Sunday, March 11, 2012

Official race time: 1 hour 6 minutes.

Giving up is your brain's idea. Ask yourself, who's in charge here?
- Phil Whyman 

Saturday was the big 10k race we had been training for all year.  Grand Canyon University in Phoenix was hosting a run to raise funds for Children's Cancer. There was a 10k run, a 5k run/walk, and a 5k Survivor's walk.

As the run was quickly approaching, I started to get increasingly nervous as the week prior spanned out, since so many things were happening to hinder my ability to complete the race:
  • Work has been nuts, and overly stressful.  I worked overtime every single day and it drained all of my patience and energy!
  • Our run on Monday was frustrating. What started off as a 4mi run ended up being a rough 3.  I wasn't in the mindset to complete the run and my body paid for it.
  • We did 2 miles of interval sprints at lunch on Wednesday.  We got shin splints from said sprints.Note to self: No sprints the week of a race!!
  • Thursday: Tried to do our 2 mile lunch run and what I thought would run out ended up hurting more! My shins got very tight and I worried that I had ruined my chances of running the race.
  • Friday: My shins were feeling better (hooray!) but I had a knot forming in my left calf.  It was really starting to irritate me, so I went to the wellness room to pay for a 15 minute massage being offered that day.  She worked on my calves for a bit and it seemed to help.  I figured a hot epson salt bath and  good night's sleep would be key.
Saturday morning: Awake at 5:15 am.  Got up to make myself a little food and coffee before I headed out to the race that was starting at 7:30. I was feeling rested and great.  Got to the race site to meet Christi and as we were walking over to the Start line, I was noticing that the knot it my calf was starting to tense up again. I tried more stretching and to massage it out.  I wasn't having much luck so I crossed my fingers that it wouldn't complete seize up while we were running.

After the national anthem was sang by a 6 year old who knocked our socks off, and the Start horn was played by another girl about the same age who was beginning the maintenance stage of her leukemia treatment, we felt energized and ready to run.  A quarter mile in, a guy fell to the ground screaming and holding on to his leg in agony.  This freaked me out! I didn't want to be that guy.  We kept a steady pace as we got lapped by the speed runners, but didn't care since the speed was perfect for us and we felt confident we could keep it all day.  The 10k consisted of two 5k loops, so when we completed the first loop we high fived as we began the next round.  That's when my calf started bothering me.  I kept envisioning the guy who fell in my head and was petrified of being that guy. Lots of water and deep breathing, and I focused on my running form so I wouldn't tweak anything.  Half way through the second lap is when I really started to feel the exhaustion.  Then we passed some of the children walking on the Survivor Walk and I remembered what we were doing this for.  As I passed a girl walking on crutches with 1 leg, I got the last bit of stamina I needed. Soon, we were at the 9k sign. I couldn't believe it! We were actually running the entire race!  As we neared the finish, we got the last bit of energy to sprint it in across the finish line.  Official race time: 1 hour, 6 minutes. 

We ran the entire 6.2 miles without stopping! We completed our first 10k!!

While we didn't set any records, this was a huge accomplishment for both of us.  When I crossed the finish line I was a little overwhelmed with emotion as a day prior to this, I really wasn't sure I was going to be able to do it.  My only regret is that we didn't take a picture when we finished, I can only imagine the expressions on our faces.

The half marathon is a little less daunting now, as we are halfway to the goal.  While the training days may be hard, the completion of the race is what keeps me going. It's hard to explain the feeling of the adrenaline, excitement, and pride as I prove to myself that I can complete this crazy journey afterall. 

My calf: Boy does it hurt now.  By the time we got to breakfast afterwards, I was limping pretty badly.  Jay tried to massage it out, but it hurt so bad I couldn't help but cry when he got to the knot.  Today, I am slow moving, but it isn't as painful to put pressure on the leg.  It doesn't hurt to the touch, so I am not worried that I tore anything.  When it's a little less sore, I will go get a massage so I don't hurt anything else limping on it.  Tonight, I have a nice epson salt bath with my name on it. :)

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