners is inspiring and humbling. Knowing that you have the support and encouragement of like-minded fun, adventurous, and spirited individuals within your constant reach has become a big part of why I keep running and keep blogging. I know some days I'm barely a blip on the radar but I have to hope I can be for someone else what many others are for me. Congrats to everyone else who went out for the inaugural Twitter Road Race. I am proud to be part of such a great group of people!