So yesterday I ran my first 10k race. It was an awesome race but I was very nervous this time around.
I didn't feel prepared since I didn't run as much as I wanted to before hand, but the day was here and I had to get ready.
I woke up at 4:30 a.m. and changed to the running clothes I set out the night before. I had driven down the mountain the night before and stayed with my family. My families house is only 30 minutes away from the Knotts Berry Farm theme park where the race would be held.
By 5 a.m. I had stretched and I went outside for a short run to get my body warmed up and my body functions moving. By 5:30 a.m. I was making myself a small bowl of oatmeal with peanut butter mixed in for breakfast. I ate half the bowl. I couldn't eat anymore and didn't want to feel full before the race.
My parents had decided they were going to go with me to the race and my little sister as well. Unfortunately teenagers can't be rushed and by the time we left the house it was 6:30 a.m. The race started at 7:30 a.m. and I still needed to pick up my registration material and warm up.
When we got to the area the place was packed and there were huge lines of cars leading to the parking lot where the event was taking place. We drove around and parked across the street. I rushed ahead to pick up my bib, chip and shirt and by then it was 7:15. I needed to use the restroom and the restroom lines were atrocious!
By the time I made it to a port-a-john it was 7:30 and I had to rush to the starting line. Good thing the race started late with all the people trickling in. But by 7:45 the first wave of runners had started and the mob of 5k/10k run-walkers kept moving up the starting line.
Because I had decided to use my iphone as an mp3 player for this race, and the phone also works as my camera, I didn't get much of a chance (or time) to take pictures of the start of the race. It's a shame because it was beautiful seeing all the roller coasters and rides in the distance knowing I was going to have them as my background as I ran around and near the park. The closer I got to the starting line the more and more nervous I was becoming. At some point I was close to tears and wasn't very happy being the only person that I knew running the race. But then it was my turn to start running. And start I did.
Like usual there were plenty of people passing me but I was making my way up as well. Once I started moving my worries went away. I started enjoying all the people cheering their friends. I started having fun looking at the different types of people running. Big, small, tall, short, old, young. There were mothers and little kids. There were couples and family teams with matching shirts. It was one of the biggest races I'd been a part of and I was enjoying it.
The weather itself was marvelous. Rain clouds passed by and allowed good sunlight to show up. A light breeze helped cool me as I continued to get warmer. I made a point to slow down and actually drink water at water stations since I didn't want to get too dehydrated.
I made a point this time to keep track of a certain runner ahead of me and try to pass them. I had three people throughout the race. The first one I lost after the first water station, the second one passed me for the finish line when the cut off for the 5k and the continuation of the 10k happened and for the final miles I had my last person. This woman was a run/walker every time she stopped and walked I made an effort to catch up with her. When I was in the final mile and realized I was almost at the finish line I finally passed her and sprinted for the finish.
I didn't realize I was so close to the finish line or else I would have started running faster sooner.
Either way I had a lot of fun and my former nervousness was gone.
Instantly after crossing the finish line I ran for a restroom but after that I was able to finally get my finishers medal and my slice of pie that goes with the race. LOL
I actually wasn't interested in the pie at all or any food for that matter. But I grabbed my slice and tried it. It was very good.
What I was really looking for was my timing. Because I was in the last wave of people going through the start line I knew the timer I saw as I crossed the finish line wasn't correct so sooner or later I found the giant flat screen TV's that were projecting the times.
It took forever for the screens to finish showing the 5k runners and I missed my time twice before the screen blanked out and showed the next division. Eventually I was able to get a picture of the screen with my name on it. I have no idea what my placing was but I got my time.
I finished in 1hr 18min 37 seconds
Seeing as I was taking it easy, I had to pee, and I kept slowing down at every water station, I think I did ok. LOL
After the race my family and I decided it was time for food. Right across the street was an IHOP (International House of Pancakes). It's my family's favorite restaurant so we went there.
I ended up getting a cheese and ham omelet and some buttermilk pancakes on the side. I scarfed down the omelet and ate 2/3 of my pancakes before my stomach decided to act up. I guess I ate too much too fast.
Despite the slight stomach upset the day turned out great and I was happy that I was able to finish the race.
It proved to me that I can do a bigger race. It proved to me that I have what it takes to do something bigger than what I previously thought I could. If you would have told me years ago that I would be running in a 10k race I would have laughed and told you you were insane. But here I am. And guess what, I'm already planning the next 10k race I want to run by the end of next month.
I can do it. So can you!