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!