Monday, May 27, 2013

Rum Run 2013

Yesterday, I did the second hardest thing I have ever attempted (right behind being a parent). Running my first 10K! It was absolutely awesome!! But my day didn't begin that way. Here is how it went:

Nolan sleeping through it all!
I went to bed early Saturday night, to prepare for my first big race. So I should have been well-rested. Well, if I didn't have a toddler with a hacking cough and a 4 month old that thinks he needs to eat every two hours, I may have been well-rested. Unfortunately for me, not my situation. When Nolan (my littlest guy) woke up at 6 am, I was still pretty exhausted, but my excitement for the day got me up and ready.

Once again, things didn't go as planned. My husband overslept, my three year old was grumpy, and no one was ready to leave when we were supposed to be half way there. You could say I was a tad stressed at this point. I had been preparing, visualizing, and worrying about this day, since I signed up for the Rum Run in March, and I was not about to miss it!

Finally, we arrived at Tualatin Lake, where the race was being held. Nolan nursed, Liam had a snack, Joe packed the boys and the various supplies needed to keep to boys happy and entertained for an hour, into the stroller, and I headed over to check out the area and use the restroom (a must before any big race!). As the starting line began to fill with runners that looked far more prepared than I, my nerves started to get the best of me.

Liam cheering for the runners
My husband and I after the race
As a lifelong, competitive swimmer, I thrive off of the starting line jitters. It was actually kind of comforting that I was going through such familiar emotions. The race was so packed, that it had to have three start times, each a minute after the one before. To decide which wave you were a part of, you had to pick the section which corresponded to your usual pace. The first wave was under 9 minutes, the second 9-10 minutes, and the last wave was for runners whose pace is 10 minutes or longer. Since I have been running with a pace of nine to nine and a half minutes, I chose the second wave of people. I was nervous the whole time, that I made the wrong choice.

The run itself was quite a challenge. It was a mix of paved roads, dirt trails, paved trails, downhill, and uphill (the biggest incline being in the last mile of the race). Throughout the whole race, I had to remind myself that this was my chance, that this is what I have been training for, that I would be so proud if I could just make it to the end, without any walking, and with a time less than an hour. These were my goals. I wasn't sure that I could do it; that they were even possible for this newbie runner, but I was sure going to give it my all!
Liam and I
The race to the finish!

As I rounded the lake that would lead me to the finish line, I was so pumped up and proud of myself, that I was able to full-out sprint the last minute or so. This is shocking considering how exhausted I was. When I came around the last curve, I saw the clock counting closer and closer to the one hour mark. I had made it this far (without even a second of walking), and I was going to reach all three of my goals, even if it meant puking at the finish line. When I stepped over the line, the clock read 59 minutes and some change. I had done it!

But it all got even better! After this particular race, you are treated to a mojito, a beer, and a chicken and rice dish from a local Hawaiian restaurant. It was 9:30 in the morning when I entered the beer garden, and I'm not ashamed to say it! I earned every drop of that drink. I gave my beer to my husband, we all shared the yummy chicken, and Liam got a free smoothie from Jamba Juice.

My yummy reward
Run a 10K......check!
When we got home, I thought that my day couldn't get any better. Then I decided to check the website for my official race time. I had completely forgotten that I was in the second wave of runners, and that my time was actually a whole minute faster than I thought! I ran a 58:41 10K!! That gives me a pace of 9:28 a mile. I was shocked, and proud of my surprising accomplishment.

I decided to rest up today, but I'm even more motivated to keep running, get better, get faster, go longer, do more challenging runs, and smash through more goals! I have my sights set on a half marathon in October (thanks to friends who are forcing me to sign up) and the Hood to Coast next year (maybe this year even-I'm an alternate on a friend's team....eeek!). I can't believe how far I have come since starting this new endevour on March 14th. Running is awesome, and being a runner is one of the best decisions I have ever made!

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