A year ago, would I have believed it if you told me that I could run 6.2 miles without stopping?
Prolly not, yo. But I CAN!
I like working out for a goal. After my 5K in June, I needed another goal to work towards. So, sometime in August, I signed up to run a 10K in Muncie called Soles to Souls on September 24. It’s sponsored by a church and raises funds to help the homeless shelter in Muncie. So, good cause, close to home, and the distance I wanted. I trained steadily for about five weeks build up the distance. My goal was to finish in 1 hour, 10 minutes.
I was incredibly nervous, of course. I think it’s like any kind of performance – you want to do well and you’re worried if you did enough to prepare. We got to Westside Park early, and it turned out to be a pretty small operation. About 50 people came out for the 10K and the 5K run/walk.
Naturally, I was checking everyone out and comparing my fitness level to what I perceived in them. (I need to stop doing that!) The gun went off, we started down the track, and we quickly became more strung out; the crazy-fit people zoomed on ahead and I lagged somewhere in the middle. The track was the White River Greenway, and mapped out in a figure-eight pattern. The first loop was the 5K and the 10K-ers went on to run a second loop, so you ended up passing the start place twice.
I was moving along at a pretty good clip (for me). I got a stitch in my side around mile 2, but taking deep breaths seemed to help and it went away after a little while. Oh, and there was also a huge group of community volunteers who were picking up trash along the White River Greenway. They were clapping for us, giving high fives, and really added to the atmosphere.
After the first turnaround, I passed several people who had switched to walking. Once I passed the 5K cutoff, I wasn’t sure of where I was in the pack. I knew about five or six people were ahead of me, but I didn’t know how many were running the 10K . So, I spent about a mile consoling myself, thinking, “It’s okay if you’re last. It’s okay. The goal is just to finish. It’s okay.” Once I got to the final turnaround, I saw to my amazement that there were about 10 people behind me!
I realized that there might me a chance I could place in the women’s category. There was only about a mile and a half at that point. I started pushing a little harder, focusing on the lady in front of me, thinking, “I’m not letting her get any farther away!”
I could see Steve up ahead, taking pictures of my approach. I sprinted the last 10th of a mile, crossing the finish line at ONE HOUR FOUR MINUTES!!
Wow. I couldn’t believe it. That was by far the fastest I’d ever run that distance. And even better, at the awards ceremony later, I won third place. My prize? A medal and a gift certificate to Blue Mile, a running store in Indy. Plus the t-shirt, of course. Not too shabby for Rachel.
And today? I’m a little sore around the joints, but nothing too awful. I mostly just feel awesome for completing my first 10K! Seven months ago, I was panting after running just two minutes. If I can do this, anyone can!