I often can go months and months without running a race, but this year is different: Thanks to a commitment to speedwork, I'm primed to PR. I figure I better strike while the iron is hot. So little more than a month after setting a new personal best in a 5K, I'm going to toe the line in a 10K. I'm doing the Pace of Courage Run here in Portland, which supports a family in their fight against cancer and their goal to promote cancer awareness.
It's a heartbreaking story involving two types of cancer--the mother has a recurrence of ovarian cancer and the three-year-old son recently succumbed a rare form of brain cancer. I know I will be wiping away many tears along with sweat as I run.
I debated whether it was crass to try to run my fastest at such a meaningful, heartfelt fundraiser, but I decided I'd be showing a passion and commitment to life by doing so. I've stepped up my speedwork with make-me-proud results: On Friday, I did a tempo run. Before going to bed on Thursday night, I told myself I'd run 5 miles at tempo, but in the early light of day, that goal seemed daunting so I told myself I "only" had to go 40 minutes. Silly me: I ran so fast (7:55/mile, on average), I ended up covering slighly more than my original assignment. Proving, once again, it's all in the mindset. Sometimes it's better to approach a hurdle from a different direction to make it seem less daunting.
Then this morning I hit the track for a final pre-race session. I did 4 x 1200, telling myself anything under 6:00 was great (yet knowing, full well, I really wanted to run 5:30s). I did 5:32, 5:29, 5:33, and 5:26. Woo-hoo. I urge all of you Portland runners to join me on Saturday morning. Let's race!