I have mailed in my registration for the Wrigley Start Early 10K run on Saturday, April 10. This will be my third time running this event, the second time at this distance (they have both a 10K and a 5K).
I have good memories with this event. The first time I ran the 10K, in 2007, it was the first race I ran where I felt comfortable with the distance. I had already run that far a few times in training and wasn't scared of the distance - I knew I could run that far and so I could look at improving my performance, not just getting through it. (I know this is how I should have done all of my previous races, but oh well). I remember feeling that I had done a good job and run it smartly.
Then last year I ran the 5K (here's the race report). It was my first race since the 10K two years ago, and I was glad to be running it at all. And especially glad that I felt I ran it well.
Since then I have logged many more runs, both longer and faster. I've been careful with my training this last month since my ankle is still tender (but slowly getting better), but after the last couple of weeks I feel I can not only do this distance, but in fact run it as a race, so I'm excited about that.
What makes one run a run and another one a race? For me, it's not only about running faster than I usually do at that distance, but about really pushing myself to do more than I have before. Hoping that the careful mix, over time, of long runs, tempo runs, and speed intervals, plus race day adrenaline of course, will combine into the ability to push myself farther than I can do so otherwise.
This year I'm heading up a group from church as part of our Child Abuse Prevention Awareness Month outreach. We'll likely be a small group - but we will be full of heart! I'm looking forward to it all.