Some more stats: When I checked the weather first thing after crawling out of bed yesterday, it was 32-degrees outside with howling wind gusts of up to 40 miles per hour!! Yikes! The trees were rattling against the windows and a quick step outside sent me dashing back for additional clothes. Even after the sun came up, it was bitterly cold and miserable outside. I applaud every single person cheering the runners and all the volunteers brave enough to hand out water and pick up trash. I don't know how they did it.
What weather to have on a first official run! It had been nice all week —70s and 80s—and I'd laid out a nice short sleeve shirt and shorts. Ha! I ended up running in sweats and it still wasn't warm enough.
At least I finished the 10K (althought the temptation to chicken out was strong). Now I know what a real running event is like. And no matter what the weather does at the next one, it'll never touch the ice block that was downtown Fort Worth yesterday.
I could be really disappointed, especially since I've completed 6.2 miles in just under an hour several times before. My time yesterday worked out to an average of about 12 minutes per mile, which isn't terrible, but I can do better. The way I see my 1:12:42 time is this: It certainly leaves a lot of room for improvement. It wouldn't be that hard to shave off 10 or 15 minutes next time. And you better believe that I will.
Some women have planned to be married by the age of twenty-five, have bought a house with their significant other by the age of thirty, and have that first baby in the house by the age of thirty-one. Me—I wanted to birth a novel by the age of twenty-eight (and one more every other subsequent year), run a half-marathon by the time I'm thirty, and finish my first full marathon by the time I'm thirty-one. Hmmm.
I haven't figured out the baby thing yet (unless I'm allowed to count books and dogs as children). But I know that I love to run and can only improve from here on out. It's barely been four months since I started running for real. I think I can handle a half-mari before the end of the year. I've just got to get Lesson Number One in mind: Don't. Start. Fast. Because. You're. Excited. PACE YOURSELF.
Mile One: I was really excited and took off running as though I were doing interval training. Before the first mile was up, my throat was completely raw from sucking in the freezing air, I had a terrible stitch, and my whole core felt numb (I never warmed up!).
Mile Two: I had to walk out my stitch for about 30 seconds before starting again at a much slower jog. I focused on my breathing this time and keeping it slow so I wouldn't have a repeat incident.
Mile Three and Four: A slow, steady jog. I'd wasted too much in that first mile. Nerves, I guess, but I'll learn. I got in a grove and was slowly picking up speed.
Mile Five: I love the hills. I'd been so worried about Seventh Street hill that I spent a lot of time working on my hill performance over the past month. This is where I picked up speed and felt strong, relaxed, and good. (My mantra on hills: It's not a hill, it's just another step).
Mile Six: I was tired, my left knee started aching badly, but I knew it was almost done. My favorite part of the run was those last two-tenths of a mile—seeing the finish line. Sarah, Monique, John, and Diana were screaming so loud that I started giggling and laughed my way accross the finish line.