Sunday, March 1, 2015

First Year Racing Completed

If you've read my previous posts, this is not much different than the theme of some of them. However, it is a milestone since today I ran my first repeat race. It was the UAH Spring Road Race, which was my first ever race on March 2, 2014. The race course was modified this year to be an 8K instead of the 10K from last year. The course was much improved and I enjoyed this distance. It was the second time I had run an 8K race, the first being the Steeple Chase in Decatur in May 2014. It seems this is a good distance for me to really get a feel for how my speed has developed.

This was the last of 15 races in the past 365 days. The races themselves totaled 165 miles, with each of being a PR for me. The total mileage I've ran since that race is 1,458 miles and as February ended, I completed the 10th month straight of 100+ miles.

The way running has changed my life has been a mantra that anyone who knows me has seen and heard. When I ran my first race last March, I had trained for 6 months and had lost 30 pounds. Now, one year later, I have lost an additional 42 pounds. I am without doubt in the best physical condition of my life. I had not planned on another post this soon, but I was asked to do it in hope that it would provide encouragement to others.

UAH Spring Road Race 2014 (Left) and 2015 (Right)
You've also heard me go on about how the Huntsville/Madison running community is so amazing. I owe them so much and cherish the relationships I have gained through running with them. I am also blessed with a wonderful wife, who supports training and participation in all these races. Ultimately, all glory goes to God, who sustains me, gives me breath, strength and provides every need. All I can say to those who can't stand the thought running is, I was one of you. It isn't for everyone, but you will never know for sure until you give it a valiant try. It is very hard, but very rewarding. If running isn't for you, then I would encourage you to find something that can help you gain or maintain physical fitness.

When I ran (and yes, I ran the whole time) the UAH 10K (6.2 miles) last year it took me 1:11:40, which is a pace of 11:32 per mile. I was third from last in my age group, and 197th of 244 overall. When I finished that race last year, I made a determined statement that I would do it in less than one hour this year. What a difference a year of hard work can make! This year my final time for the 8K (4.97 miles) race was 36:19. That is a pace of 7:19 per mile. It was a tie for 3rd place in my age group. My overall place was 44th of 229.

I was very pleased with the pace control today. I started too fast, but quickly scaled back to a pace where I could maintain. I felt great the whole race and managed a negative split, with the second half being 15 seconds faster than the first. I had a goal to run the last mile in less than 7 minutes, but missed it by 4 seconds. That is still the fastest mile I've ever recorded by 11 seconds.

This race was also special since I got to enjoy it with a family of five friends from church. Everyone was so encouraging and I had a great time racing after worshipping with my church family.

1 comment:

  1. Troy this is great story! People who don't run,walk,exercise they should hear it, you are perfect example!☺
    Good run today:-)