So I ran my first 10k on Saturday. I had been working out during March and April at the gym pretty regularly for a weight loss competition thing, and so I was in decent shape to start training for a 10k in early May. I used an 8 week training plan, and started on the 3rd week. I followed the training plan almost perfectly, only missing 2 days of workouts, one of them on my trip to Michigan. I was still pretty nervous the night before the race, though. My goal was to run 11-12 minute miles, and under no circumstance, to finish after the 1 hour and 15 minute mark.
The race went far better than I expected. It was really nice to run it with a friend, and we seemed to keep pace with each other easily. When the race started, everyone was passing us, but I was adamant that I didn’t want to start off too fast. The first big hill was long, but I just slowed my pace down and steadily ran up it. I felt great up that first hill, which was a shock to me. It was at this point that we started passing people. The subsequent 3 hills went well, too. Once we got into Mahoney Park, though (the end of mile 4 and into mile 5), I started to feel tired. There was a gentle upward slope that I struggled over, but we kept the pace steady and continued to pass people.
The last half mile was a straight shot down a residential street to the finish line. Tyne and I really picked up the pace at this point. There was this girl in a pink shirt that we caught up to and Tyne said, “We’ve got to beat her.” And so we raced her for the last .3 miles or so. We sprinted to the finish line, which was very difficult, but I wanted to burn out any energy I had left. The time said 1 hour, 12 minutes. I was breathing hard at the end of the race, but not once did I wheeze, not even during the race, which is a victory for this asthmatic. I vaguely remember someone handed me a slap bracelet, and this one big guy who seemed very concerned for my well being.
Immediately afterward, I was NOT hungry at all, but I forced myself to eat a little. We stood around and chatted for a while, congratulating ourselves and discussing the run. I felt the what they call "the runners high" and I was also excited because it went so much better than I expected! I realized my training went well, and that if I train, I can run any race.
I’ve been thinking about it since then, and I really want to do a half-marathon now. Training isn’t always a ton of fun, but I enjoyed working toward a goal. I enjoyed the energy of all the people in the race. I enjoyed the feeling of crossing the finish line and feeling successful and realizing I had met my goal. I enjoy running because it’s something I can do by myself, or with others. If it's something I continue to do, I can challenge myself to beat more people, and challenge myself to improve my own race times.
I really did enjoy the race a lot and might be on my way to a certified running addiction. :0)