I was extremely excited and exhausted on Saturday when I broke my 5k time at the Blackhawks Mad Dash to Madison. I was running as part of the Media group along with many other Chicago Media folks you can see below. Jimmy Greenfield was there(he'll try to tell you he beat my time, but that was not the case). Amy Freeze from Fox organized the entire Media team, thanks Amy. And David Wallach bailed (I was looking forward to racing against him too), but after completing his 500 miles this summer, I think his body deserves a break.
I have stated before that I am trying to like running more and more. Therefore, I have forced myself to run with friends, personal training clients and in races. And I have to say I am starting to like it, a lot. I've been wanting to increase my 5k time and have trained to do that. But I knew there had to be a great deal of mental game that went into it as well. When I headed to the race on Saturday I was going to push myself that extra bit.
The temperature was great for a run, and the rain held out til after the race. I had awesome encouragement from the Media team and my friend Dashi was running as well. Dashi can run a pretty quick 5k at about 25 minutes. My average has been 29-30 minutes. I decided that I would use Dashi as my pace guide. I wore my Nike's I ran in during the Shamrock Shuffle, my Nike Sportband and my ipod. I was ready to go.
We started up and Dashi took off. I stayed about 20 feet behind her. I was running through the West side of the city and was feeling pretty good. 1st mile marker up, time said 8 minutes. Wow, I thought I'm doing much better than usual. I told myself I just had to keep this pace up. Also, did I forget to mention that the media team was split into smaller teams? There were 4 groups of 4-5 people, and I did not want to let my team down. The winning team was getting their picture with the Stanley Cup!
I made sure I could see Dashi in sight my entire run. I caught up to her right before the 3rd mile marker. I was getting pretty tired now. My legs were tight, my hamstrings were hurting and I was getting a little winded. But I stayed next to Dashi and soon the Finish Line sign came up. So close, I thought...It felt like I kept running towards it but it wasn't getting any closer. I was going to have to push myself this last little bit. I had done so well time wise this whole time that I couldn't ruin it now so close to the end. Dashi asked me if I was ok and I said yes go ahead. She ran off a little ahead of me and it motivated me to go faster. I gave myself that last little push and I saw Dashi cross the finish line and I followed quickly after.
Yay!!!! I was done. I grabbed a banana and some water. I couldn't believe my time! 25:54 was my ending time. I couldn't believe it. I am so happy and motivated to continue improving my time. Whatever your goals are, always believe that you can push yourself to reach them. It's not easy. But the rewarding feeling you get afterward will remind you of why you worked so hard. It's also always helpful to keep positive and encouraging people around you. With that combination, you're bound to accomplish anything.
Have a fun and fit day, Chicago.
Oh yah, my media group won. Go team, go team... I'll stop dancing now. haha The Blackhawks were great though, and allowed all of us to take a picture with the cup. Check it out.