My head is still spinning and I’m having a hard time putting all of my emotions into words, but I’ll give it a try 😉
I’m not sure how I got to this point and yet it has been a long time in the making. Weird, right? Last year, I decided to forget my “I’ll never run more than a 5k” and look for the next challenge and then the snow came ~ cancelling many winter races, including what was supposed to be my first 10k.
Let’s just say training fell flat after that. The boys’ schedules were crazy and while I was still running, my runs weren’t as long or as consistent. This fall, I ran the hilly 6.15 mile portion of the Cape Cod Marathon Relay relatively unprepared and felt better than I expected. While I was happy with the entire experience, I had hoped to be a little faster.
My husband and I had always planned to run the 10k from last year and signed up pretty early. Somehow, I didn’t really train properly (sensing a theme?). I was running consistently and put in plenty of miles in January for the Winter Warrior challenge. Still, I didn’t feel as prepared as I did last year.
I found I was having a lot of doubts about this race. Yes, I would finish; but would it be the time I was capable of? I didn’t know. I held onto the fact it was my first 10k and would be my PR (Personal Record) regardless.
I had a pretty good idea about what my pace would be and was hoping to be done around 1:10 and would accept 1:15 (due to lack of training). By my calculations, this meant I would be finishing with the front runners of the half marathon. This did not thrill me.
I know I’m racing myself and all of the other feel good statements, but there is something about finishing 6.2 miles at the same time someone is finishing 13.1 miles.
The weather could not have been any better! It was sunny, in the high 40s and breezy (ok, really windy). It seemed as if the weather was making up for last year! I wasn’t sure about layers and knew I over dressed for the frozen pilgrim. I decided to put my number on my leg, allowing me to peel layers off along the way.
We found our friends (who were running their first half marathon!) and headed to the start with 3,000 of our friends. This is definitely the largest race we have ever been in!
My primary goal was negative splits (faster pace each mile) and to simply run. I started without music and decided to just go with it. My legs felt great right away and I was a little nervous I was going too fast.
I overheard someone say their pace and figured I should be fine. As I went along, my legs and breathing felt good. I took my jacket off around mile 2 and was happy with my layers from there.
The course was absolutely beautiful! I didn’t dare stop for pictures, afraid I would ruin a good thing. I simply enjoyed the view! Knowing the course so well, was a huge advantage. I picked out landmarks in my head and checked in with myself at each of these points. Everything felt good and I kept going.
I never put in my headphones. I had no idea what my pace was. I let the sound of all the sneakers and the view of all the brightly colored runners keep me going. All I knew was it felt great! I was happy through the entire course!
As I came around the final corner, I saw 1:08 on the clock and ran hard. I was going to beat my goal! After crossing the finish line, my phone congratulated me on my fastest 10k at 1:05! Could it be?
Just as I collected my medal, the first finisher for the half marathon crossed the finish. What? Two goals accomplished 😉
My official chip time was 1:05:17! My first mile was 11:17 and then I maintained a 10:30 pace and mile six was a 10:15 pace!
This race reminded me of everything I love about running. It was exactly what I needed!!