My very first 10K race!!! I talked myself out of participating in this race about 100 times before finally fully committing and signing up the day before. I mean really I had every reason not to. I had 2 shows + strike and a cast party coming that day. Opening night of Fiddler followed by the GoDaddy holiday party were happening the night before. I had even officially told all of my blogger friends that there was no way I could make it work. Buuuutttt, so many wonderful ladies were doing it! And I’ve never done a 10K! And I really wanted to run! So I finally told Nicole, Carolyn, Emily and Raya that I was done being lame and I was signing up!
Saturday morning I met Nicole and Carolyn for brunch at True Foods and then headed over to the expo. I’d never been to a race expo! There were some cool stands set up and lots of things I wanted to buy, but after spending the money on the race, I decided to try not to empty my bank account on running souvenirs. Sunday morning we arrived back at the race site at 8am for a 9am start time. By this point, I was nervous. I’d gotten about 5 hours of sleep, I had never run a 10K race before and I just had no idea what to expect. Yes, I have run much further than 6.2, but I am learning that a race is a lot different than a normal run. Is that bad that it’s different? I’m new at this and I have no idea if that is normal, but I do know that the 3 times I have crossed the finish line, I’ve felt way more beat than after any other runs.
Ok back to this race! Steve came with me because he is the best husband ever and we quickly met up with Nicole, Carolyn, and Emily (and later Raya–somehow I ended up with no pictures with you in it–laaaame!).
See that pretty sparkly head band??? I’ve been wanting one and I showed Steve the one I wanted and he bought it for me! Then it fell off somewhere in the middle of the race and I was so focused on not dying that I didn’t even realize it 🙁
While waiting for the race to begin, we posed for some action shots.
My goal for this race was to keep up with
Speedy Gonzales Nicole. Actually, that’s a lie. My only real goal was that I really really really wanted to finish in under an hour. The last time I ran 6 miles it took me I think 1:02, but I know I’ve gotten faster since then and I wanted anything under 59:59. My plan to make this goal happen was to try to keep up with Nicole! As soon as we crossed the starting line, Nicole was off weaving and dodging around people and I made her my rabbit and stayed close behind. Right away we started going slightly uphill and I remember thinking “This will be nice coming the other way at the end.” Little did I know. After about mile 2, I started to feel over dressed. The sun was out in full force and the high of the day ended up being about 70. I should have been in shorts and a tank top! Whoops. But for the first 3 miles, I really felt like I was doing awesome. We were flying (for this slow poke) and hitting negative splits.
Yup, that is too fast for me for mile 3 of a 6 mile race. I wish it wasn’t so, but at this time it is and I kinda knew it. I just kept hoping I’d be able to keep it up, but after that mile I felt exhausted and the real hills began. I sadly told Nicole to go up ahead and that I was going to fall back.
Booooo. I felt like my hopes finishing in under an hour were long gone because I had to take way more walking breaks than I would like to admit. I felt kind of like I had blown it, but fortunately I kept checking my garmin and seeing that there was still hope! I just kept forcing myself to run again, and run hard, after every walking break and push onward through what I would call hills of death. Okay, probably for someone who does not live in Phoenix (I mean, if you want to get technical I live in Mesa which literally means FLAT!) these would not be hills of death, but I had never ran on anything like this before!
At one point I stopped to walk and this woman who had to be in her 50s or 60s looked at me and told me “Keep going, you can do it.” I wanted to cry. I wanted to carry her to the finish with me. I had so much love for this woman that I could never explain to her. I didn’t even know how to say thank you. I am someone who thrives on encouragement and positive affirmation and to hear this stranger say she believed in me when I was doubting myself was such an incredible feeling. I just kept pushing forward, allowing myself to walk up steeper hills when I needed to. Finally I got close to mile 6 and I could feel that my goal was still on the tips of my fingers. I ran hard and gave the end of the race every last ounce of speed I had in me. I looked down at my Garmin and realized it hit 6.2 before I crossed the finish and remember feeling so angry! All of the sudden, I was no longer sure if I was going to make it, and I felt so cheated by the system. Yes, I am that dramatic when I’m exhausted. No, I do not actually think the Irongirl team was out to get me and not let me reach my goal. I crossed the finish line and tried soooo hard to have a finish with my arms up and looking strong.
I waited until after I ran through with my arms up for just a second before I paused my Garmin, then looked down, hit pause and say this
As soon as I crossed the finish line, Steve tried to hug me, but I thought I might puke, so I pushed him away and waited for the feeling of death to subside. Luckily, it didn’t last longer than a minute or two and I was quickly reunited with Nicole who had finished 2 and a half minutes before me!
I got my very first race medal!!!!
And I was also given the most amazing little post race gift bag from Steve! Did I mention that he is THE BEST HUSBAND EVER?! He got me a spibelt, and lots of mileage stickers, not to mention the headband that he had bought me before the race (I miss you already headband. You were so sparkly!) I felt so loved and so happy.
Then a little while later I got a text from Nicole with a picture of my official chip time
Goal achieved. It feels pretty damn fantastic.