A little over a year ago I completed my first 10k. It felt so amazing to hear all the people standing out on the sidelines in the barely above freezing weather cheering me and all the other racers on. I knew I had to run it again when I crossed the finish line and felt that surge of energy that came out of nowhere. So I took the plunge to complete the 2016 Monument Ave 10k.
This time I decided I was not going to try to go it alone! I signed up for the YMCA 10k training team when I registered for the race. BEST. DECISION. EVER. Last year I didn’t walk/run/even think about completing 6 miles before race day. Granted, I did complete the race in 79 minutes, which was well within my goal time. But I can’t say enough about training before race day. It helps you out so much!
This year I spent the 10 weeks before race day training with my mom during the week and going on group runs on Saturday mornings. We slowly built up our mileage until we ran the full 6 miles with our YMCA group a few Saturday’s before the race. I didn’t do well during our practice 6 mile run. I felt ill and sluggish. [It definitely wouldn’t have anything to do with the fact that I donated blood the day before] We completed the practice run in approximately 76 minutes. I was so disappointed in myself. How could it be that after nearly 8 weeks of training and I had only cut 3 minutes off my previous time!
I had underestimated the excitement of race day! When I got to the start line this year I was a little leery if I could run the whole way, but I wasn’t nervous at all! I knew that I had put in my training and I had run the 6 miles before, albeit slow, but I had run them! The first mile seemed the longest. But somewhere in the middle of mile 2, it started to snow and I started focusing on all the people on the sidelines with signs cheering us on!
The Monument Avenue 10k has to be one of the best races to participate in. Granted I haven’t participated in any other 10ks, I have done my share of 5ks and one 8k and they don’t even compare to this one! As you run down Monument Ave, there is a band or singer on every block! You are never without somebody standing on the sidelines waving and saying good job!
Mom and I had set a goal of running the entire 6.21 miles and our secondary goal was to complete the race in 66 minutes. We were able to run the whole time, but our pace was a little slower than we would have liked. Our official time was 70 minutes. Which is now my newest PR – cutting 9 minutes off my previous time!
I am so glad I signed up for the race again this year and can’t wait to come back next year to try to set a new PR! Completing those 6 miles without stopping to walk or even get water at the water stands (I had a hand-held water bottle with me), proved to myself that I am stronger than I often believe and I need to have the more confidence in myself. I can push myself and strive to be better than I already am!
What have you done that made you unsure of yourself but you ultimately knocked it out of the park, so to speak?