Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Diary of a 10k run

As I've shared before, The Avenue of the Giant's Run was a revelatory experience.  There is something about a group of people that all share your crazy passion to go out there and go for it. Even one of my sons was stunned when I told him that I had achieved my goal of running the whole 10k without walking...over an hour of running.  He looked like he thought I must be making it up.  Of course, he IS my son who sleeps until 1:00 in the afternoon -- not exactly athletic material at this point in time.

The run was exhilarating.  The run was exciting.  The run was a little hard -- Well, not too much. It started out with all of us straining at the starting line to get out there and not get run over by the others.  Since there were a lot of walkers, I didn't place myself at the very back of the pack but sort of in the middle.  As we all started off, I was passed by many people but soon I had established my pace and found myself even passing a few people.  It's a great feeling to pass others and a not so great feeling to get passed by.  You just have to roll with it.  I wore my Garmin heart rate monitor so I could try to keep my pace in check.  I didn't want to burn out before the finish AND I really wanted to finish strong.  Oh yeah, the temp was in the low 50's -- perfect for running!

The run started off over a bridge and then curved in a downward slope.  What goes down must go up so I was mentally preparing for the fact that I was going to face that hill on the way to the finish line as the run was 3.1 miles - out and back.  There were several water stops along the way but I carried my own water so I wouldn't have to slow down.  Before I got to the turn around I was already facing the rabbits that had reached the half way point and were on their way back. I gave a nod of acknowledgment and of course, respect.  I will never be the first runner in but I can certainly enjoy and admire those that are.

I make the turn around and am feeling strong.  I hit a relaxed stride and just settle in. Now, I am passing those that are still on their way to the halfway point.  Some are runners and some are walkers.  I pass the water stations and now the end is in sight.  I come up to a couple who are running this race together.  She is walking and running.  I hear her say to him that she had wanted to do this 10k in 1 hour or less but now she is telling him that "just to finish" is enough for her.  He agrees.  I realize that many who have taken on this challenge have seriously miscalculated the challenge.  I know that I have not.  I regularly run this distance and I know the challenge I face.

I pass this couple and up ahead I see the "HILL".  Yeah, yeah... the brochure talked about the challenge of the hill and how "fun" it is.  Well, I wouldn't go right to fun.  I run hills all the time but a hill at the end of a challenge is generally not fun.  I remind myself that success in running is mostly in your head.  You can seriously talk yourself out of a successful run and you can seriously talk yourself into a GREAT run.  Ok, I can do this.  I take it one step at a time.  I decide not to keep looking at how much hill is left but to concentrate on each step.  Sort of like living a successful Kingdom life, huh?  Step by Step.  Yeah, we still need to have vision but small goals go a long way in the road to success.  Before I know it, I have crested the hill and am coming over the bridge.  I get out my cell phone to call my husband who is waiting for me at the finish line.  Oh, how I love how he supports my running!  I promised to call him when I got close.  Of course, now he doesn't answer his phone so I give up and just enjoy the run into the finish line.  

I hear the announcer say, "And this next runner is Shell Swift -- a great name for a runner!" Well, I'm not so swift but heck, I finished!  People on the sidelines are clapping and cheering. Emil is there with his camera and I remember to raise my hands in the air as I cross the finish line in good sportsmanship fashion.  The excitement and sense of accomplishment is unbelievable.  I did it!  Now, on to the next challenge.

1 comment:

christineboring said...

You are AMAZING Michelle. I am so inspired but what you have accomplished. Go Girl! Maybe one day I will be able to run a race with you.
Christine Boring