Only 17 days until I have completed the 100 Day Challenge. I ran an 8-mile race this morning, and I placed first in my age group and 6th overall. I haven’t run more than 5 miles at a time since the half marathon, and I was a little nervous about this 8. After finishing, I couldn’t be more proud of my time.
I ran this race with a friend that I went to high school with. Neither of us were planning on pushing too hard, and we both felt a little under prepared for the race. However, at mile 4 we had been running well under 9 minute miles. We asked each other, “do you think we can do this whole thing in under 9 minute miles?” That made us really want it, so we pushed. By the end, our slowest mile was actually the first one!
About a week into this challenge, my legs were so tight that I had to walk after only a couple of miles. Every day I wondered when it would get easier. I was struggling to hit 10 minute miles. Anything under 10 minutes sounded impossible.
I set this 100-day goal in order to keep myself motivated to run. I did not expect to get much faster. I have not been doing speed workouts or many hills, but I have been running. Every day. For the last 83 days. I have also done strength and agility exercises in my workout classes, which I attend 2-3 times a week. Ultimately, I did not expect to cut MINUTES off of my average mile time. Upping my mileage was the biggest goal for me, and my time was the least of my worries.
Before I took this challenge on, I had not run more than 3-4 miles at a time since high school. In the last 3 weeks, I ran the 2 longest races I have ever participated in. The 100-Day Challenge continues, and the end is in sight. The completion of this challenge is not the end running for me. I hope to keep running every day until my wedding (140 days from today), and who knows! Maybe every day after that until I lose count. Day 84 will have to be a slow steady jog. My legs and glutes are already tightening up, and by tomorrow morning I will be feeling those 8 miles.