Yesterday morning I had my first 8k race to run. I had set a goal to finish in under 45 minutes. Though I’ve run up to 6.2 miles in the last month, I didn’t think I would be able to finish the race. I had only run that distance a handful of times, and I had taken the week off from running due to shin splints. I woke up feeling sluggish and unmotivated. When I arrived to the race it was raining and cooler than the temperature for which I had dressed. As I was standing on the starting line, butterflies in my stomach, I started thinking motivational thoughts. If nothing else, even if I didn’t get the time I was shooting for, I would run just under 5 miles before 10AM on a Saturday. I pictured myself sprinting across the finish line, proud of my accomplishment – it was my first race over 5k after all. Once the race started, I was running at a slightly quicker pace than I usually run, figuring I would slow down as the race progressed. At mile two I noticed there was a relatively fit gentleman still paced with me – I decided he was my target. Each time he tried to pass me I would pick up my speed and maintain that extra speed. By mile 4 my lungs were ready to burst. Through the last mile I was ready for it to be over, but I pushed to keep up with my target. I kept thinking to myself “unless you puke, faint, or die, keep going.” In the last third mile my target pulled ahead, but I pushed hard to keep close. I could see the finish line about .2 miles out and I pushed myself to run, not jog, that last stretch. When I was within sprinting distance I gave it my all. I crossed the finish line in 42:30, giving me an 8:40 pace, my fastest on record to date, including any 5ks I have done. I ran an 8k with a quicker pace than a 5k. It’s amazing how positive thoughts lead to positive results. Push yourself this week and accomplish something you never thought you could!