I have had some pretty good results in training lately. I ran the Seymour Half-Marathon a couple of weeks ago and was only planning on doing it as a training run.
I started back with one of my friends, who was a pacer for the 10-minutes-per-mile group, but got a little antsy because it felt too slow.
So I told him that I was going to pick up the pace a bit, sure that I’d see him later. I took off from there, just listening to my music and enjoying the run.
Slowly, I started passing people one-by-one. I was just feeling good. I tried to not even look at my Garmin to see my pace per mile. I wanted to try to run more by feel and keep it fairly easy.
My mentality slowly changed, though. I found myself narrowing in on each person that was ahead of me and trying to pass them. As I passed some people that I knew, I chatted with them and moved on to the next person.
My competitive nature just kicked in.
I passed some people who were feeling dizzy because of the humidity, which surprised me. I guess I was just having a good day.
I finally looked down at my Garmin and realized that I was running at a pretty decent pace and that I had a good shot at breaking 2 hours. So I just kicked it into high gear and finished the last few miles really strong.
I felt great when I crossed the finish line. I finished in 1:58:58 (averaging 9:04/mile), which was a personal record for me.
I didn’t realize until later when I saw the results posted online that I actually got first place in my age group.
I never stay around for the awards because I never think that I can actually place. Oh, well.
It’s still nice to know and a good confidence booster from here on out.
Another confidence boost has been riding my bike up the hill at Robert’s Tree Farm. The first time that I rode up this hill a few months ago, I thought it was terrible. It kind of winds around up to the top; and when I finally made it up there, my heart rate was around 180, which is super high.
It was the first tough hill I rode when starting training for Ironman.
A group of cyclists that I ride with told me that if I could ride that hill, I could ride the hills at Ironman Louisville.
Recently on a group ride, I was dreading it when they told me that we were heading there. Once we got there, I slowly starting climbing up the hill.
The road wound around, and I got up to a point and thought, “Oh here’s the halfway point.” But I realized that I had actually already made it to the top. It was so much easier this time!
I was so excited for myself.
Achieving these hurdles has really given me a boost in my confidence when heading into more of the bulk of training.
Stacey Parisi is a Seymour native and resident. Her columns will appear regularly in The Tribune as she trains to compete in Ironman Louisville 2015. Send comments to email@example.com.