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I completed my first 10K! Yeahhhhh, go meeee!  I did the Windsor Green Half Marathon/10k in Windsor, California.  It was a really nice course.  It had a few hills, but not terrible.  I wasn’t sure what to expect.  I’ve run 6 to 7.25 mile runs a few times now.  So, I wasn’t to terribly afraid of the distance.  What was more nerve wracking was the time I’d finish in.  I figured I would be happy with 1:20.  I know that might seem like an eternity to most runners… It was going to be just fine for me.  1.  It was my first 10K.  2.  It would be about a 12:43 mile and that puts me exactly what I need to do at the half marathon.  If I could prove to myself I could do this consistently for 6 miles at that pace, then I would build my confidence I can work up to 13.1.

I went alone to the race.  My husband doesn’t want to get up early on a Sunday and load us all up and out by 6:30 am.  I understand that.  And, to be honest, I don’t want to be stressed out and worrying about his mood knowing he would rather not be there.  So, off I went at 6:30 to arrive by 7:15.  I don’t like worrying about parking, or rushing around.  I would rather take my time.

It was a beautiful day.  There were hot air balloons in the sky as I got closer to Windsor.  The vineyards looked so pretty all perfectly lined up under the view of the hot air balloons… and I thought, how lucky am I ?  I have such a beautiful place to run today!  Parking was easy enough.  I had time to get everything together and do a little practice run up and down the street to warm up.  I was standing alone waiting and the photographer snapped a picture of me.  I smiled, and decided I don’t care if I look sad standing there alone.  I actually felt kind of relaxed and OK about it.  The picture showed up in the events misc. pics and I like it.  I will probably purchase it.  It was a good day for me, and I am glad I had the courage to go at it alone.

The race started at 8:10 and I was going to use the walk/run ration of 4:1.  That went out the window.  I found myself running more like 8-10 minutes with a 45 second-1 minute walk, usually up a hill or through the water station.  The first 5 miles I was trucking right along (well, trucking in my time standards)!  I was averaging about 12:05 minute miles consistently.  I thought, Wow, I am going to finish this ahead of my goal time.  But, then I started losing steam that 6th mile.  I took a little of shot blok thing they passed out at the last water table I passed, drank a little dixie cup of gatorade they handed out thinking the sugar, etc. would kick in for me that last mile.  I don’t think it did.. ha ha.. I remember about a .30 mile from the finish line…thinking- I need to pick it up and run, but I felt zapped.  I started having this chat with myself.. ” Why the hell am I doing this?  This isn’t fun.  This is hard, and I signed up for this shit voluntarily! Oh, Hell. no. I am not doing 13.1 miles”  then I saw a group of police officers monitoring traffic, and one said, “You’re only 5 blocks from the finish, get it in gear… you got this!”  I took a deep breath, and said, “Yeah, I can do this.. I can do this.. huff..puff,,” 

I ran the last 5 blocks, thanks to that.. and then as I rounded the corner and saw the time clock and people cheering.. I certainly couldn’t walk now either!  So, I ran in.. not before an elite half marathon runner passed me looking like a gazelle, calm and graceful.. boing, boing, little pounce across the finish line, as I am huffing and puffing.. But, I finished!  And, 1 minute faster than my goal time.  I beat my goal time even with that tired, hard last mile, which is promising to me!  As, I train harder I will get better and stronger.  The funny thing is after resting for 5 minutes of resting, I thought, “Ok that wasn’t so bad.”  All the negative thoughts from a few minutes earlier went out the window.  

I e-mailed the S.F. Marathon event and asked if someone doesn’t finish in 3 hours, do they still get a medal?  They responded, No, we won’t give a finisher medal to anyone who doesn’t finish in the time limit.  I replied, OK.. well, I better finish in 3 hours or I just paid $90.00 for a shirt.  

I hired my running coach to help me with these last 8 weeks.  She mapped out a training plan for me, and put in my time at the 10K and what my pace would look like for a half marathon.  I can still finish in 2:55 with the 13+ minute pace.  She seems to think I can do it.  I decided I am going to go for it.  IF I don’t get the fucking medal.. Oh, well.  It will be a great experience running with so many people and what a great race to run!  It’s sold out, actually.  I will treasure the memory, regardless.  But, I am going to be close, so I am just going to go for it!  

I started hill repeats today.  I trust my running coach and her expertise. She has so many amazing races under her belt, with very impressive results.  She knows what she is doing, and I will follow her plan.

I remember when I first started my blog, my vision goal was to run the London 10k.  That seemed like such a great accomplishment, 6.2 miles seemed so far to me when I was training for my 5k.  I didn’t get to run the London 10K (yet) but, I did run a 10K and that is a huge step in realizing my goals.  With each goal I accomplish I grow more confident in my abilities.  And, I am out there trying and doing it!  I am proud of myself, and my time.  I will take it!  

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