Don’t Give Up!

Good Day to All!

Yesterday morning, my alarm clock blared at 4:30 a.m., a time when I usually roll over and go back to bed. But, I crawled out of bed and had my morning fuel. Almost every day of the week, I eat a mixture of two cereal flavors, both by Kashi. Usually, I don’t eat before a workout, but I figured I had about three hours to digest it before the big 10K.

I love to mix these two high protein and high fiber cereals together for my morning fuel!

I love to mix these two high protein and high fiber cereals together for my morning fuel!

After breakfast, I got myself together and hubby and I were out the door and on the road by 5:20. It was nice drive to Lake City, and I was surprised by how awake I was feeling. I suppose it was the excitement of the race pumping adrenaline through my body.

On the road!

On the road!

We arrived around 6:15 a.m. and I went straight to the registration booth to pick up my goodie bag and official race number. Most of the items in the bag were brochures about the area and small ticket stubs for free ice cream, free golf or free bowling sessions. Runners did receive one very bright, neon yellow t-shirt.

Free t-shirt!

Free t-shirt!

After I registered, I kind of walked around in a daze. There were lots of people there who looked like that had done this type of thing a time or two. I, on the other hand haven’t participated in an organized race in about 10 years, it was then I realized how nervous I was.

I watched as runners grouped together laughing and chatting and having a good time. They didn’t appear to be nervous at all. Then, I started to notice people who looked like they were professional runners. They were sprinting out in the grass, lunging side to side, front to back and doing calf stretches.

After walking around in a daze for several minutes, I finally decided it was time to just relax and have fun. I told myself that I have really enjoyed semi-training for this event and now it’s here and it’s time to to enjoy it. So I had my husband, Adlai, take a few pictures pre-race so that I could have this event cemented in my head just in case I decide to run another race.

Just finishing up my morning coffee.

Just finishing up my morning coffee.

Standing at the finish line pre-race.

Standing at the finish line pre-race.

We walked back to the truck so I could put on my shoes. As I started digging through my bag for my socks and shoes, panic struck. I couldn’t find my iPod and earbuds. I left them at home. Now, if you recall the blog post I talked about “Team Work,” the one where I ran without my music and Adlai followed along with his bicycle, it was awesome! So, I tried to remember that I could do it. I have run without music once, I can do it again.

For whatever reason, the race was delayed 15 minutes, so I used this time to check out the route posted next to the registration booth. I drank a little more water and I continued to stretch my muscles in preparation for this “no-music” havin’ 10K. Sigh….

Routes for the 5K, 10K and the 1/2 marathon.

Routes for the 5K, 10K and the 1/2 marathon.

At 7:15 the 1/2 marathon runners (thank goodness that wasn’t me) were called to the starting line and big, loud roar from the announcer shouted “GO!” The runners quickly disappeared up the first hill, and then, 5K and 10K runners were called to the starting line. Everyone casually walked to the starting line and waited for the announcer.

I stood at the starting line and  waited patiently for the race to begin.

I stood at the starting line and waited patiently for the race to begin.

I watched as some of the rail thin runners jumped in place and did a series of high knees. Then, I watched as the majority of runners clicked through their iPod’s and found their playlist. Sigh again….

By 7:45, the 10K began. There were people passing me left and right. I tried not to care, and I tried to keep up. I ran with the pack for as long as I could. I definitely had my game face on, and I tried to be strong, I tried to keep a positive frame of mind.

GO!! GO!! GO!!

GO!! GO!! GO!!

Hair blowing in the wind.

Trying to keep up with everyone was tough! I wondered how much prep that had prior to this race??

Trying to keep up with everyone was tough! I wondered how much prep that had prior to this race??

Little by little I was passed by the majority of the 10K runners and the 5 K runners that started about 100 feet behind us. There were even little kids passing me as I ran. I listened to my breath, I was panting hard. I felt like I was doing burpee after burpee with no rest.

I continued this pace and found a girl in a green shirt that had a great pace. She was very steady and I tried to keep up with her. I did for about the first two miles until she eventually pulled ahead of me. I slowed my pace and was able to breath again. I could focus only on the thick, humid air-it had to have been 94% humidity. I could only hear my breathing and my feet hitting the ground. Unfortunately, this was not a day that I felt like the king of the road.

I ran by myself for quite awhile until I caught up to a couple of girls that were running and chatting. I passed them and I was feeling pretty good. But, my breath was wavering again, and suddenly those girls I had just passed were passing me. I wanted to stop so badly. I wanted this race to be over! I kept watching one man run for a bit, then he stopped and walked. Then he ran. And then he stopped and walked. It looked so enticing, but I didn’t stop running. I kept going. I kept running, slow, but sure.

I finally made it to the home stretch, which was down hill, thank goodness. I noted that I either need to run more hills or find a 10K that was all flat-maybe one in Kansas or something.

Finally running down hill! The last 1/2 mile or so.

Finally running down hill! The last 1/2 mile or so.

Almost home! Hubby was cheering me on!

Almost home! Hubby was cheering me on!

And finally, I was done! My time was slow, but it seemed on par with what I have been running at home. I know that I am not ever going to be the fastest runner, but maybe next time, with a little music it will be an enjoyable run. Or at least a little more enjoyable than this one!

And although I didn’t enjoy every step of the way like many of my pre-race runs, I didn’t give up and that’s what I am going to take away from this humbling event!

Post run water break! I couldn't get enough water!

Post run water break! I couldn’t get enough water!

Has anyone had any humbling fitness experiences?

Stay Strong and have a great day!

~Nicole

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