Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Race Recap – Believe! 10K

Last Saturday, I woke up at 6:15 AM after a restless sleep to get ready to run the Believe! 10K. I put on my cool weather race attire, ate a Clif bar, drank some Nuun, and began to stretch. I did everything I could to keep my mind occupied as I could feel my nerves starting to tingle. There was something about this race that made me nervous – I wanted to prove my abilities to myself now that it had been a year since my first race. After running it last year and beating my first big time goal, I knew I just had to beat my second big 10K goal – to run it in under 55 minutes.

After warming up around the pre-race area and enjoying the entertainment, the announcers called for the 10Kers to make their way to the starting line. After a group prayer (which soothed my nerves immensely) and some words of motivation, they counted down…3..2..1, and the race began!

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The first part of the course was downhill, and I remembered that it ended on the same street, just uphill, and I made a mental note conserve some energy for the end. The first 3 miles were wonderful; I felt strong and distracted, and admired the beauty of the nature surrounding me. We ran around the same lake as last year – my favorite part of the race, and I thanked God for the blessing of being able to run.

At this race last year, I ran Garmin-less. I did not have one at that time, so I had no idea what my pace was, and I chose to do the same thing this year. I wanted to run with my heart; it seemed almost poetic. Then mile 4 happened….cramps. Pure pain, and I knew immediately why; all the traveling in the days leading up to the race left me scrambling at the end of the week to hydrate and consume electrolytes properly.

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After taking my energy gel and drinking some water from my FitSip hoping it would help, I ran through searing pain for the next mile. When I hit mile 5, I HAD to stop, so I allowed myself to walk for about 2 minutes while I pressed into my cramp and took a few deep breaths. While I wanted to keep walking, I wanted to beat my goal even more, so I started running again. I just told myself to keep putting one foot in front of the other until the end.

A few minutes later, I knew I was getting close. I passed the 5K turn around and was surrounded by many smiling faces, and it helped me to forget the cramps a bit! I finally reached the start of the hills knowing that it was time to sprint, and I gave everything I possibly could the last 1/2 – 3/4 miles. The finish line balloons came in sight and I noticed the clock on the board and the seconds were ticking to the top of a new minute. I crossed the finish line hoping I beat those few seconds. When I checked my time, I reveled in excitement at what I saw – 54:55! I had done it. I accomplished my 2013 10K goal!

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My husband crossed the finish line at 1:07:43 (a new PR for him as well!), and he, my parents and I celebrated as we walked around the post-race area to get a snack and watch more runners finish their race.

Saturday, though not without its ups and downs, was a fantastic milestone in my running journey. While I am thrilled about my PR, I also learned something new about myself; I am more of a fighter than I realized. When I truly want something, I will push through the pain to get it!

QOTD: Does running ever help you learn about yourself?

8 comments

  1. Awesome job! That is always my biggest fear, being hit with cramps or an injury during a race.

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    1. Thanks Lesley! No joke, it is no fun when cramps come up mid-race!

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  2. Ahh, congrats Lauren! I was starting to panic for you for a moment when I read you had cramps and had to slow down. You are quite a fighter. It's nice to know we are stronger than we think. I believe seeing the finish line also helps us (mentally) to increase our speed!

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    1. Thanks!! I was panicking a bit too during the race! And I totally agree, seeing the finish line somehow sparks that extra bit of speed at the end!

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  3. Whooohooo! Congratulations on your PR Lauren! That's awesome! AND on your bday too, right?!?!?!

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    1. Thanks Karen! Yup, on my bday!! The PR was my present to myself LOL

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  4. Congrats on your PR! What a great birthday present to yourself! Even reading about the cramp, I knew by the end of the story you'd pull through. Great work! - Jess

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