Saturday, September 25, 2010

well, whaddya' know? i did it!!

**I copied this post from my mission:possible blog since I thought it was important enough to share with everybody who reads my regular blog.**

Well...the day finally arrived.

I have been anticipating this event all summer long and it always seemed so far off in the future. But like anything else -- eventually it came.

I am referring to my 10K race that I participated in.

Yesterday evening I was a distracted, anxious mess! Everything was feeling so real and was finally sinking in. I don't really know why I was so apprehensive about it all -- afterall, it's just running. I kept telling myself it's not like you're getting up on stage in front of hundreds (or thousands) of people to sing or play piano where there is a chance to really mess up. Nothing to be nervous about -- all you are doing is running. Putting one foot in front of the other. That's it.

I failed to convince myself.

I went to bed nice and early last night and surprisingly (and very thankfully) I fell asleep quite quickly and slept pretty soundly all night long. Until 6am when for some reason I woke up. My alarm was set to go off at 7am, but of course I didn't get any more sleep after I woke up at 6am and started thinking about what the day had in store for me.

I did stay in bed until 7:00 though, at which time I got up to shower and get ready for the day. I had myself some breakfast (not too much though -- my nerves were such that I could only have a tiny bowl of porridge and not even a full piece of toast), pinned on my number and posed for my pre-race picture before heading out the door.

Once I got to the race area, I immediately relaxed. My feelings turned from anxiety to excitement at what I was about to take part in. Not only was I about to run in a formal 10K run for the very first time -- but I was running in support of a very good cause (awareness for mood disorder, mental health and suicide prevention) that is dear to my heart.

At 9:00am (actually a few minutes before, according to some of my spectators who didn't quite get to see me at the beginning -- oops!), it was Go-time!

It was a bit slow at the start, since there were hundreds of runners all starting off together (some doing the 10K, some doing the half-marathon and some doing the half-marathon as a relay). In a way it was good to have that slower start so I had no choice but to pace myself early on -- but on the other hand...well, it slowed down my time of course.

Right after I completed 2 miles I had the privilege of following the route which took me down my very own street! It was cool to run past my house with Les and the girls cheering me on (along with several other neighbours along the stretch). It did happen to fall right in my 1 minute walking interval -- but I ran through it and did my walking interval as soon as I passed all of my watchful neighbours.

One thing that was different for me on this run too was that there were water stations along the way. I don't ever bring a water bottle with me on my runs, but I figured since people were handing them out, why not grab a sip or two at each station along the way? I think if I were to re-do it, I would choose to leave the water stations alone. I think that also slowed down my time, since you have to slow down to actually drink the water -- and to be able to grab it out of the volunteers' hands. I usually only ended up having one sip out of the cup anyway before throwing the rest away.

I should've zoomed in on this picture, but there I am in the green shirt coming down the home stretch! Probably 30 seconds to go till the finish line at this point. I was thinking I would get a last burst of energy to finish fast and strong...but that didn't really happen.

And here's a lovely shot of me just steps away from the finish line (the red blow-up thing is what I ran through at the very end).

I'm not sure what exactly I'm doing in this next picture -- but I think it looks like I'm looking back at that finishing line thinking "Did I actually just DO this? Yup, sure enough -- there's the finish line behind me!" :)

For some reason I really struggled on the run this morning. I was thinking (as I had also been told several times) that I would be so pumped full of adrenaline that my time would be faster than what I had run it thus far. But with the slow start, having to dodge around runners (especially at the beginning before things started thinning out) and the water stations...I was left with a slower time than I had hoped for. Not to mention that the run was technically 10.3K instead of an even 10K (which makes a difference, let me assure you!).

Bottom line: The official race results aren't posted yet -- but according to my GPS watch, my time was 1:09:50. Since my best time has been 1:06 (twice!), I was hoping to actually beat that time. So needless to say I was a bit disappointed about that.

But only a little bit. Because really in the end I should feeling nothing but PRIDE for what I have accomplished. Afterall, I just freakin' finished a 10K race in one hour and nine minutes!

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