Thanksgiving for us generally means having a lot of family around and this year was no different. We rented a lakeside condo and had 18 of us together for the holiday. It was very nice to have so many us together for this time.
However, I also took time this weekend to run a small local race. Just as I did last year I ran the small local Run The Woodlands 5K. It is a small, no frills, local race that costs $1 and features stopwatch timing and clipboard record-keeping of runner times.
Today turned out to feature cool weather with a steady light to moderate rain, which was quite out of places in this very dry year we have been having. In spite of that I was resolved to go out and give my best in search of a new 5K PR. I ran this race last year on Thanksgiving weekend and set a new PR of 27:05, given all the training I've done this year I figured a new PR was close to a sure thing today.
My goal was to get under 25 minutes and possibly even under 24 minutes with my finishing time. There's not a lot of detail to write about for this race which is a single loop 5K along bike paths in the local neighborhood. I ran hard and steady, trying to run as hard as I could maintain without faltering over the distance and saving just enough to have a finishing sprint. I was able to following this plan to success for the day and I was the 12th finisher of the 65 or so runners today. I found my time to be quite a surprise as I would not have anticipated that I would have been able to run a 22:43 5K, but I did it. In fact, as of thirteen hours later (as I write this) I still have trouble believing it--but I did do it! Who could have guessed this would be possible back on March 3, 2007, when I entered my first local running event with a 38:45 time in the Spring Fever 5K. Interesting is that, although I did not know anyone else there at the time, now when I read over the race results from that day I see so many friends included among those names.
With this finish I have to admit that I have come a long way and achieved one of my long sought-after goals. This time puts me back in the finishing range that I had for most of my time in the Marines many years ago (20 years out as of next month). In recognizing this I finally have come to understand that the last few years of feeling like I was haunted at times by the long-lost faster times of my youth have been misunderstood by me. Perhaps, all this time, those times were not sad reminders of lost youth, but foreshadowing of a bright future that just needed some dusting off and polishing before I could realize it.
I heard a song yesterday with some words that sum it up nicely for me (Life's a Happy Song from The Muppets):
Everything is great, everything is grand
I've got the whole wide world in the palm of my hand
Everything is perfect, it's falling into place
I can't seem to wipe this smile off my face
Also, I highly recommend the movie....go see it!