Chip time: 56:35 — 9:08 average pace
This was my favorite race ever! I really, really like the 10K distance because I don’t feel like I have to push so hard the whole time, which is how I feel while running a 5K.
I felt good the entire race. The running came easily. The running was fun. I never walked (except very briefly through two water stations). And I smashed my time goal of 60 minutes with a huge smile on my face.
Let’s start at the beginning! I woke up with a nervous stomach, meaning there were multiple bathroom trips before I left the house at 7:00. Yeah. Luckily, I felt fine by the time Aaron and I got to Bellevue. (All the awesome photos below are by Aaron, of course!)
biked the course the previous weekend.
My plan was to start at an easy 10:00/mile pace and stick to the inside of the course with little to no weaving. (I think the latter really worked because my Nike+ said I only ran 5.95 miles!)
Once I found my running groove, I realized there was no way I could run at a 10:00/mile pace. I was hitting 9:00/mile with ease and felt no need to slow down. The first hill came up quickly — I’d say within 0.3 of the starting line — but it wasn’t a problem. I just went up!
The first mile marker came surprisingly quickly. I ran the first mile in exactly 9:00 and felt awesome. The second hill came up in mile 2, and it was much longer than the first one. I went up slowly and steadily, and then was really mindful not to run too hard on the downhill. I heard people hammering down the downhill behind me, and then saw them pass me, but I resisted the urge to speed up. More than anything else during this 10K, I kept telling myself, “Run your own race.”
I ran the first three miles in 27:something. I felt like I could have gone faster, but knew I’d need the energy for the remaining miles. After I passed the three-mile marker, I got really excited that I was about halfway done and that I would now be racing farther than I’ve ever raced before. I actually got pretty emotional at this point and felt such a surge of love for running.
Aaron and his mom, Greta, had driven to about the 3.5 mile point and were waiting to cheer me on and take pictures. I had never had people I know there to cheer me on in the middle of a race before, and it was such a boost!! Hence why I look extremely happy in these photos…
The four-mile marker was the last one that seemed to come quickly. I hit that at 37:something. At this point, I knew I could break 60 minutes if I didn’t fall apart, so I tried to stay around a 9:30 pace.
It seemed to take forever until I saw the six-mile marker, and then forever to run the last 0.2 miles! The last bit was on a hill (mean!), and then it turned to the left to reach the finish line.
I saw Aaron and Greta waiting just past the finish line and gave it all I had. I was so happy to be done and so proud of myself for meeting my race goals and even exceeding my expectations.
I crossed the finish line with my arms in the air, and then starting clapping like a crazy person — not for myself, but for the whole awesome experience.
I was so upset a few weeks ago when I started having shin pain while breaking a new pair of running shoes, and I was afraid I wouldn't be able to do my best in this race because of the setback. I was really surprised and delighted by how great I felt during the whole race. I think taking four days off to rest, then doing only 3-milers, then taking two more rest days right before the race did the trick.
Before I started pushing hard near the very end, I felt like I could run miles and miles more. I now have much more confidence for my 15K in May and half-marathon in June!
All the support I received from my friends and my running blog followers helped me believe I could run this race in the first place. Quite a few people donated to my American Cancer Society fundraising efforts in support of this race, and I put all their names on the back of my shirt, along with Neale Donald Walsch's quote, "Life begins at the end of your comfort zone."
After running six 5Ks and becoming comfortable with that distance, the starting line of this 10K truly was the end of my comfort zone. (Or maybe it was the part where I ran through the snot-rocket mist?)
In any case, after conquering an intimidating distance, I now feel like I can do anything.
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