I didn't get much sleep the night before because I was very anxious to just get running. I got up at around 7:30 in the morning and just made sure I had everything ready. I got my breakfast and drank my coffee to wake me up for my run. My sister started the relay at 7am. She got done running a little before 8am and she passed the chip on to my cousin. When my sister got done, my mom and her came to get me at the hotel. She was encouraging me when they got to the hotel because this was also her first 10k.
We went to meet cheer my cousin on as she was finishing her leg of the course. We met up with Amy, the other girl who was running as well because my cousin was passing the chip off to her. We were waiting outside and it was a tad bit chilly. It was cloudy, windy and about 38 degrees.
|Myself, My sister Megan and Amy|
I had about 3 layers of clothes on because it was cold just waiting outside. My eyes were watering from the chilly wind that was blowing and my nose was running. Good thing I brought a ton of kleenex and put it in my pocket.
|Freezing my butt off!|
We finally spotted my cousin and we went to where the next passing of the chip would be. My cousin, Addy ran 6.95 miles in under an hour. That's freaking awesome! Amy was the next runner and she was off. We hopped back in the car and went to my drop off area so I could start mentally preparing myself for the run.
|Family pic. My sis, cousin and myself.|
We got to my drop off area and we were waiting in the car, trying to keep warm. An hour pasted and we spotted Amy coming to the end of her leg. I was starting to get butterflies in my stomach. I was actually going to run 6.8 miles! I started jumping around like crazy and was getting my ipod set onto 10K mode. Amy got to me and I whipped off the anklet that the chip was on, strapped it on my leg and was off.
|Here we go!|
I starting running and for the first mile kept up with this lady. She was going at a pace that was a little faster for me but I kept up. I think my first mile was about 8 something and I just told myself to keep running no matter what. The first 3 miles wasn't too bad. They had water stations about every 2 miles and they offered water or gatorade. I was nervous to take the gatorade at first because I thought it would give me side cramps. I decided to try it and it really gave me a boost until the next water station.
At mile 4 I was feeling pretty good but all of a sudden my left quad started feeling tight. I thought to myself please don't cramp up quad. Just work with me. It would feel tight on and off but for the rest of the race I new I couldn't go to fast without doing something to it. I stayed at the pace I was at and it felt good. I started to get a runner's high, my feet just keep moving and my legs felt good.
|Into mile 4|
My sister, mom and cousin stopped at a corner to cheer me on and to take a pic. It was nice to get cheered on. That's one thing I noticed about this 10k. So many people cheer you on. Runner's passing you cheer you on, neighbors outside are clapping for you and telling you that you can do it. People at the water stations are wishing you good luck. It's a good feeling especially when you feel like you can go anymore, someone says to you to keep going and that pushes you onto the next mile.
The last 3 miles were around the neighborhood of the UW-La Crosse, WI campus. It was nice to look at the houses and scenery while jamming out to my awesome playlist I made. I hit the 6 mile marker and was so happy. My baby toe on my right foot was starting to hurt. I actually though it might be bleeding but I kept on running. As I got closure to the finish line, the rest of the team came out to meet me and run into the finish line together. I thought I didn't have anything left but I ended up sprinting through the finish.
Running through that finish line, I felt a sense of accomplishment. Just two years ago if you were to ask me if I would every run for fun or do a 5k or a 10k, I would have laughed in your face and said no. I am learning that it is ok to push yourself when you think your body can't do it. I am believing more and more in myself and my ability to run. Not only did I run 6.2 miles, I ran farther. My unofficial time was about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Our total team time was under 4 hours. That was great for our team.
My legs felt like jello and I ripped my shoe off to see if my baby toe was gone. Luckily for me it was still there with a major blister on it. I chugged a bottle of water and went to get some food. They had so much food their because it was donated by a local food store. Everything I ate tasted sooo good!
|Team Body by Nitka... Notice I am holding a brat.|
Overall, this race proved to me that I can run farther than 3.1 miles. I can run almost 7 miles and who knows how far I may go next... 13.1? I believe I am going to run another 10k in the summer at a little shindig called Summerfest in Milwaukee, WI. Google it and maybe I'll run it with you ;) It was great to run this race with friends and family also. You don't always have to run by yourself. Find someone to do a race with and have fun while doing it. If you don't think you can run, trust me you can. I hated running and now I'm running more in my life than I ever have.