I've been training for a 10K ever since I finished my first 5K on Thanksgiving and last weekend was my big graduation day at a real live 10K.
It had been raining for several days the week leading up to the race. It put me two training runs behind and the longest I'd run in a row was 50 minutes. Seeings as how I typically run an 11 minute mile, that wasn't going to cut it to get me 6.2 miles. But I'd already had my mind over matter epiphany when it comes to running and knew I'd just have to push through.
And I did. Have to push through. Because it was 60 degrees and so humid it was sapping my will to live within the first mile. And there were people wearing long sleeve shirts! I can't figure out if they were trying to bake themselves alive or make some sort of superhuman statement. Just looking at them made me sweat more. I had stupidly worried it might rain the day of the race and actually debated around the water cooler at work whether I should go with a slicker or a trash bag style poncho if it did. By mile 2, I was contemplating using the water stations to fling water on my head. Except I was thirsty. So I flung it at my mouth without stopping and some went on my face and some went in my mouth. I'm sure it was really attractive moment.
The race was basically a 3.1 mile route that you ran twice. It included a big steep hill. I'm above average lazy and prone to exaggeration. But my friend that ran it with me who is not lazy and is not prone to exaggeration agrees the hill was steep. So there.
The first trip up the hill, I was all, Gee, this seems a little steep. The trip down was awesome. The second trip up, I was all, Yeah, that's definitely steep. And the trip down was so awesome I got a little cray cray when I saw the official photographer:
I usually try to look off ahead when I'm running. But that blows on steep hills. It just reminds you that the hill is in fact steep and that you are in fact nowhere near the top. So I just stared at the pavement a couple feet ahead and tried to pretend I was almost to the top. I also did some gasping for breath. Okay, there's no some about it. I did a whole lot of gasping. My beloved heart rate monitor beeps ever so casually at me when I go above 156. On that hill, I was at 170 and a hot continuously beeping mess.
People all around me on the hill were stopping to walk the rest of the way up. Nothing says stop like everyone around you doing it. I seriously wanted to stop. But my one goal was to run the whole way. So I just kept going. I thought about how excited I'd be to tell my husband I did it. I pictured telling my kids. And I even pictured telling people at work on Monday. And when none of that stopped the voices inside my head, I just reminded myself of the first rule I learned doing C25K: Keep going even if you feel like you want to die. So I did. And then I was at the top.
And then I thought rainbows and puppies would fall from the sky and I'd fly to the finish line. Um. Yeah. There was still another mile to go. Here I am realizing that and trying to pull it together and catch my breath:
It was so hard! But I did it! I can't believe it!
Sort of like how I can't believe I signed up for a half marathon next! I know! What was I thinking!? I'm one part excited and 3 parts terrified. But I'm going to give it everything I have and see where it takes me! Yeah!