I decided to take a slightly different route than what I was used to. I didn’t want to fall into any ruts or routines because then I’d just want to run home and call it a day.
I felt strong. Weirdly strong, in fact. As I look back, I think it was primarily due to knowing I couldn’t dial it in and quit after 3K. I needed to push myself and the pre-determined route certainly helped.
As I entered into my fourth kilometer, I realized that I was on a really good pace. So good, in fact, that as long as I didn’t stop I could beat my official 5K race time of 39:52. As I continued to run, I didn’t try to sprint but rather keep up a solid pace. Then I heard the voice from my MapMyRun app give me the following information:
Time: 38 minutes, 4 seconds. Distance: 5 kilometers. Average Pace: 7 minutes, 35 seconds. Split Pace: 7 minutes, 26 seconds.
My face beamed as I smiled a mile wide. Not only had I run a 5K on my own, but I had beaten my race time by almost a full TWO MINUTES!!
I couldn’t believe it. My body was responding very positively to what I was asking it to do. I was halfway through the route and I was ready for the second half to begin.
I walked a bit longer than I probably should have and fell off the pace a bit during the sixth kilometer (8:41). But then I just kept on running until the seventh kilometer was done and I was back on a sub-8-minute time.
Then I saw her: my wife! She was coming towards me as I was walking through an intersection. I told her that I was 7.5 kilometers into my 10K and was on the home stretch. She asked if she could run the rest of the way with me.
Now this is something we’ve never done before, primarily because she runs a lot faster than I do and it’s a bit intimidating. She said that she’d go my pace and just wanted to be there at the end, so that was all the motivation I needed to complete my task.
I finished my eighth kilometer in under eight minutes. I finished my ninth kilometer in under eight minutes.
I was actually going to do this!!
We were less than a block from the house when I heard the final numbers in my headphones:
Time: 1 hour, 18 minutes, 35 seconds. Distance: 10 kilometers. Average Pace: 7 minutes, 47 seconds. Split Pace: 7 minutes, 57 seconds.
I tried to keep running but I just couldn’t. I walked to the front door and took a screen capture of my stats:
I pumped my arms in the air as Sunshine smiled next to me. I couldn’t believe I had actually finished it. Not only that, but I finished it in a really good time (for me, anyway). I felt like Rocky once he climbed the steps and felt as though he was on top of the world.
I stretched a bit and came inside the house. I was more in bewilderment than exhaustion, though that was certainly settling in at this point. I took a look at the details from the run and couldn’t believe it. I mean, I thought for sure I’d be looking at an 8+ minute time for an average. But no…I was running at about an average of 7.5km/hour, which is insane to me.
I texted Random and relayed my excitement. We shared joy in my accomplishment before I sat back on the couch and stared off into space. Even as I write this post, it’s still difficult for me to fully comprehend the accomplishment this is. I’m 42, overweight, and only began to run back in March/April. Yet here I just finished a 10K in a time that would qualify me for a Disney Run event (lol).
My music helped me along the way, for sure. There were times when I felt “off” or felt tired, but then a song would come on with a perfect beat for running and it would carry me through another four minutes. Music can really help a runner…
Jeez…I just called myself a runner. I suppose I can’t deny that about myself anymore. I ran a frickin’ 10K!! I’m officially a RUNNER now.