Last Saturday I ran my first 10k. I’ve run 5ks, a 12k, half marathons and one marathon, but this was my first 10k. Going into the race, my only goal was to push myself and to see what I was capable of.
Christina and I jogged from my house to the start line (a little less than a mile). I wanted the chance to warm up my legs and see how they were feeling. I hadn’t run in three days, so they felt rested and strong. We lined up toward the front and had a pretty quick start. The race took us a little past pike place market, then we ran back through downtown, up Aurora, and then back to the Seattle center.
The course was a series of rolling hills. The downhill sections were great, as we often pushed sub 8 minute miles, but those hills made it hard to keep pace. I was starting to feel the wall by mile four. I was getting tired, and I was so thankful they had GU. I ate half a strawberry banana GU (actually a pretty tasty flavor) and immediately felt energized. I told myself, Just two more miles. This is good mental practice for pushing myself when I’m tired.
A little after mile four, we made it to the turnaround loop and started heading down Aurora to the finish line. This was probably my favorite part of the race. I felt strong after eating my GU and it was a gentle decline. Also (at the risk of sounding egotistical and conceited) it was nice to see all the people behind me. I’ve worked hard in the last year to learn to run and it felt awesome to be one of the “fast runners.”
We exited Aurora and started heading to the start line. With about a half mile to go, I was pretty tired and cranky that the run to the finish line was mostly uphill. Seriously, who organizes a run that finishes on an incline? Jerks. There was one hill that killed me, and I even considered walking with less than .2 to go. I was beat and had hit the wall. I lost some pace, but the road flattened out with about .1 to go. Christina had run ahead of me and I was running alongside a big buff dude. My “girl power” mentality kicked in and I really wanted to beat him. I sprinted ahead when I saw the finish line, and then he started running faster. So I started running faster, and he started running even faster. I threw in the towel at this time and decided it wasn’t worth it. He finished a few seconds ahead of me, and I finished in 53 minutes.