10 years ago, I toed the line for my first 10K (6.2 mile) race. I was a newbie runner and had no idea what pace or even the fact that a runner could pace themselves. If I remember right, I lined up towards the back of the pack at the start line, mixed amongst the jogging strollers and walkers. Skinny guys in short shorts were intimidating back then. I was probably wearing basketball shorts and big, clunky tennis shoes. Weighing around 185 lbs in 2002 (still lifting weights to impress girls) it hurt to run farther than 1 mile.
Fast forward 10 years to this morning and what a difference a decade makes. I lined up near the front, my shorts are a little shorter, less muscle (155 lbs), and definitely less hair! With 10 years of road racing experience, I now know a little bit about pacing, how to warm-up, and when to accelerate near the end. Crossing the finish line in 37:32, I achieved my personal best for a 10K. Thinking about the changes I have made over time, I have to credit running a lot more during the week, drinking way less alcohol and skipping most processed food. But I think the biggest change is the knowledge of how to pace and being mentally prepared for the exhaustion during any race. I’m definitely not an expect, but I sure have come along way in 10 years!