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Sunday, May 4, 2014

Flying Pig 2014

I've said before that I've never been a runner.  I don't get a lot of enjoyment out of it like some people do.  I have yet to experience that "runner's high".  But, I am figuring out that I am capable of more than I thought when it comes to running.  If someone had told me a year ago that I would be challenging myself to run in a 10k (6.2 miles), I would have laughed and said, there's no way I would ever be able to run a mile, let alone 6!

When I did a 10K back in October, I don't think I thought it through completely.  I had just done my first 5K and hadn't even been able to run all of that.  But, I had already signed up so I gave it a try.  I think if I combined it all, I probably ran 3 or so miles and walked the rest of it.  I wasn't overly happy with myself but I finished in an hour and 15 minutes and, just the fact that I finished made me extremely proud of myself!

So, fast forward to the beginning of January this year as I was trying to come up with goals for the year.  I thought, maybe I'll give another 10K a try.  So, before I could change my mind, I signed up for the Flying Pig 10K.  I'd been told it was fun and the course wasn't too hilly which was a huge selling point for me.  Me and hills do not get along very well!  Now, when I signed up, I was under no illusion that I would be able to run the whole thing.  But, I wanted to see how much of it I could run.  I didn't actually follow a training program.  I did a lot of running on the treadmill because of the horrible winter we had.  Once spring finally arrived in Ohio, I got outside as much as I could and proved to myself over and over again that I could run.  And faster than I ever thought possible.  The most I ever ran at one time was 4 miles and that was pushing it but I figured I would be able to run a majority of race.  In the weeks leading up to the race many people asked me if I had a goal - My response - just to beat my time from October.  

I hadn't been able to find anyone to go with me so I had planned to do everything by myself.  But, then, my amazing sister decided on Thursday that she would go with me :)  I was so excited to have someone there to support me, start the race with and meet up with at the finish line!  I'm not sure she knows how much that meant to me.  We got to talk a lot on the way down and while waiting for the race to start.  It was a cool but gorgeous day.  

Once the race started she took off (which I was fine with and told her to do) and I got started.  What an amazing feeling as I kept passing people throughout the first mile!  I was keeping my own time on my watch and, when I got to the first mile, I glanced down at my watch and it said 10:01.  I had never run that fast in my life!  I made it a little past mile 3 before I stopped to walk some.  I probably could have gone a little further but I wanted to be able to run more towards the end and I was trying to pace myself.  I allowed myself to walk for 5 minutes (which included a hill) and then I ran for another 5 minutes before walking up another hill for 2 minutes.  After that I ran for a decent amount of time.  The only other walking I did was for a few minutes up the last hill.  I ran the rest of the way - including the last 1.2 miles.  That's where I think the mental stuff is the hardest for me.  I wanted to stop and walk.  I was tired, sweaty, etc.  But, I also knew that I would be so mad at myself if I did walk at that point.  So, I kept going.  I also knew I had a shot at beating the time I had put for my finish time (1:10).  Crossing the finish line was so fun!  And when I looked at my watch, I had beat the time I had in October by 10 minutes!  One hour and 5 minutes for 6.2 miles.  If I had to guess, I would say I ran about 5 miles of it.  Most I've ever run at one time!

After the finish line, I started looking for my sister and, when I found her, it was so fun to see how excited she was for me!  And, she did great and got a personal best!  I think she finished in 47 minutes!  As we made our way back to the car, I reflected a little bit on how much had changed in a year.  Last year, I walked the half marathon with my mom and we finished in a little over 3.5 hours.  If I do the math, that was probably about 16 minute miles.  This year, although not as far, with the walking included, my pace was 10:34!  Running wise, I think I did a little under 10:30 miles.  And that's all in just one year.  Absolutely crazy!  

It was a wonderful experience and I would definitely do it again.  Having my sister there made it even better!  I made her take a before and after picture - And I was still breathing and didn't look dead!



And - I found my results on the website - Have to say, I'm pretty proud of myself!

I think this quote describes the experience perfectly - 

Everything you need is already inside.