October 12, 2015

My First Official 10k!

Hey there!  It's been a little while since I've written a post here and I thought today would be a great day.  It isn't that I haven't been over here plugging along on my journey, quite the contrary, I'm still most definitely plugging along on this journey!

I wanted to share a few things from this weekend with ya'll!  On Saturday I completed my first official 10k race, at The Freedoms Run, and it was amazing.  I say "official" because I've run that distance many times but this was the first time I was doing it as a race.  Since I hurt my knee training for my half marathon, I haven't run too far and this was the longest I have run since May!  I was super happy and finished at 1:21 - nine minutes sooner than I planned!  And even though I have completed longer runs on my own, I was still scared as HELL to do this; but I did it anyway because you know my motto:  if it scares me, and I won't die trying, I'm gonna do it!

Here is a pic of me at the finish:

You'll notice I'm carrying a flag and I just want to take a minute to talk about the significance of this flag for me.  I am a member of this wonderful running group and it's called Bros Andbras...this is our official flag that is flown at races as a sort of beacon for our members to gather and as a rally point.  There are some pretty amazing runners in this group and I am honored to be a part of it because there are still some days that I just don't think of myself as an official runner.  We have so many levels of runners from beginner to expert.  So, to carry this flag over the finish line carries a lot of significance for me.  Especially since it came at the end of a tough last mile of hills and I was just exhausted.  The first 2/3 of the race was really great.  We started in beautiful downtown Shepherdstown, WV and ran down to the river and most of the run was on flat road along the river; a "nice" up-and-back.  I knew that I had to run back up a big hill which I had already pre-planned to walk.  I had felt great up to this point and was so happy to see the Hubs a few times along the route to keep me motivated.  He is and always has been my Number 1 fan and I'm so grateful!

About the time, I was to head up the biggest hill of the race, our leader Kevin (above, in red) came out of nowhere to find me, carrying our flag.  He had signed up to run the 10k, too but he made it his mission to help every single one of us in both the 5k and the 10k get up that big hill.  He was there to make sure I was doing okay.  We got to the big hill and he told me how to pump my arms, and throw my knees forward and that worked for a little bit.  I had to walk though because I was having trouble breathing.  He grabbed my hand and pulled me along telling me that all I had to do was concentrate on getting my breath back and he'd pull me.  We made it up the hill and since I was the last of our group he ran the rest of the way with me (with a few more hills, ugh) and met up with another member, David (in green) and the three of us finished, together.  Both of these guys are much faster runners than me - they had signed up for their own races, but they chose to finish their races with me.  As I write this, I am again in tears at how much this meant to me. 

The funny thing is that I am a lone runner...I don't typically like to run with other people because I'm slow and I never want to hold anyone back - plus, I am normally out of breath so I'm not much fun to chat with.  Even so, finishing WITH these two was one of my favorite parts of this whole experience.

I am so proud of myself and my knee for holding up and that I was able to experience such a great day with some pretty great people.

You know I always want to leave you with some positive advice and what I want to say to you today reiterates what I have been saying all along:  be brave...go do something that scares the crap out of you because every time you do, you start to realize how strong you really are.  And you are strong!

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