Thursday, January 30, 2014

Cooper's Corner: Sugar Land Finish Line Sports 30K

(Chalk up this delay on Nine Volte's processing systems! -- NV)

30K sounds a lot better than 18.6 miles.

At least that’s what I told myself heading into the Sugar Land Finish Line Sports 30K on Sunday, December 15.

The last time I had run this distance was over three (3) years ago so I was very nervous, but Coach Bill (Dwyer) and Coach Mary (Carter) told me to focus on the moment and take one step at a time.

A good coach gives you confidence and encourages you to focus on the positive. Still, I wasn't sure how things would turn out.

Fortunately a visit to my doctor on Friday turned out to be my saving grace.

He instructed me that there were two things I needed to do in order to avoid the cramping I had experienced in previous long distance races.

First, for breakfast, eat a banana and drink some Gatorade to fuel up and second, he encouraged me to up my dosage of electrolyte tablets from two (2) to four (4).

Bingo! That was the secret.

Race day morning was a brisk 36 degrees, but I knew once the sun came out things would warm up quickly.

It was a perfect day.

My strategy for this race was to treat this run as if I was running the marathon which would take a lot of discipline.

The 1st half of the race I maintained a 10:13 pace and in the second portion my (minute per mile) pace improved to 9:58.

I really felt like I had to hold back because in the second half of the race I really wanted to let it go and run hard.

I kept telling myself, however,  "stick with the plan."

The end result?  A 3:07:44 finish and -- a very relieved runner.

I will add this though, Saturday night I went to church and prayed that God would be with me every step of the way, that he would put all his power in me to do my best and to keep me physically strong and free from cramping.

Wouldn't you know that the message at church was a.) Don't be afraid to push yourself and b.) when you complete your goal, give all the glory to God.

So on that note, God is great.

I am so lucky that He has given me the ability to run and I know He will continue to be with me until I complete my goal of finishing my 11th Houston Marathon on January 19, 2014.

See you on the road friends!


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