CHECK!

I did it! I finished my first 10k in under an hour. But MAN! was it hard.

I woke up at 5:45 and hopped in the shower. I always shower before a race because it wakes me up. By 6, I was not alone. All of the early risers were awake and yelling for breakfast. Luckily, I have an awesome husband who knows my race routine so he picked up the morning time slack.

I got dressed (including shoes), brushed my teeth (has to be done as far from the race time as possible – the toothpaste gives you dry mouth, which is clearly not conducive to running 6 miles), and poured myself a cup of coffee and a glass of water. I made a whole wheat english muffin smeared with a tablespoon of organic pb and half a banana, sat down with the boys and had breakfast (even though my stomach was literally sick all morning).

By the time we were done with breakfast it was 7 o’clock. I slathered myself and the boys’ faces with sunscreen and then stretched for a few minutes. I had another glass of water.

I got my ipod (or Josh’s phone, rather) ready with my playlist and then helped Josh get the boys dressed and ready to go. We left around 7:50.

The guys dropped me off at the starting line and then headed back home since my race didn’t start until 9. I found the check in table and picked up my race bag (the lady told me that I was the first one to arrive for the 10k). I pinned on my number and checked out the goodies in my bag and then found the race map. I was excited to see that the route led us into Coast Guard territory around 3 miles – I would be running right by my house! I decided to take a bathroom break and when I came out, I heard someone scream my name. It was my friend Kim.

Kim is the type of person who can not be summed up in a sentence. Actually, Kim probably couldn’t be summed up in a paragraph, so I’ll just put it this way – Kim pushed her 6 year old daughter in the 5k and won 2nd place overall for women. Then, 5 minutes after finishing the 5k, she ran the 10k and won 1st place for her division. She is insane, so clearly she is a person that I love to chat with before a race!

After getting a dose of Kim, the 5k was about to begin. I stood on the sideline watching my usual race, still wondering if I’d made a mistake by signing up for the 10k.  The race began and I found my guys who’d come back to cheer me on. After about 25 minutes, I decided to go line up. This particular race was to benefit people with spinal cord injuries so there was a wheel chair division that was starting – the 5 minute warning for the 10k. Surprisingly, I wasn’t feeling too worried. Looking back on it, I guess I wasn’t thinking about what I was in for. I was treating it as any other run.

Runners take your mark.

Get set.

GO!

And we were off. I started S. L. O. W. I knew that I had to work really hard to find the right pace. After about 2 minutes, my pace keeper told me that I was at 9 min 45 sec miles. I decided to kick it up a bit. I got stuck in a crowded pack so I decided to kick it up a little more. By the end of the first mile, I was averaging in the low 8 minutes per mile. Way too fast for the pace that I wanted to keep. The plan was that I’d run the first 4 miles at 9 minutes each and then kick it in for the last 2.2. miles.

That plan never panned out. My mini me got the best of me and I just wanted to keep up with everyone else. I did the first 5k at about 8 1/2 minute miles. And then the pain set in. It truly seemed to hit me right at the 5k mark. Luckily, at this point we were in my neighborhood so I wasn’t going to let it show but I was hurting! I cramped up in my abs (I think that I am doing something wrong to cause this cramp because I get it often) but knew from past experience that if I fought through it long enough, it would go away. For the next 2 miles I was fighting this cramp while now running about 9 1/2 minute miles. Finally, it dissipated around 5 miles. At this point one of the wheel chair participants passed me and I remembered what this race was for. Talk about a reality check. What I was feeling was nothing compared to what others were going through at that same moment all over the world. I turned the last corner and officially had less than a mile to go but was of course, facing the heavy winds. At 5.64 miles, I began to heave. I didn’t feel sick and I could see the finish line but my stomach was doing something that was scaring me! I stopped and walked (I know! I can’t believe it either! I freakin’ walked!) for about 20 seconds and then joined a group of four others to finish. We all came in at nearly the same time – there were 7 people who finished within 12 seconds of one another.I finished at 59:12. Just under my goal.

When I finished, I was done! I most definitely gave it my all. But I know that I can do better. I should have trained a little more for this race and I need to learn how to pace myself better for longer distances. When I was done, I said that I didn’t think I’d do a 10k again and I definitely didn’t want to run the half marathon that I was planning to do in October.  But now, the pain that I felt from the race has once again dissipated and I am ready to do another! All that is left is that feeling of excitement that I did something that I was afraid to do and I did it within the goal that I had set. I want to do it again! I want to do something even bigger!

So I didn’t place and I didn’t run the race in record time (and MUCH to my dismay I even walked!). But I did make the first check mark on my summer to do list and I kicked off racing season! My next race is next weekend. It’s only a 5k but I intend to run it faster than any 5k I’ve run before. And I’m gonna have fun doing it!

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