This past weekend, I ran in a 10k. I joined a training team for this 10k. It was my first time to be a part of a training team.
The training team was a fantastic experience. We were out training in 17 degree weather, snow, freezing rain, rain, and I think we had one sunny day! 🙂 Our coaches were there no matter what. It got me out there and running on a lot of Saturday’s I would have looked at the weather and said, I’ll just stay in bed.
After that point, I started pushing myself. I saw my time goes down. I was able to run at an 8:27 for 6 miles. I had been originally aiming for an 8:30 per mile for this race. Then I modified it to an 8:15. I continued to push and continued to get faster. Then, realizing I was already able to run an 8:15 for 3 and 4 miles in training and knowing that race day adrenaline and crowds usually equal faster running, I decided to go for a previously unthinkable time….50 minutes. 50 minutes or under would be running at about an 8 minute mile. I felt strong, I felt ready and I felt that I would be able to achieve the goal or come super close.
Race day dawned. I was totally nervous. I actually got up early and got to the race about an hour ahead of time to meet up with my training team. Shocking for me! We had a great time having a pre-race dance party in the park. It was a great way to let go of some of the nerves. The coach I had run with had said she would pace with me. I told her of my new goal. She said she was game to try and that if we did it, it would be her fastest 10k as well.
The race started and Kim, my coach, and I were on track. Looking at my splits, mile 1 was 8:22, mile 2 was 8:06 and even mile 3 was 8:10….after that it all really started to go downhill for me. Some of it was mental because I didn’t realize that we were on track. Every time I had looked at my Garmin, I had been at 8:30 or 8:45. Not sure how that happened. The rest of it was that my body was fighting illness and I just didn’t realize it yet. Miles 5 and 6 just did me in. I just didn’t have it. I had to stop to walk because I just felt weird. I took extra fluids from the water station and that seemed to help a little bit. I wasn’t sure if it was the hotter day and sun or mental…but I just didn’t have it.
I felt so bad for my coach. I felt like I totally messed up her chance at a pr. I kept telling her to just go. She stayed right with me and kept encouraging me and kept me in the game and going. I’m so thankful for her. I know I finished as well as I did because of her. I totally wanted to give up. The race just sucked for me. It felt like torture. It was nothing like any of the weeks of training I put in. I didn’t feel strong, I didn’t feel fit and ready. It was totally bewildering to me both on the course and once I was done. I just kept wondering what the hell was going on. This was nothing like I envisioned it would be..I felt….off. I finished in 52:57, which is a totally respectable time. I was so disappointed and bewildered as to what happened.
Then Monday dawned. The Boston Marathon tragedy happened and my perspective changed. I am still disappointed to have been ready and strong and not meet the mark, but I got to finish my race. My family was all there, and I saw them cheering for me. We all left happy and healthy(mostly) and together. It was what finish lines are supposed to be….a place of celebration and fun. I am now so thankful for those things. I am so thankful that no stupid idiot tried to ruin that for me and my family and my fellow 30,000+ runners.
I’m going to attempt to run a half marathon over the course of next week in honor and tribute of the Boston Marathon. I know there are lots of people and organizations that are coming up with tributes. This is what works for me. I wanted to do more than that, but I had to be realistic about the week I have coming up and the fact that I’m still not over this cough/cold thing.
If you would like to join me, you can join this event on Facebook at Run Junkees. Their event is to run/walk anywhere anytime just do it in honor of the victims as well as an act of unity and solidarity in the running community. You can download and print out a bib to wear while running if you would like: RunJunkees.