That's right....I went ahead and ran my 10K on Saturday!
And I'm glad I did.
I realized on Friday that I really needed to prove to myself that I could do it in order to reclaim some of my confidence - which had been shattered by all of the physical calamities that I've dealt with over the last seven months. Having said that, I don't think I would have made the decision to go for it if I hadn't given myself permission the week before to quit. I think that gave me the freedom to do the race for all of the right reasons.
Also, special thanks go to Catina (my Boot Camp instructor), Beth (fellow Bootcamper with lots of race experience) and Fabiola (personal trainer delux at FIT) for their support on Monday and Tuesday. Catina told me that often a bad dress rehearsal happened before a great performance. Beth recognized that I had a serious confidence problem and needed to push through no matter what. Fabiola - most importantly - apparently saw something in my face when I came to the gym on Tuesday and spoke to me for well over a half hour, reminding me of what was important and why I was doing this.
So now the fun stuff...
Saturday morning was absolutely perfect for a race! It was cool - 50 when we left and maybe 56 when we returned home - but it was beautifully sunny. If you remember, last year featured a torrential downpour in similar temperatures, and we were all miserably wet and uncomfortable when it was over. I even came down with a nasty cold a few days later! I wore last year's long-sleeved Roots & Blues race shirt under my new Wilson's shirt (Our gym gives us all free race shirts if we sign up to run this race. Between that and the official race shirt our entry fees are covered!), and that gave me enough warmth to keep me comfortable before and after the race.
I have to admit that I love race day because of the atmosphere that surrounds the event. Everyone is excited, nervous, happy, and glad to be there! There's a sense of camaraderie which is infectious...and you tend to meet new friends while you all prepare. There's such a strong sense of support that it's almost palpable. It's a party that's all about the "I can" the "We will" and that's a very good thing indeed.
How did I do? I managed to shave almost four minutes off of last year's time, coming in at 1:11:08 - which is definitely a touch faster than I've been running during training. No, it's not what I had hoped to do back in January when I decided that I wanted this year's 10K to be a test of how far I'd come in a year...but it does mean that my cardio is definitely back. I can move on now, and will hopefully start to regain some speed soon. Given what happened last weekend - and my practice times - I did a LOT better than I expected, though, and I'm happy about that.
Even better, I had absolutely no pain anywhere during and after the run! No shin splints (a result of the running clinic getting me to alter my form), no knee pain, no sore muscles or tension...nothing. I felt great all day yesterday and continue to feel great today! *
Yep, the running love is definitely back.
I have to say, though, that my favorite part of the day was that I shared it with my husband (who again ran the half marathon) and some of my good friends from the gym. It was soooo much fun to start the race with people I know...and to pass and/or be passed by others along the way. When I finished I heard several people call out my name and I received lots of hugs at the finish line. A couple of my friends and I waited at the finish line together to cheer on others, and when my husband came in we all went to have our post-race BBQ. (Which was fantastic, by the way, if still a very odd meal to eat at 9 AM.) We celebrated our successes together as each of us had reached a personal goal, and it felt very, very good.
Next up? I want that half marathon....time to get to work!
*OK, I'll fess up to a wee bit of arthritis pain in my right foot. Can't do anything about that, and it's pretty minor. My husband has wisely advised that I stop dropping big, heavy things (like van benches) on my feet.