The event of my choosing? The Remember the Ten 10k. Guys, this may have been the biggest athletic event of my life thus far. It sure felt like it to me, at least! I had stuck to my 12 week training schedule like white on rice. I was ready.....and I was nervous. Real nervous. I haven't felt that deep stomach butterfly feeling since 2008 right before my last Hunter Over Fences class (for those non-horsey people out there, thats a jumping event horse show). I knew I could do it, I knew I would finish, I just really didn't want to be last and I was super worried about side cramps (don't worry, I ate bananas at breakfast, they worked!).
I had planned my outfit, planned my race strategy, had a playlist ready to rock and had the perfect breakfast fueling me. What did I forget? To check the weather.... The tank top I packed wasn't quite going to cut it. Luckily Cole's parents have a closet stocked with athletic gear that I was able to raid.
As the race began, I really had to hold myself back. I wanted to rush out of the gate, keep up with the pack and get a head start. But I didn't. I saved it for the end, when it mattered (and I'm really proud of myself for that!). While running, I was constantly made aware that Stillwater has a lot of gradual inclines. I never noticed them while walking to class, but believe me, they are there (my still-tight calf muscles are all the evidence you need). I was also made aware that all the hydrating I did pre-race was effecting my bladder in a bad way. I had to keep myself from taking a pee-break in Ag Hall.
I was lucky enough to stick with two other girls for about 4 1/2 miles of the race. I called them Peachy and Frizz. The three of us were in constant rotation, passing each other over and over again. They kept me going when I started to slow down, and I hope I did the same for them. I was starting to get pretty tuckered out around mile 4, but after allowing myself to walk up a hill and catch my breath for a few minutes, my second wind finally hit. Mile 5 passed right by the house I lived in my junior year of college - I had walked this course on the daily. I knew exactly how far I had left before I reached the finish line. As I ran through campus, my adrenaline really started to kick in. I only had half a mile left.....I wanted to sprint. I started to, but then noticed I was ahead of my goal time. Slow it down, Amanda, you don't need to sprint just yet!
|6.2 miles will make a girl look tired & flushed.|
A 10K may not be much for some of you, but for me, its a big deal. After working on my 5K time for two years, I was frustrated. I wasn't getting faster, I wasn't getting stronger; I was seeing zero improvement. I hated running. So, I decided that instead of running faster, I'd run farther. It was the change I needed. I'm still just as slow, but now those 5Ks are a lot easier. I'm way stronger. My breathing is controlled, my endurance is better and my attitude is a thousand times nicer. I actually feel accomplished and proud of myself instead of being frustrated. Running has become something I look forward to instead of dread. For any of you wanting to get out there and hit the pavement yourself, try this 5k, 10k or 1/2 marathon training plan. It worked for me when nothing else did.
What's next, you ask? Chloe and I have a several dog races in our sights - the See Spot Run race in Guthrie and/or the Rub-A-Dub Race for Rescues in OKC. She's pretty pumped, lemme tell ya.
Side note: I also have to mention that Cole finished the Remember the Ten run in 16th place over all. What. A. Stud. I'm one lucky lady!