Saturday was the Mogathon! After six weeks of training I felt good and ready to run my 6k portion of it. However, on Friday evening I talked to my sister and she had been unable to get in touch with our 4th team member. We started to panic a bit because I certainly had not trained to run 12k and my sister had barely trained to run at all (though she is in really good physical shape). By Friday night I decided that I would do the first two legs. I figured that I was ready for 6k and the second leg, if I had to walk a good portion of it, well then so be it.
We headed down to the race site at 7:30am on Saturday, after having a really poor sleep. I think I was just having problems turning my brain off. I was hoping that running/walking 12k on about 5 hours of sleep would be manageable. At about 7:50am all the people participating in the 30k run (both independently or as part of the team relay) lined up at the starting line. Somehow I ended up near the front, so before the race started I wiggled my way to the back, knowing that I run at a snail's pace. I had read over and over again and was reminded again by Stacey not to get caught up in the excitement because everyone will take off running fast at the start and you don't want to burn out too soon. I took my time and I think I was nearly last for at least 3 or 4 kilometers. Then the other people who didn't pace themselves as well started slowing down and I actually passed three people. It was a nice feeling to pass people.
I think I ran most of the first 6k but did take two one minute walks to allow my heart rate to come back down a little. The weather was beautiful on Saturday but by the time I was nearing the end of my 12k I was pretty hot!! I did a lot more walking in the second leg of the race. I would run as long as I could then I would walk. At first I tried to keep the walks to one or two minutes, but I think after a while I was walking more like 3 or 4 minutes then maybe jogging for another five minutes or so.
I have to say on the second leg of the race I don't think I saw a single other runner until I got to the 9 or 10k mark and started seeing the runners who had made the loop and started coming back toward me. It was kind of lonely at times out on the path, and since I didn't have my MP3 player with me I had a lot of time to think about how long I would have to lay wounded on the path if I hurt myself before someone would come looking for me. Haha! I continued my snail's pace and made it to the trade off point in one hour and twenty two minutes. I had looked at my watch when I got to the 6k mark and did that in about 40 minutes. So, with all the walking I did in the second half, I managed to keep a similar pace as I did in the first half.
When I reached the trade off point and saw my husband, my sister, brother-in-law, nephews, and the Upson family I got a little emotional. I think I felt proud of myself for completing 12k. Six weeks ago I had NEVER ran any significant distance in my life. I still feel sort of modest about this accomplishment. I realize that it is a pretty significant distance, but I really do feel like if I can do it, anyone can. I have learned over and over again since the start of this year you never know what you are capable of until you try. Pushing yourself is such a mind game.
I decided to sign up for another 10k run in the middle of August. I figure if I don't have a reason to keep running that I might not keep up with it, and for now I would like to. I am already feeling excited for it and I hope by then to be able to run further with less walking breaks. I do my best to not compare myself with others. I heard someone say on the Couch to 5k page on Facebook that when you start out running 5k or 10k races that "you are not in it to compete, but to complete". It's sort of cheesy but so true.
Here are a few of the pictures that Jason captured on Saturday:
This first one is just after the race started. Everyone taking off from the starting line. I don't think I am visible in this one.
Here I am just past the starting line once all the fast runners got out of my way. Feeling fresh and ready to tackle 12k!
Here I am approaching the 12k trade off point with my sister. Not feeling so fresh. Feeling hot and emotional and tired, so tired.
We wore an ankle bracelet with a timing chip on it that we traded off at the trade off points so we could have an official team time at the end of the race. (Note: Robin and I did not plan to wear matching clothes....haha)
After Robin and I finished our legs of the relay we headed down to River Landing to the finish line to wait for Stacey. We all ran across the finish line together (well sort of.....Stacey runs a lot faster than I can, haha). Pretty cool!
I will leave you with a quote that I find particularly thought provoking, "Whether you think you can or you can't, you're right." - Henry Ford