This was the hardest run of my life to date. It took every bit of mental toughness I had to pull it out of me. And this. This is why:
I have never run so many hills before. The last .6 alone had 10-foot, 20-foot AND 30-foot inclines. I can’t believe I wasn’t aware of the elevation on these trails. I should have researched better. If I had, I may have paced myself more, slowed down in the first half, in which I hauled at a 9:04 pace before having to make myself jog for a while out of pain.
I wheezed. A lot. So much. I struggled. I thought I might cry. I thought I might die. My lungs were so hurt. Every time I thought “that has to be the last hill” another one appeared in front of me. I had some very hard mental moments. Thoughts like:
I’m not going to make it. These people going up this hill with me are better than me. I can’t do this. I must not have worked hard enough. I’m going to have to walk. Another hill? I’m not going to make it up this one. And another one? I can’t do this. I can’t. Not going to make it.
On and on from about the halfway point. So much fighting. I had to stomp the crap out of every one of those thoughts and keep going. Between miles 4 and 6, I really had to rely on the thoughts of the people I love to get me through… like…
Am I really going to tell Steve and all my friends that I didn’t make it, that I had to walk? What would my mom and sister think, waiting at the finish line? I couldn’t bear the thought, not on my very first 10K. I couldn’t. Not this time. Dammit, Kari just ran a marathon last week. It hurt but she did it. You can do this. Keep going.
These thoughts kept me running. They really did. And it helped immensely. You have no idea.
I came in 107/244 overall, with a final time of 58:30, (9:25 pace). I had to use my inhaler when I was done, multiple times. But I made it.
When I signed up, I wanted to finish in under an hour. Today, with all my training, I admit I would have liked to have finished in 56:30 (I am such an OCD runner, aren’t I?), but believe me, I AM proud of what I accomplished. So very, very proud. Milestones of time and pace can wait. Six months ago, I couldn’t even run a half mile straight. Yesterday I ran 6.21 and conquered a really difficult course while I was at it. Amazing.
Peek-churs. Look, I met an adorable corgi right before my race! A good omen.