Woo!! I ran my first 10k today!
It was COLD, 36 degrees with about 10mph winds the whole time from the north. I handed the kids over to Sam at about 1 (race start time 1:15) and jogged around a bit to warm up. I decided to ditch the outermost layer and iPod. Once I got to the start line, though, I saw a LOT of people with music players. Oh well... I would have preferred to have it, but I survived. Some people had a thousand layers on, others were in shorts and t-shirts. I was perfectly dressed. I had on a tank top, short sleeve shirt, and long sleeve shirt. I was chilly at the start line, but warmed up in no time. My hands were a bit cold, but I just pulled my sleeves down over them. By about mile four, I stuck my hands back out again. Still a little chilly, but not too bad.
The start was pretty chaotic. I didn't have a watch, but I figured there weren't too many people, so I was only a few seconds behind the line and the splits and finish time would be close enough. It's not like I was going for any records or anything. My goal was to finish without walking. Justin told me he just hoped I didn't come in last. Gee, thanks buddy. Hahaha.
I settled into my own rhythm. It's a smallish race, so there weren't too many problems with congestion, even in the beginning. A few easy hills during the first mile, nothing too bad. I passed the 1st mile marker at 10:05!! I was thrilled, as I'd really hoped to finish in about an hour. I was right on pace!! With the hills, the wind, the fact that I was running OUTSIDE for the first time in YEARS, and the fact that I hadn't run more than two miles in over a month, and I was only a few seconds past my intended pace, I was psyched!!
The 2nd mile had a long slow uphill burn, RIGHT into the wind. Gah, this was my least favorite mile due to the conditions, but had a nice downhill towards the end. Passed the 2nd mile marker at 20:20. Again, just a bit off pace!
The 3rd mile had the turn around point, so the wind was at my back, finally. Unfortunately, that nice downhill turned into a wicked uphill. My left arch was niggling for a bit, but not badly. Then my right knee complained for a bit, but not for long. My breathing was a little off my normal training breathing, but hey, I did all my training in the gym, in the warmth, and on a perfectly flat track. I was pretty okay with how I was feeling overall. Passed the 3rd mile marker at 30:30!!
The 4th mile seemed to be a breeze. There were some ups and downs, but nothing major, and the wind was still at my back. Passed the 4th mile marker at 40:45. I couldn't believe how consistently I was running.
The 5th mile had a lot more turns and hills, going through campus. It's a bummer that it's spring break. It would have been cool to have more students cheering us all on. As it was, the course was pretty deserted. I could tell I was starting to get a little tired, but still had plenty of juice in the tank. Passed the 5th mile marker, but there was no one there calling out times! I couldn't believe it!!
The 6th mile was tough. There was a pretty decent uphill and I was starting to really struggle. Luckily, there were some downhills that I used to catch up a bit on time. This mile was mainly around City Park, so we were running mostly on dirt sidewalks. Lots of puddles due to the rain last night. It gave me something to pay attention to other than my breathing. About the last quarter mile, I REALLY wanted to walk, but I talked myself out of it because I knew it was mental. I wasn't hurting, my breathing was just fine, and although I was getting tired, I knew I could make it the rest of the way. I pushed through it. Passed the 6th mile marker at 61:24.
Only two tenths to go! I saw Sam and the crew just short of the finish line. Sam took a picture on her camera (I'll be sure to share it when I get it) about 50 feet before the finish. I was SO tired by this point. I usually like to sprint to the end, but I had nothing left. Three or four people passed me, but oh well. I wasn't in it for a specific placement, so I didn't much care. I finished just at 1:04:00!!
I am SO proud of myself. I'd really hoped to finish in an hour, but that's the best I've ever done in training, and that was about six weeks ago. I haven't had much time to work out in the last month, and mostly I've just done yoga. Not much running at all. And like I said, this was my first outside run in YEARS. It was super cold. And the course was not at all as flat as I thought it was. And I only finished four minutes off my dream finish time.
I'll definitely do it again. I like the distance. A half-marathon seems so intimidating, mainly because I just don't have the time for the long training runs. But a 10k? Six miles? Sure, piece 'o cake.