Sunday, October 13, 2013

10K, baby!

The sweet Halloween inspired medal below belongs to yours truly and I couldn't be happier!

Love this spooky medal!

I didn't blog last night for a few reasons.  The first was that I was on a mission to finish my costume for the race today.  I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out considering I could barely keep my eyes open while finishing it.  I was a textbook case yesterday for what not to do on the day before a big race; I didn't hydrate enough yesterday and I stayed up until 12:30 sewing my costume.  It was worth it, though.  The Roeseler's are going as The Incredibles this year, so I got to run as Mrs. Incredible, which was quite fun.

Mrs. Incredible pre-race
The second reason that I didn't blog last night was because I was having a bit of a pre-race panic attack/psych out.  I was so nervous about this race (Jessica, thank you for the good wishes on Friday's post; I read your comment in the midst of said panic and I appreciated your comment so much!).  I even contemplated just doing the 5K instead of the 10K, which is silly.  I had my heart set on running the entire race and I was 99% sure that I wasn't going to be able to do it.  My shaky confidence was my own doing, of course.  My training has been lacking (ahem, nearly non-existent) the past few weeks and I think that had a huge impact on my pre-race jitters. I didn't want to let myself down and I thought that walking part of this race would mean that I wasn't successful.  I know that isn't the case and honestly, just crossing the finish line of a 10K, or any race for that matter, is a huge accomplishment no matter how you get there.  My head just wasn't processing that last night or this morning.

I am so pleased to report, though, that save for a 10 second water break at mile 4, I ran the entire 10K!  I finished in 1:19:13 (5K split was 39:23, which is a PR for me), which was just shy of my goal of 1:15, but I can live with that. It was challenging, of course, but I did it and I am deliriously proud of myself.  Ask my mom about my post-race squeals and jumps for joy; I'm sure it was a hoot.  I made sure to pace myself and I particularly reigned myself in at the start.  The start of a race is so exciting and I find myself caught up in the moment and usually head out much faster than I can sustain.  So today, I very purposefully slowed down at the start and tried to savor it a bit.  

There were definitely times throughout the race that I wanted to walk and in fact, in the beginning, I told myself after I did the first 5K that I could take a little walk break.  When I got to 5K though, I really wanted to keep going to see if I could do it, even though I was feeling a little rough.  Every time I wanted to stop and walk, I slowed my pace down pretty significantly which really helped me quell the urge to walk.  I also ran up every hill despite telling myself it would be ok to walk up them (this is typically my strategy).  

I'm not going to lie, though, the last mile was the longest mile of my life.  I got to a point where I could hear the finish line announcer and I was sure I was near the end of mile 5 (I have no concept of distance, I've learned).  I saw the finish line and it looked like a straight shot about two blocks away.  I was really gunning it to try and reach my goal of a 1:15 finish and then I see the people in front of me turning.  Away. from. the. finish. line.  We ran another 3-4 blocks down and turned back around, essentially making a big U turn to the finish.  I'm nearly positive I let out a few choice words (sorry runners next to me) and I had probably the most overwhelming urge of the whole race to slow to a walk.  I kept telling myself, though, how close I was to the finish and I just slowed my pace to a more sustainable level to finish the last .5 mile or so.  Thank goodness my Mama was about 2 blocks up from the finish line because she cheered me on to get me through those last few minutes!  

This race was incredible (ha, see what I did there?) for so many reasons:
  • It was themed around my favorite holiday: Halloween
  • I got to run in costume
  • It provided fantastic people watching.  I kept pace with Rainbow Brite, Bugs Bunny, Tweety Bird, and two girls with frightfully large tutus
  • The course volunteers were so encouraging and friendly
  • The course itself wasn't too hilly and it even went down by the riverfront and in front of the Arch, which was pretty cool (someday, I will learn how to run and take pictures, but that day was not today)
  • A really nice random dude helped me through a rough spot about 3.5 miles in.  I was down by the Arch and feeling the need to walk and this bicyclist was hanging out cheering everyone on and he yelled "Great job!  You're incredible!!"  I ran past him for a few feet until I caught on and I turned around, smiled, and yelled back "Thank you!"  Touche, random dude, touche.  And thank you for the boost of confidence when I needed it! 
  • It was humbling coming through mile 5, trying to push through to the end and telling my feet to keep going and seeing a guy literally bound by me (he looked like a gazelle, no lie).  He ended up coming in 2nd or 3rd place for the half-marathon.  How anyone can 1) run so fast and 2) do so after running 12 miles prior is pretty amazing.  Congrats,  Mr. Gazelle! 
  • I got several encouraging texts throughout the race and they meant the world to me. I could feel the support from everyone and I can't thank you all enough.
  • When I walked in the door this morning, Nick's jaw dropped and I thought he was looking at my race bling.  Nope, he was just super stoked to see my Incredibles shirt (he was asleep when I left this morning) and he can't wait for me to finish his.  The look on his face was priceless and it's those looks that make staying up until the wee hours of the night sewing worthwhile. 
  • I didn't meet my goal of finishing in 1:15, but I don't give a damn.  I ran further than I've ever run in my life and further than I ever thought was even possible for me.  Prior to today, the most I've ever run is 4 miles and some change.  Today, I ran 6.2 and it felt fan-freaking-tastic!  I know if I set mind to do something, that I can achieve it.  Having been in a bit of a funk lately, I needed today's boost of confidence desperately. 
  • I know that a 1/2  marathon is well within my grasp. I've speculated that it is, but after today, I know that I can do it with the proper training after the start of the year. 
Feeling ecstatic post-race. 
I'm a little sore and super exhausted, but I'll never forget the sense of accomplishment crossing that finish line.  I'll also never forget all of the words of encouragement and the support that you have given me.  I'm eternally grateful and I appreciate each and every one of you. 

To my mom:  thank you, thank you for getting up early on a chilly Sunday morning to come cheer me on! I know it probably wasn't your preferred Sunday morning, but it really meant the world to me that you were there.  You've always been there to support me no matter what silly ideas I get in my head (running a 10K!) and I love you!  Happy (early) birthday!  And thank you for the delicious post-race breakfast!

To Matt:  thank you for being Super Dad/Husband the past 10 months.  Trying to find time to run is sometimes challenging, but you never hesitate when I say I'm going to lace up my shoes.  I also appreciate your reverse psychology. :) It does the trick!  I love you!

To Nick and Jack:  Mama loves you and I love when we run together!  You always cheer me on and I can't wait for us to run races together!

Now, it's time for some Advil and sleep!  I hope you all had a great weekend!

"Don't run away from challenges. Run OVER them."