Dear Running, I Missed You
Don’t call it a comeback.
The runner in me never left.
He just had to wake up.
It had been 10 long years since I last ran a half marathon, even longer for a five-mile jaunt.
But there I was toeing the starting line for the Jazz Half Marathon last month and the 110th annual New Orleans Athletic Club Turkey Day Race on Thanksgiving.
Back on Labor Day I decided to get back into competitive running. The Crescent City Classic this past April stirred the embers in my soul and the Jazz Half Marathon provided the kindling.
Even though my facial expressions in pictures probably told another story, it felt good to race again – and to set a goal and demolish it.
I came through 10K in 43:27.6, right around where I expected to be.
I hit the 10-mile mark in 1:09:10.7, which left me a shade under 21 minutes to finish the final 5K if I wanted to go sub-1:30.
Well, I closed in 19:47.7 and crossed the finish line in 1:28:58.4. That put me in 23rd place out of 1469 runners and at a pace of 6:48 per mile.
Nearly one month later I mixed it up with the best runners in the area at the Turkey Day Race, which is one of the oldest Thanksgiving Day races in the south.
Depending on who you ask, my goal for the first five-mile race since college cross country was to finish in the top-25 (or top-30) and to go sub-29 (or sub-30).
I ended up 28th overall in 29:10.
Was I happy with averaging 5:50 per mile? Yes.
Did I feel like I should have done better? You know it.
God, I missed that feeling.