If we were having coffee today I'd tell you that I got a new deadlift PR (225#) and I placed third in my age group for the 10K I ran this past weekend. I got a sweet blue hat for it too! It says 3rd place right above the brim. I joke that it feels a little like celebrating mediocrity, but I am really quite happy to rock a 3rd place hat. I come in 3rd kind of often actually, but I don't mind. It's comfortable here. Always someone just ahead to chase and I don't have to worry about being in 1st and looking back over my shoulder to see how close someone is from stealing my thunder.
But even more surprising to me, I beat my time from last year on this course by 5 whole minutes. 5 minutes. And I honestly didn't even have a time goal. The three run series is scored by age group placing not course time. So I spent my time counting runners in front of me, trying to pick them off, and working on my breathing. I hardly glanced at my pace except to see where I was at when I got to the turnaround spot halfway through the course.
I just finished this great, older book, This Running Life, by George Sheehan. It was published in 1980 and I found such amusement in how different the running advice is now than it was then, before iPODs and Garmin watches. He even suggests hydrating with tea and getting your quick carbs from beer mid run. These days everyone has a new supplement or hydration tablet for you to try. But the part of his book I have been focusing on mostly is the 3Bs. Every great runner has these in common, they push off with their big toe, belly breath, and use their butt muscles for power. I'm still working on figuring out the last one but judging by my time improvement I'd say the first two are very good tips!