Challenge Yourself! And the 10k recap… :)

“It’s funny—I feel most happy not when I’m all gussied up with makeup, but when I’m sweaty and in a t-shirt and sneakers.”—a realization I came to today during my run. 😉

I’ll take you through today with my normal thought processes to give you the full experience. 😉

5:30am…really?  I was about to pull the blankets back over my head before realizing that today was the big day.  My stomach did a somersault as a I lept out of bed.  Everything was prepared from last night, so all I had to do was throw on my running clothes, grab a quick snack and head out the door.

The race wouldn’t be for another 3-1/2 hours, so I grabbed a bowl of yogurt with flax and a kiwi for a snack to tide me over.



1-1/2 hrs. seems to be the ideal time for me to have my meal before I run.  And since I’ve had such a good experience of eating bagels with pb, that’s what I went with.  Along with a very ripe banana on the side.  Which made me come to the realization that I actually don’t like bananas by themselves.  Weird, huh?  I ended up taking a bite along with the bagelwich, because I couldn’t eat it alone.  Strange, but true. 😉



My dad and I arrived at the race with 1/2 hr. to spare, which is a good thing because we could *not* find the starting line.  Some people told us it was over a hill, and others told it was further back the other way.  Finally we ran into a race volunteer who told us it was just a ways over the beach.  I’m rather glad we found ourselves walking though, because after the car ride, I definitely needed to stretch my legs out!

Lacing up the sneakers, I was feeling slightly nervous, but more excited by this point.  The pre-race nerves were starting to melt away into sheer adrenaline.  This was it!  Those mornings of not wanting to run, the runs that made me want to keep going forever, and the runs that left me breathless with sheer happiness.  The good and the bad, all combining to prepare me for today!


Once we made our way across to the registration, we were welcomed with the music…


…and food—to be enjoyed post-run, of course. 😉



Before I knew it, it was time to line up and I felt sort of as if I were in a dream.  My dad and I had agreed early on that we’d just run our own pace and meet back up at the end.  He’s competitive and fast…I’d be happy to just not come in last and I’m slow. 😉  In other words, we knew that we’d both enjoy the race far more if we just did our own thing.  So with a quick “good luck!” and a loud pop from the starting line, we were off!!


I started off really slow.  Even slower then my normal long run pace.  I wasn’t sure how to judge the run, or where I could push or hold back.  So I decided that I would stick with the back of the crowd until the second mile and see how I felt from there on.

After each mile marker, I progressively picked up my pace, feeling an edge of competitiveness that not even I knew I had.  Instead of using the downhills to recover as I normally do on my runs, I quickened my turnover rate and gained ground.  Rolling up hills, I told myself to remain steady and go according to how my breathing was. 

Before I knew it, the 4th mile had come around, and I found myself settling into a groove—pushing myself a little harder then normal, but not to the point of feeling exhaustion either.  Still two miles left!

Then the 5th mile came, and I kicked it into higher gear.  At one point I was sprinting, feeling a bundle of energy and adrenaline rear up in me.  I felt so good!!  Then, just as I was starting to feel fatigued, I saw the very last hill that I needed to conquer.  From there on, it was all downhill and only .2 miles to the finish line.  With onlookers clapping and cheering me on, I found a last surge of energy to race up the hill…


Then I saw the finish line!!  I passed through with a huge grin on my face, excited that I just finished my first 10k.  I reveled in the moment with fellow runners who were also smiling ear to ear, before finding my parents on the other side. 

Official time:   58:38, with a pace of a 9:27 mile.  I was really happy with this, since my two main goals were to finish and to get it at 60 minutes or under. 😉 


This insane guy, however, won the race in 30 minutes.  THIRTY MINUTES!  Talk about setting some serious PR’s, I’m sure! 😀


My dad and I enjoyed some post-race food and fun.  I first drank this smoothie, stashed the banana away for later, and enjoyed a bite or two of delicious french toast (which tasted like warm cinnamon rolls…yum!), scrambled eggs and a roll. 


After completing the race and refueling, I felt on top of the world. 😉


The day was perfect, by the way.  Not a cloud in the sky, 65 degrees, only slightly breezy.  And the ocean was ice cold, which was perfect for icing my legs later.  Does it get any better??


We made our way to a picnic area, where I completely refueled and calmed the growling stomach with a feast that my mom had prepared.  Whole wheat pasta salad with shrimp and garbanzo beans, and a side salad with cauliflower, tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, red onions and raspberry viniagrette.  Major yum.  And the perfect food to refuel with after the race. 😀


+ an apple and a few medjools for dessert.


I didn’t think the day could get any better, but…I was wrong.  Despite my grubby, sweaty self, I just really didn’t care, and the afternoon was spent walking around the town of Gloucester.  There was a great little cafe which has amazing soy au laits.  Sitting down, sipping on my coffee, feeling the warm sun and a cool breeze, people watching—the day just became perfect in every way. 😀


During the car ride home, I again felt hunger pangs, and broke into the almonds for a handful.  I’ve been really into these lately.  Just a handful keeps me surprisingly full, and they’re nice and crunchy which I love.  They’re also easily transportable, so I’ve been bringing a handful in a little case wherever I go for emergency situations. 😉


Upon arriving home, there was leftover homemade white bean and black olive soup (courtesy of moosewood cookbook, again!  I’m telling you, this cookbook is worth its money in gold 😉 ), and some homemade honey oat bread from yesterday.  Eaten on the deck, while the sun gently set overhead. 


Dessert, of course, was one of my all-time favorites: 85% dark chocolate with peanut butter.  Mmm…


I’m so happy I ran this 10k.  I was a little skeptical that I could actually do it at first, but it turned out to be such a wonderful experience.  And I came to the realization that, you know what, we each have our own race that we can run.  Don’t be afraid to challenge yourself with something.  Whether it’s walking or running a mile, a 5k, a 10k, a marathon, or even in other areas of your life that you might want to challenge yourself with—it doesn’t have to entail exercise, it can be anything.  We each have unique goals and ideas.  Today, the 10k was my marathon.  Now it’s time for a new challenge and who knows what that might be??

What’s your current challenge?  School?  A 1/2 marathon?  Running a mile?  Eating more fruits and vegetables?  Loving life?

Please share! 😀

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About Sarah

Hi and Welcome!!! I'm a chocolate & coffee loving Registered Dietitian with a passion for helping people reach their goals. When I'm not busy working, I enjoy photography, cooking, and spending quality time with my family (and pets!) Thanks for stopping by!

24 thoughts on “Challenge Yourself! And the 10k recap… :)

  1. Congrats! You did awesome in that run! 30 minutes for a 10k? Someone needs to make sure that man wasn’t a gazelle, haha.
    My challenge right now is to adjust well into college life, get work done while still running and fueling well, and of course having fun parts to life too

  2. Congrats!! What a fantastic first 10K time! I remember my first 10K just a few years ago and I really really wanted to come in under an hour – and I came in at 1:00:02 or something.

    OK this is not about me hahaha CONGRATS! How did your dad do? I hope he was pleased with the race too. Looks like you had a beautiful day and made a whole day of it! That’s what it’s all about in my book!

  3. Good job girl! Isn’t post-race the BEST feeling in the world?!

    I have a lot of challenges right now…work, 1/2 marathon coming in Oct., marriage, mortgage paying…haha 🙂 Seriously – real life is hitting me right now!!

  4. Congrats on your 10k!!! So fun to read about someone else who had their first 10k experience today 🙂 I had a hard time figuring out a good pace for myself too. I didn’t really do any legit training for it though, next time I’ll work on my speed! Oh, and I’m shooting for a half marathon next year, and another triathlon. But these next few winter months are going to be all about having fun at my new gym 🙂

  5. CONGRATULATIONS!! I’ve been waiting for the recap all weekend haha! It sounds like you did an awesome job! What a wonderful accomplishment! Do you think you’ll do more races?

    My new challenge is to actually make more meals and try a new recipe every week since I’ve been pretty lazy 😀

  6. Congratulations Sarah! 😀 Woohoo! I’ve been waiting for your recap and I actually tried to ‘run with you’ yesterday. I jogged for a couple blocks before switching to walking as I’m not completely healed yet. 😉

    Great time and I love how you ran the race at your own pace. Yay, just reading your recap makes me want to go out and run right now. Looks like you had the perfect day – amazing race, lots of delicious fuel, and wonderful weather. 😀

    I have the half marathon in November as a physical challenge. Can’t wait to go back to training mode.

  7. wow… awesome awesome!!! looks like you had a great time too- and what great food they had there!
    my current challenge? i have many going on right now- life is crazy right now fro me. training for my first marathon and trying to get through a very tough semester of classes are two big ones. getting through some tough times dealing with sick family members, and other news of losing people is also what im battling. basically- im battling life right now ahha

  8. Yahoooo congrats chica!! It sounds like it was an awesome race – so proud of you 😀

    Currently I’m working on building up my mileage and balancing my knee pain at the same time. It’s tricky to hold back when I want to go father/faster!

  9. Congratulations!!! Yay! I knew you would do just brilliantly 🙂
    So glad you enjoyed yourself and made the goals that you set yourself: that’s got to feel SO good. Love that you were coasting off of those post-race endorphins all day as well! Awesome!

    As you know, my current goal is a ten mile race in less than two weeks (eek) – it’s definitely a big challenge but I think I’m ready for it!

  10. CONGRATS ON A GREAT RUN!!! I am running my 1st 10K in November and would be thrilled to finish in 60 minutes, but I think it will be more like 70+ minutes! Great pictures, it is so beautiful up there, I love the shore! =) Laura

    P.S. Visit my blog if you have a chance, I made your Apple Crisp on Saturday and it was very good…….the hubby even liked the “healthy” version and bragged about it to his mom that makes the FULL SUGAR & FAT version! =O

  11. Congratulations on your race. Excellent job. And you’re a great writer. I’ve run a number of races and you captured really really well the feelings I know I often have from the time I get up until I’m crossing the finish line.

    My challenge? Getting over Plantar Fasciitis and returning to the amount of running I was doing 3 years ago. If I can kick this last issue I’ll formally consider myself “back”.

    Good luck and keep it up!


  12. Congratulations Sarah! That is so awesome that you achieved your goal. It’s so great to get something you’ve worked so hard for. And even greater that you get to share stuff like that with your dad, you should really be grateful for that. 🙂

    My current goal: Qualify for Boston! 12 more days!

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