30 Before 30: #3 – Run a 10K

My latest 30 Before 30 project was one of the more ambitious items on my list.  Running a 10K is not something that can be accomplished simply by coughing up some money.  It was only going to happen if I put the time and effort into training.  So I did.  I downloaded a training schedule and for five weeks I did exactly as it prescribed.  At the start of my training, my most intense run was 3 miles, and I am amazed that in just five weeks I was able to get my body into the condition to run the full 6.2 mile distance without keeling over.

Once I put the goal of a 10K on my list, I knew it was only going to happen if I signed up and paid the entrance fee so there would be no turning back.  I chose the Women’s Health Run 10 Feed 10 because the race was occurring in the time frame I wanted.  It was enough time for me to get my body into shape and the weather would be perfect for training outside.  There were a couple other benefits to this race.  For me, right up there at the top was the fact that the course was along the West Side Highway, which meant it was flat.  If I had to deal with hills I would have needed some extra training.  The other great thing about this race is that it is jointly produced by Women’s Health and the FEED Foundation, which works to fight hunger.  Just by registering for the race, my fee provided 10 meals to people in my own metropolitan area.  It’s nice to think that even though I was crossing an item off my bucket list, it wasn’t all about me me me.

Things like this are so much better when you don’t do it alone.  I was prepared to do it solo and did all my training alone, but last week Beth decided to sign up for the race.  We didn’t run together, per se, but we kicked it off side by side and were able to congratulate each other when we both crossed the finish line at around the same time.  Having a friendly face there made all the difference.  It was also great to have Albert there.  I know he was not happy to wake up an hour before the sun even started to rise but seeing him there, holding some expertly made signs, kept me going.  There he was a quarter mile into the race with a poster that read “Tess – Run like you’re chasing Ugga!”  The name of Uga, my famous college mascot, may have been misspelled but nobody else had a sign like it.  Then at the last quarter mile I was greeted with one that read “Tess – Hurry! This guy is waiting at the finish line!” with a picture of one of my celebrity crushes.  The celeb was motivation, but I was even happier to see the guy holding the sign as I pushed towards the end.

I set a goal for myself of completing the race in under an hour.  It felt ambitious knowing that the final distance was nearly a mile and a half more than I’d ever run before (so I would likely slow down towards the end) but still maybe do-able based on my pace during training.  By the day of the race I didn’t care how I accomplished my goal; I could come in at 59:59 and be happy.  Honestly, just finishing would make me happy.  But I did it.  I owned it.  Not only did I come in under an hour, my final official time was 57:16.  That’s almost three minutes under my goal.  It doesn’t sound like much, but three minutes is a lot when it comes to running.  Is it braggy if I say I’m proud of myself?  Because I am.  I feel like I killed it out there.

Date of Completion: 9/21/14