“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! 😀