I started running six months ago. I had been working on dropping some extra weight and getting myself in shape and I needed an extra boost, so I took up running. Now, I have never been a runner, never liked running, but I have a limited budget and not gym membership so I needed an activity that didn't cost a lot to do. The first week of October I started the Couch to 5k program. The first couple of weeks were manageable, but by week 3 it was hard for me, I was so out of shape. But, I pushed through, continued on, and in December I ran 3 continuous miles for the first time since I was 15 years old. It was hard, but I kept going, running 3 miles a day 3 days a week. Sometimes I'd get lazy and miss runs, but for the most part I carried on and started increasing my distance a little bit at a time. I decided that I wanted to be able to run a 10k (that's 6.2 miles for all of us non-metric folk). It felt ambitious for me, but I tend to be a determined person and I like to finish what I start.
In March signed up to run the High Speed Pursuit 10k (they also had a 5k and half marathon, but there was no way that I was running 13.1 miles...yet) and it was held yesterday, April 7th. I worked hard, I knew that I could manage the distance, but when race day came I was so nervous. First, I was going alone. I don't have any local friends that run and large group situations make me so uncomfortable, and being alone makes it so much worse. The second reason that I was nervous was that this was my first race, and I knew that it would be a challenge. At this point a 5k would be a very easy run for me, but a 10k is still difficult for me. I couldn't back out though (I'd told too many people about it, how could I just not go?) so I got in the car and drove out the the prison. It was kinda cool though, my husband has been a CO out there for over 4 years (I have to say CO because when I say that my husband works there some people think that means he's an inmate with a job), and I had never been to his work (cause you don't just go eat lunch with your husband at work when he works in a prison) so now I know where he works, or at least how to get there. Kudos to him though, I wouldn't want to spend 8 hours a day behind all of that razor wire.
Anyway, the race started, and the energy was high. I found that I loved running with other people around, I fed off of their energy, I was competing with them, wanting to pass people, keeping my pace up so people didn't pass me, things like that. I'm a bit of a competitive person by nature so I can't help it. I kept a good pace though, nothing stellar, but hey, it was my first race, and I kept up around the middle of the pack. I felt good, my energy was high and I wasn't wearing down, but the last mile was brutal. Not just because it was the last mile, but because the course had us turn up an incline (not too steep, but continual) and the winds picked up so we had a 25 mph headwind coming at us with gusts up to 40 mph. I felt like I was pulling a massive boulder behind me, but I kept on, didn't walk a step and I crossed the finish line! They people recording times lost power for about 9 minutes and it was during that time that I crossed the finish line so my exact time wasn't recorded, but according to the clock when I crossed my time was around 1 hour 2 minutes. I was hoping to keep it under an hour, but still I'm happy with my time, happier that I finished, and excited to run another one next month. I found out when I got home that I actually placed 3rd for my age group which is cool, I hadn't expected to place at all.
I keep telling myself that I'm a beginner, just a novice with this whole running thing, but maybe now I can start thinking of myself as a runner.
Please forgive the stupid look on my face here, the wind was awful and it was cold!