This is my third year running the Whitinsville 5 mile race on Thanksgiving day. Every year, my friend Erika, my dad and I wake up early on Thanksgiving morning to run in this race. I am always amazed at the huge turn-out, and the amount of elite runners at this race. This year, there were over 800 people registered. We were joking that everyone that runs in a race on Thanksgiving must be a dedicated runner because the night before is the biggest party night of the year!
In 2008, I believe my finishing time was somewhere around 45 minutes, which I was proud of. In 2009, I finished in 41:59.9. I was so proud of my 8:20ish minute/mile pace that I maintained throughout the whole race. I felt strong and in the end I was proud. I felt like there was no way I could ever beat that pace this year. Since I have not been running as much this year, and have also gained some healthy weight, I went into the race this year thinking that I wanted to finish between 43 minutes and 45 minutes. I even had a dream the night before the race that I didn’t beat my time from last year, and was okay with it.
Erika and I started off the race at a good pace. We don’t like to go with the crowd who sprints in the beginning and then dies down. I believe we finished our first mile in 8 minutes and 37 seconds. I felt good, and had no intentions of speeding up. I just wanted to finish the race. Around mile 2.5, I saw my dad ahead of me (we did not start the race together, so I had no idea where he was in the pack). I could NOT let this happen, so of course I sprinted by him and said “oh my gosh dad, how were you ahead of me, see ya!!!” Everyone around me laughed! That was just the motivation I needed. From then on, I had a new mentality for this race, to prove something to myself and that I COULD beat my time from last year. Usually every year, Erika and I run together, but this year I started to pull ahead of her. I felt bad and kept looking back to see if I could see her, but I really wanted to beat my time, so I kept trucking. I ended up finishing the 5 miles in 40 minutes and 53 seconds! That is a pace of 8:11 minute/miles. I was so proud! I was seriously gleeming of joy as I crossed the finish line! I love racing, I really do. It’s funny because I always say that i’m not a racer and I run for myself, but every time I finish any kind of race I am on could 9. I LOVE it! Half marathon, here I come!!!!
I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I am thankful for more this year than I have ever been thankful for in my life. The small things in life that often go unappreciated are always thought of and thanked on this holiday. I want to make sure that I continue to give thanks throughout the year and make sure that I don’t take things for granted. I’m a lucky girl, and I really could not ask for more right now!