April 1, 2012 by CJ
10k done! I can barely believe it myself. Up until today my longest distance was a little over 4 miles. This was the longest my body has ever been in a running stance. While #2 on my list is not officially completed. I did not complete an official 10k. That’s not for another few weeks. This run was based on my trusty iPhone and Nike+ running app. But after my run this morning I feel more energized than ever and I’m looking forward to my first 10k race.
I had a plan. I purchased a fuel belt (I read if you were going to be running for over an hour you should refuel).
I filled 1 container with coconut water and the other with water, I also put a couple of power gels in the pouch. I recalled reading a post from Blonde Bostonian (fantastic, and very informative blog) where she suggested trying out your energy gels and such before race day. Some may think running 6 miles would not require someone to refuel. Maybe not for those who run sub 10min/mile, but I am more of a 14 min/mile person and 6 miles = over 1 hour of running.
Back to my plan, I decided to run 4 minutes and walk 1 minute. In the past, that interval has worked well for me. I woke bright and early and had my usual pre-run breakfast, spoonful of peanut butter and half a container of coconut water (the other half went into one of the containers on my fuel belt). Then I was off.
The first 2 miles were tough. I couldn’t get my breathing right, my legs felt heavy, and as soon as I got into a rhythm, it was time to stop and walk. I was getting frustrated. In order to stay with my plan, I had to keep checking my time. This forced me to see my pace and despite “embracing my 14min/mile”, I was left feeling sluggish and offbeat. As I slowed to a walk, I remembered some of the comments I received last time I was feeling down and wrote about my frustrations. Forcing myself to stick with the 4:1 interval was taking the joy out of my run. Taking a note from Will Run For Glitter (another fantastic and thoroughly inspirational blog), I decided to take a few pictures of my route. I figured it would help alleviate the tension and stress I was putting on myself. While my pictures don’t compare to hers, this is where I run.
As I ran, took pictures and ran some more, I realized I was enjoying myself. I stopped worrying about my time or pace. I ran until I felt I needed to stop. I walked until I felt the need to run. Before I knew it, I was at my halfway point.
I eventually ran 6.23 miles. It took me 1:37:25. Longer than I had originally planned, but with the stopping, walking and picture-taking I can’t complain. Next week 7 miles is scheduled. 6 miles once seemed impossible, 7 sounds like fun!