My illness conundrum has been solved. Apparently I'm allergic to the state of Georgia. After three weeks of sore throats, coughs, and headaches, I started taking an allergy pill, and the healing has begun. Right in time for me to PR at a local race this past weekend. Yes, you read that right, this slow moving woman had a personal 5k best of 28:23.
The race itself was a fundraiser for a sport missions team that is planning on going to Costa Rica. It was a small race, about 50 people or so, of all varying levels of athleticism. There were a few college cross country runners (who of course lapped me on the three loop course), a few runner moms like me, and (my personal favorites) the Clydesdales. During races, especially marathons, I'm often surrounded by these men who look like they got off the couch a week before the race and decided to run. Do not let that big size fool you. These men can run and if you're not careful, they will outrun you; often with a smile on their face as they're doing it. I usually get outrun by the 70-year old man in the short running shorts too, but that's a story for another time.
I feel like my running has reached a new level. I'm consistently running faster than I've run in years. It's satisfying to see my hard work pay off. I'm excited to see how well I can do in the races I have coming up, including the Richmond marathon in November. For me, long distance running has always been about endurance, not about speed. To date, my best marathon performance was in the 2009 Charlotte Thunder Road Marathon. I finished in 4:49, without keeping track of pace or my overall time. So I'm wondering: how well could I do if I actually tried? 4:45? 4:40? It's exciting to have these new goals. It keeps my feet moving in the right direction.
After my son shushed me, (Yes, you read that right. My soon to be 4 year old son shushed me. I almost had a heart attack. I thought I was losing my hearing, and then he did it again. I was standing at the kitchen counter cutting sweet potatoes, and I had to put the knife down. Then I took a deep breath and screamed for his father because obviously the child had lost his mind and clearly needed someone to find it for him. Then as his father gave him a stern talking to, I continued cutting my sweet potatoes, muttering to myself [with a strong NY accent] "he shushed me! I can't believe he shushed me!".) running has become more and more of a necessity. I don't know what I would do if I didn't run. Shop? Eat? Nothing good, I can tell you that much, and I think my husband's wallet - and my waist line - can agree.