Oh yeah! I did it! I made it to the finish line, running the whole time and beating
my personal best by 40 seconds 😀 Which in itself might not seem as such a big deal, but considering the heat (humidex of 34C) – believe me, it was. A big deal that is.
There were three speed categories – I chose the middle one for myself. Mostly because the slowest one (Chocolate Addicts) was for runner/walkers, and I do consider myself a runner 😀
It was a challenge to find my own speed and pace, I am not used to running with other people, I am a lonely-runner if I can say so myself, just at the very beginning I had a friend to run with, then she stopped and I ended up running by myself… Plus I do not listen to the music as I run. And so during the race – hearing other runner’s steps and – yes – breathing – was a bit confusing at first. Then I found my pace and it was easier… till the first hill. It does not matter if it is down or up at the beginning of the race – it screws up the stride and pace, and I had to “find myself” each time right after… There were water stations, people cheering on – all wonderful experiences of a race… until I saw the first 10-km runner that was already coming back (there was a turn-around point at about 4.5km spot of the run). I though – oh my goodness, they are so lucky to be at this point coming back already!. It took me a while but I did convince myself that that’s ok, that I’ll get to that spot too. 🙂
And I sure did. Running on a beautiful path, along the lake, with a wonderful breeze (such a great feeling on the hot day!), I thought how wonderful it was to run and see those views. I spotted a couple of geese with two goslings. So cute and tiny. In residential area at certain point there were beautiful trees, blooming such cute pink flowers…
Then we joined the 5k-runner/walkers. It became a bit more crowded. I was getting to the point I wasn’t so sure I’m going to make it without walking… But then I looked at my watch – there were 3.5km left. I thought – I CAN do it. So I kept on it… And then, with about 1.5km left there was a killer hill… But even then I managed not to walk!! And just passed that hill – they were handing out the chocolate covered marshmallows and strawberries on the stick. I took one, nibbled on it and… decided it woul
d be safer for me just to try to run with it… 😉 I just couldn’t even think of eating anything at that point!!
The last stretch, just under 1km, was the worst… We were running through an open area, no trees, nothing that would give any kind of shade… You’d think the fact that you could see the finish line would help. Well, did not – it was a classic example of “so close yet so far” 🙂
But – yes, I did it. I did my first 10km race. I ended up 186th overall (out of 315), 149th woman (out of 264) and 35th in my age group (out of 63). My kids were funny about it – “awww… I’m sorry Mama that you did not win…” 😀
Did I learn anything new? You bet. Though it might be just new for myself, or maybe even not entirely new – just a refresher – that mind really can go over matter, and that thing with “never say never”? well, it is true. I am pretty sure I used to say “I’ll never be a runner” while at school, failing yet another running-tests on my sports class.
Well, there we go.
(PLUS – isn’t that just the cutest medal? 😀 😛 )
Oh, and did I mention chocolate martinis? yeah… 😀
From technical point of view – a few advises from a newbie 😉 :
1. You have to have good shoes. Worth investing in them, though they do come on sale 😉
2. The belt thingy, with the 2 bottles and the pouch? totally worth it. Does not bother during the run (which I was afraid it would), bottles are securely put in the sacks, but easily accessible during running. I did not even stop for a drink 😀
4. Leggings type of shorts work best in this weather. (I’ve overheard few runners complaining about the chaffing of the thighs, noticed a few running awkwardly because of that)
5. Preparation for the run is crucial! Practice, use a prep plan! (I was using Hal Higdon’s 10k training program – totally recommend it 😀 )
6. No matter what – do not forget to have fun 😀