Monday, December 14, 2009

Jingle All the Way 10k

I had my first 10k this weekend.  For so many months I have been training, then side-tracked, then training again, gearing up for the cold, dealing with my nerves and all this time fretting and fretting about my time.  I was using this particular race to qualify me for RunDC next year.  Then something happened.

H found out about a work trip to Florida that I could accompany him on.  One week in the middle of my least favorite month of the year, March. Sorry March birthday goers, but that lion/lamb thing just messes with my SAD-effected brain.  The whole month is like a giant hangover to me.  Kind of like how August is just one giant Sunday.  Oh, is that just me?  Back to the work trip then.  A whole week of sunshine, time alone with H, sunshine, ocean and tranquility.  Also, sunshine. I was in!  As I reviewed the dates I realized that we would be coming back the day of RunDC.  I wouldn't be able to do that historic run through my favorite city.  Immediately it took off so much of the pressure I was harboring towards Sunday's 10k.

Suddenly, I felt excited about the run instead of anxious.  The weather situation was a whole other story.  100% chance of rain, sleet and wintry mix was predicted with a high of 41 degrees.  That sounds like so much fun!  Yeah, freezing rain all for me.  Did I mention that the run was also on the water?  I could feel the icy rain drizzling down my back each time I thought about the impending race. 

The day of the race I woke up early and got dressed in my warmest running gear.  It was only after I was fully packed up that I realized I had forgotten to put my shoes on.  We got the girls up while it was still dark and got their drowsy, questioning selves dressed and packed in the car for the drive into the city.  Soon after we found ourselves touring the city at dawn while waiting for the start time to draw closer.  Gazing at the National tree all lit up and driving past the Washington Monument completely dissipated my nerves and I was ready to get started.

I met up with a fellow Shredhead, dealt with bag check, long queues at the port-a-potties and a suspicous vomit smell that pervaded the air, we got in line.  Late.  I started to get chilled to the bone and wanted to get started.  Fortunately, the air was cloudy but clear.  Fused with adrenaline and excitement I started out faster than I normally do and was feeling really good, despite the nagging feeling of a cold beginning that morning.  I was sure I had gone two miles when I saw the ONE mile marker.  Doh!  Throw in one runner who had already completed the course and was on his way back and I felt a bit defeated.  For some reason about five minutes later seeing the DC's Mayor run by me motivated me again and I past a few people.  The loop felt long and as I got close to the turn around I felt impatient.  I wanted to yell at people to "Move! MOVE! MOVE!" The air turned cooler as I ran along the water. I took in the sights of the city as I tried to temper my aggravation at the congestion of other runners.  Finally, coming in at 34 minutes plus I got to the turnaround point. 

Then something happened.  My competetive edge, rarely seen, came out.  I looked at the runners still trucking along to the turning point and thought, "Suck it!  I'm faster than you! Bwwahahaha!"  Where did that come from?  I passed people on the right, the left and went up off the street and onto the grass and wet leaves to blow by others.  I wanted to make my qualifying time no matter what.  1: 05 was my goal.  I needed to do it despite not making the March marathon.  As I neared mile four I found myself slowing down. I tried to pick other runners out in the crowd that I wanted to compete with but my motivation was severly lacking.  I just wanted to be done. I wanted to see my family, the crowds and the finish line. "Damn it!  Where was the finish line!?! Where the hell was mile five?! I am such a wuss!  WTF is wrong with me?"  I kept internally yelling at myself Jillian Michael's style to combat that thinking.  That helped momentarily and got me through to mile six.  Point two more miles to go.  Whew!  Santa and his reindeers ran by me and it pissed me off.  I ran faster.  A bit.

Then I saw my friend. He had already completed the 10k and came running along the finish line.  I needed that encouragement.  I knew I was so close but I felt so slow.  My left hamstring felt ridiculously tight and I was cold, wet and tired.  While my body might "know" this run, it didn't much care for it at that particular moment.  He kept yelling, "Run! Run faster!" and I did. I tried and suddenly I was crossing the finish line.  I saw my time and felt relief and a bit of dissappointment.  1:08 and something seconds...Oh well.  I did it. My first 10k.  It was now raining as steam poured off my body.  I gnawed on a bagel and felt exhilerated.  I'll definetly be doing that again!

Later in the day my official time came through- 1:05, 14 seconds.  14 seconds barring me from RunDC but whatever.  I'm going to Florida! 


  1. Woohoo! You rock! And I'm so glad you get to go to FL for a week with your man! That sounds like a much better idea than running 13.1 miles. ;)

  2. Awesome time! What a fabulous job. :-) And next time you'll shave off at least those 14 seconds. Well done.

  3. Anonymous10:52 PM

    You are AWESOME!! I am so proud of you! Congrats!! - E

  4. Good job on your first 10k-and remember, those 14 seconds are accounted for by the slow-asses that milled around in front of you!


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