My First 10K

Lucky Numbers - iPhone pic

I wanted to do something BIG this year for my birthday. Because I’ve fallen in love with running, I wanted to do a race on my birthday. I had already done a 5K and wanted to challenge myself. 10K races seemed like the next step. I googled 10K races in my area. The first one that came up in my search was the Xterra Fugitive 10K in Richmond. I signed up with minimal hesitation.

Once I told my runner friends what I had done, they were all a bit stunned. Some even admitted that they wouldn’t do an Xterra race. Even my really supportive friends looked at me like I was crazy when I said that I was going to do the Xterra 10K Trail Run. {gulp} What had I done?

In the 2 weeks leading up to the race, I becoming increasingly more anxious. I forced myself to run in terrible conditions – hot, humid, and/or rolling hills.

The day before the race. I was jittery ball of nerves. I got my race clothes together and headed out-of-town.

I was up at 5:15AM. By 5:45, I was on my way to the race. The nerves and anxiety were getting the best of me. I have no idea why. It wasn’t as though I was trying to finish within a specific time. My goal for this race was simply to finish. Yet because I’m such a high-strung individual, I was worked up in a frenzy… in my head.

Runners warming up

Brian and Darius warming up

I picked up my race packet and pinned my bib number on. The temperature wasn’t too bad. It was approximately 74º with 80% humidity. {I love how I now think 80% humidity is ok. Hello, VA} The starting gun was fired and we were off.

If you look really carefully, you can find me - Xterra Fugitive 10K start - photo courtesy of Xterra

I was off to a really slow start. Just my luck, none of my tracking gadgets would work. The Nike+ on my iPod nano wouldn’t work and the Runkeeper app on my iPhone wouldn’t start. What the eff?! I was pissed, but what could I do? The course started out on pavement and along streets. It wasn’t until about 1 mile into the race that I got my Nike+ to work. Unfortunately, my sensor still seemed to be reading incorrectly. My sense of pace and distance was completely thrown off. It was a great course. I loved the variety of surfaces. It reminded me of the run/walks I used to do with Dottie in the Arroyo Seco.

iPhone pic by Darius Daniel

iPhone by Darius Daniel

As much as I enjoyed it, there were moments were the race felt endless. I had no sense of distance or location which was disorienting. It didn’t help that I was in the VERY back of the pack and could only see 3 other runners. All I could do is keep following the signs marked along the trail. It wasn’t until the last water stop that I discovered I only had 1.5 miles left. I was so relieved when I heard that. Of course, I hit a tough portion of the course – dry river bed. Being short, made scrambling across some of the rocks a touch more difficult for me. {read: agonizing}

iPhone by Darius Daniel

When I got to the final 0.5 mile straightaway, I pushed myself as much as I could. It felt like the longest 0.5 mile of my life. Once I saw the finish line,  I couldn’t believe I had done. Although, I was a bit crestfallen when I saw the clock reading 1 hour 24 minutes. Even though I had only plan to finish, I secretly hoped I complete the course with a slightly better time than that. What can I say? I’m hard on myself like that. The disappointment was short-lived because the euphoric runner’s high and excitement took over.

Finish Line

Sweaty and hot, but ecstatic - photo by Darius Daniel

I was sweaty and out-of-breath, but ecstatic that I finished a 10K Trail Run. A year ago I could barely run a mile without wanting to collapse. The thought of doing a 10K trail run would never have crossed my mind. This year, I couldn’t think of a better way to start off my birthday festivities. {More on the rest of those festivities later}

Thanks to everyone for being so supportive. Again, the well wishes made all the difference. With everyone behind me, failure was never an option 🙂


4 thoughts on “My First 10K

  1. Greetings from Brisbane, Australia. I’ve only been blogging for about 6 months now. I find it quite theraputic to put my thoughts into words on a screen. And the new blogging platforms, both free and paid, make it very easy. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Pingback: Running away « The Adventures of Anne K.

  3. Late to read this, but wow, awesome work! I decided it’s about time I get back into running, though we’ll see if I’m able because of long-time knee injuries. I’m going to start that Couch-to-5K program, did you do it and what other tips do you have for me to get back on the horse?

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