For those of you who haven't been here in a few days here's the big news: I completed my first 10k on Monday!!!! This was only my second race EVER, by the way.
Anyhow to recap this past Memorial day weekend:
On Saturday we spent the day at home playing with the kids and grilling steaks (Hubs grills the absolute best ribeyes). On Sunday my parents came to town (they were watching the kids for us while we were at the race) and we spent some time with them and then left for the town where the race is. Its a little over an hour away but since the race started at 7 am we decided to get a room at the host hotel which was offering a race rate of $66 per night. When we got there I was amazed at all the people who were outside running around the hotel and the streets around it. These people were hard core! We went to check in and I saw some girls in the hotel lobby that I know from Junior League with their husbands. We went over to talk with them about the race (they had all ran in it before) and I introduced my Hubby and they introduced theirs. When we got back in the car to go eat dinner Hubs said "Do you realize that I'm the only person out of that group (there were 4 couples total) that isn't running in the race?" I knew it got to him because he is SUPER competitive!
So off the P.F. Changs we went. We got there a little earlier than we thought we would so, I got to shop. Lets just say that J.Crew may or may not be missing 2 cardigans, 2 perfect fit tees, 2 super cute ponytail holders, 1 headband, 3 pairs of argyle socks, and 1 pair of shorts from its inventory right now. I was feeling a little guilty when I left the store. But Hubs said it was okay since he knew that I have been in desperate need of clothes. I really wanted to go in a do some damage in Banana Republic but Hubs stomach started growling so we headed over to PF Changs. Of course you know how this part of the story ends. We walk out completely stuffed but happy and then we go back to the hotel and go to bed because really, when your stomach is that full that's about all you can do!
Race day: I was up at 5:30! I just couldn't stand it. My adrenaline was already pumping! My emotions were going between really excited to "I can't believe I signed up to run in a 10k! I've only ran one race and it was a 5k!"
We stepped out into the lobby of the hotel and that's where I saw them. The Kenyans! Oh good Lord, they are tall, have 0% body fat and did I say tall? I looked at Hubs and said "Do you realize that their legs start at their shoulders?" He thought this was hilarious since I often wonder where my legs even start and do I have legs? (for those of you who don't know, I am just barely 5 feet tall!) Anyway at this point I'm really doubting my sanity in signing up for this race, but I'm here, right? And we spent gas money to get here and money for a hotel room and money at J.Crew and PF Changs and people from our hometown know we're here, so theres no backing out now.
We get to the starting line and the excitement in the air is absolutely electric. People are running around trying the get warmed up and stretching and theres really great music playing. (I'm trying to set the scene if you've never been to a race) We meet up with one of Mikes employees who is running the race and another friend (the one who took the picture).
Then the race starts and we're off. The first 1/2 mile is flat but the hills start immediately after that! The first 3 miles is a gradual incline that ends with a hill that rivals some hills I saw in San Francisco. I was told about this hill by so many people. I was told to just walk up the hill. Unless you are a Kenyan or a world class runner you will kill yourself trying to run up this hill. They were all right! It was brutal. I was walking (and so were all but one person around me, I'll tell you about him later) and I thought my calves were going to explode! I have to tell you this funny part, its a tradition in this particular race for the officials to play the Theme from "Rocky" at the bottom of the hill, it really was too funny! Anyway I notice this young guy running up the hill, he passes me and everyone else and shoots up the hill. I get to the top of the hill and there he his losing his breakfast and probably all the food he ate the day before on some poor persons lawn! I am so glad I didn't try to run the hill.
I had been told that right after that hill, the last 3 miles of the race are downhill and they were right. You'd think if you stop to walk the hill that it would affect your time negatively but because the next 3 miles are downhill you really make up some time.
This race is 29 years old and has had the same course the entire time. It goes through a beautiful older neighborhood in the city where the streets are lined with huge oak and magnolia trees and the yards are immaculate. People were sitting out on their lawns drinking bloody Marys and mimosas! Many of the homeowners had turned on their sprinklers for the runners to run through! Lots of people have their stereos on the lawns and are playing music for you as you run past. It really was great.
Anyhow, I get close to the finish line and I swear it feels like I've been running for 2 hours and I'm thinking I'm never doing this race again and I just can't possibly run any further. But, if you've ever run a race you know, something kicks in when you see that finish line and you just run with all your might! I get to where I can see the clock and I couldn't believe my eyes! Hubs is standing with our friend Chris and screaming to the top of his lungs "Run, run, Go, Go C! Finish hard!"
So my time was 1 hour and 50 seconds. I had hoped to finish in under an hour but I know people who has been running for years that finished 15 minutes behind me. So I am completely satisfied and ecstatic about that time! And I will run that race again next year!
At the finish line after hugging me and congratulating me Hubs says he's running it next year. He can't believe how exciting it is just to watch it! Ha!
After the race we went back to the hotel for me to shower and the Kenyans have already finished the race, showered, changed clothes, had breakfast and are headed to the awards ceremony. Ha! The winner finished in 30 minutes. (Can you imagine 6.5 miles in 30 minutes?) I got ready and we went to a cook out at Chris' house were the race was the topic of conversation (most people there had participated).
I have to tell you that I am still sore. I'm not used to all those hills so it took a toll on my calves! Looks like this girl needs to get on the stair climber!
Even though I finished with a good time, I'm most proud of the fact that I did it. Back in January running for 5 minutes straight scared me to death. I couldn't even imagine running for an hour (in a race, no less). This whole process has changed me and not just physically. I'm not scared anymore. All my excuses are gone. God has given my this body that not only gave birth to 3 gorgeous children but now is amazing me in what else it can do. I never thought of myself as an athlete. Lets face it. I'm 5 feet tall. The only sport I ever excelled at was cheer leading (and is that even a sport?). Now, I'm running and doing a pretty good job at it too. I still can't get my brain around it!
Edited to Add: I hope that none of you think I am bragging. That is not the purpose of this post or this blog. I posted this and all other posts about weight loss and running because I wanted to help others. This blog has been much of the reason that I stuck with all my goals this year. I hope this can be an inspiration to anyone who reads it.