Race Day 2010.
I am not sure what I am more excited about today: is it that I finished the race like I set out to do after training for 14 weeks; or that race day has come and past and my 'running anxiety' is over. I think that I am going to go with that I finished the race.
I have to admit that this week was really hard for me, every time I thought about race day I was giving it so much negative energy. I think that when I ran the 10K two weeks and struggled so much - that the 10K today was going to be the same. Thankfully it wasn't. I enjoyed myself - I still struggled, but embraced every minute of it.
I started out waiting in anticipation for the race to begin. I started the race with my running friends - and decided as soon as I passed the Start line that I would do what I could do. And that is exactly what I did. I enjoyed the music, watching for familiar faces, and focused on trying to push myself just a bit further each time. I set my intervals for 10 mins and 1 min. I didn't fully do a 10 minute run- I normally made it to 7 mins and then would need to walk for 30 seconds or so. Before I knew it, I was at the 2 K mark. And then the 4K. And then when I thought that I should be coming up to the 5K I was surprised to see that I was at the 6K. And when I thought that I should be coming up to the 7K, I was at the 8K. And at that point, I knew that I was almost done. The last K, like last year, was a hard one. My shoulders were so uncomfortable - I think that I was resembling how I pictured myself - running hunched over - wishing for a back brace (oh wouldn't have that have been attractive?). I would run 1 minute and then need to walk. When I knew that the finish line was so close, I could barely make myself run and then Lisa surprised me from behind and put her hand on my shoulder and said 'Let's do this'. It was like my guardian angel sitting on my shoulder giving me the encouragement that I needed. We ran together and just before I started to try and sprint - I heard 'Yay Cheryl!!! Go Kiddo!' - it was Donna. Then when it was all over I found Jules in the crowd waiting for me to come in. She is my number 1 fan - and it was so nice to have her there. Watching the clock and trying to sprint across and just running through the Finish line - was worth everything that I had worked at for the past 14 weeks.
Those are the moments that I will remember. They won't be how I thought that I would wet my pants at the start of the run; or how I thought that I might wet them during the last 2 K; or that a 4 year old little girl running with her mom whipped my butt; or that I had to wait in a long line up after the race for my cookie and chocolate milk.
I think that I have realized what I need to take from this - that I can run on my own; that I still need to push myself farther than I have and that I need to not be so hard on myself. The finish line came regardless of how fast I went or how much I ran and how little I walked. I know that I can do this - so instead of focusing on how well or how fast I do it - that I can do it - and the rest will just happen in time.
I am dedicated to keeping the running going this time - and learn how to push myself to the limit. I am dedicated to run for my life.
I am so proud of my friends who went out there and ran like the wind. They are all such strong women and I feel oh so privileged to know them.
PS - I just checked my time and I did it about 30 seconds faster than last year! I am so happy about that - not a great time - but on my own and just a tad bit faster. :)