This year’s Fifth Third River Bank Run 25k was great! All the preparations, hill training, and the smaller races we did along the way this year really paid off. I knew exactly what to bring to the race, what to wear, what to eat, and had a goal in mind. I was excited to run and represent Paws with a Cause, my charity partner! We had perfect running conditions – cool, no precipitation. I felt really great that morning so I made a last-second decision at the start line to push my pace about :30/mile faster than I had been planning on. I knew it would hurt a lot and it’d be tough, but I really wanted to push myself and give a full effort. I loved running the hills (who says that!?) not because it felt great, but because I was able to experience the benefits from all those tough hill workouts our coach had us do. I passed more people on the hills than I think I did the whole rest of the race combined! The last mile was brutal as I was in a lot of pain but I knew my coaches would be at the finish line cheering me on so I held my pace and pushed on, knowing I wanted to make them proud. I finished the race almost 7 minutes under my goal time!
While the race was such an amazing experience, it was bittersweet as it was my last hoorah as a Road Warrior. Being a Road Warrior has been an awesome journey. I have taken away so much from this opportunity. From the technical training tips that I learned from the coaches and events we attended to the lasting friendships I’ve made with other road warriors and members in the running community, I will never be the same runner again. I have grown not only in speed and strength, but as a person. Thank you to everyone who supported me along the way. People say that running is an individual sport but they have no idea how many people support, encourage and inspire each runner out there.
Whether you ran in one of the events Saturday, volunteered in some way, gave toward a charity partner or cheered someone on – thanks for helping make this event so great. You now officially have 364 days to get training for next year’s race. Enjoy some days off from training as your rest your legs, then get out there and keep running!
“May the road rise up to meet you. May the wind be always at your back.”