Last year, I ran my first ever 10k. It was very challenging. I was never a runner. I was a swimmer. That is how I would identify myself. Even when I went to Rescue Swimmer School while in the Navy, the running portion was not my thing. I missed qualifying to start with the first class by 8 seconds. EIGHT. It was a daunting 8 seconds. We had to run 1.5 miles along the seawall on base in Pensacola. We had to do it in 12:00. I did it--and therefore didn't do it--in 12:08. I ended up with stress fractures, tendinitis and a bum knee. I found out later that my left leg is shorter than my left. Between that and trying to run with the boys, and on the sand, and CONSTANTLY, I was way broken by the time I left Pensacola. And I didn't run again until I started doing so last year.
When I started running last year, I ran my first 5k in April (at the zoo--hello, HILLS!--15:00/mi pace) and then my first 10k (15:11/mi pace) in May downtown for the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon which is the same event I ran today...exactly a year later. In the year since that 10k, I completed another 5k (12:24/mi pace) and Jillian Michael's 30-day Shred. Those were huge accomplishments for me. I didn't run the zoo this year, but since I had already signed up for the 10k a way long time ago, I ran it today.
I have only run maybe 3 times this year and I think only once did I get near the 3 mile mark. The other two times were between 1.5-2 miles. That's what I like to run...short runs. Long runs...NOTSOMUCH. With my family in town for Oma's services on Friday, I had every excuse in the book to not run the 10k this year. Then, I learned the weather was going to be rainy and that made me not want to do the race either. AND I would have to get up at a ridiculously early hour in order to be downtown by 6 AM when they'd start blocking everything off. I had LOTS of excuses and only one reason to ignore them all...to reach my goal.
My goal was simple...I wanted to beat my time from last year. I had run more last year than I had this year, but I was sure that my fitness level (even though I have been nothing more than a slug since February) was greater. I believed! And I was right. I ran almost the whole race. Last year, I ran every other mile or so. This year, I took breaks during each mile to walk for a bit when my legs would become leaden. In mile 4, I was losing steam. Halfway to mile 5, my achy achilles was bothersome. Then, the inevitable hip pain (that's what you get when your left leg is shorter than your right--even with the heel insert; though, it isn't nearly as bad as what it was last year) set in. As I ran toward mile 6 which was on a downhill turn, I was zooming. I turned the corner in front of the stadium at high speed (well, high speed for me...it's all relative--hehe) and then realized I had more to go. I started to peter out and then I saw it...THE FINISH LINE! I picked up speed again and went for it. I crossed the line with the sign reading 1:29:51. My actual time was 1:25:42 which means I ran at a 13:48/mi pace. I was ecstatic! I DID IT! Which means, I never have to do it again! :)
The rest of my races will be 5k's or 5 milers at the most. Goal Met!!