Tag Archive | 10K

Running away

As you might recall, I started running a few months ago. I started April 5th to be exact.

My original running stats

I was encouraged to run races. I was told that it was good way to train. Races would give me goals. I started with a 5K and then I ran the Xterra 10K trail run for my birthday. It’s sort of snowballed from there. At the writing of this post, I’ve completed 10 races.

TriSpan 10K - Wilmington, NC - photos by Darius Daniel - 7/10/10

Military Challenge 5K - Virginia Beach, VA - 07/31/10

ASYMCA Mud Run 8/7/10

Surfer's Healing 5K - 8/21/10

2010 San Diego Fire Run - 8/29/10

Rock N Roll Virginia Beach Half Marathon - 9/5/10

Rock N Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon - 9/19/10 - photo by Darius Daniel

Neptune Festival 8K - 9/25/10

The question has come up why do I do it? Or why do I do some many races?

There are several reasons.

  • I’m a running-addicted, crack whore. Seriously. I am addicted to the Runner’s high. I am among a fortunate group of people who gets a high WHILE running. There’s even an article about how some people are addicted to exercise. A few miles into a run, I’m euphoric. It’s the best. The downside is that when I don’t run for a while I get a little down. Withdrawals. I guess that’s why it’s an addiction.
  • I got tired of being overweight. For years, I was between 25-30 lbs heavier. It started with a thyroid condition. I picked up bad eating habits. I dined out frequently. I was married to a Catering Chef. Need I say more? It got to a point where little things would tire me. When I was loading boxes during my move, I was completely wiped out. I’m only in my mid-30s! I knew I was in trouble if I didn’t do something. So I started running. The weight loss started off slow, but then took off like a freight train. The best part is that I feel great. My energy levels are up.

Before & After

  • I enjoy the sense of accomplishment. I’m goal-oriented. I start a race and there’s a finish. Simple as that. Either I’m pushing my endurance or speed. After the year that I’ve had with moving and the divorce, I feel as though I’ve had quite a few setbacks. Running and completing races gives my self-confidence a much-needed boost.
  • I love the camaraderie. The running community is very supportive. From elite runners to newbies, people are always quick to offer support and advice.I’ve made a lot of new friends through running. A bonus is that the post-race atmosphere is festive. Then again, I think they may have to do with the free beer that’s available after most races.

ASYMCA Mud Run - Andy, Me, Darius & Leigh

Military Challenge 5K - Darius, Me, and Jess

Surfer's Healing 5K - Patty, Sarah & Kim

Surfer's Healing 5K - Cathee, Me, & Jodi

Now that I’ve gone over why I run, let me get something off of my chest.

Although I’m dating another runner, he’s NOT a reason why I run.

I mention this because when people find out I’m involved with another runner they jump to stupid conclusions. They act as though my accomplishments are suddenly less impressive. Why?! It’s not as though he runs for me. We barely run together. He’s an elite runner who’s been running for 8+ years. I’m a newbie. We participate in the same events, but certainly don’t finish together. If anything, he spends A LOT of time waiting for me.

Darius and I at Xterra 10K

I’m offended by the inference. It suggests that I do things because I’m motivated by men or I do things to impress men. Uh.. That’s a big NO. Rob is a road cyclist. I tried road cycling, but I hated it and didn’t continue. My point? I do things because I want to do them, not because of the people I’m involved with. Running is definitely a sport that takes serious time and commitment. There is no way I would do it for anyone other than myself.

Me & Darius at Rock N Roll Virginia Beach Half Marathon

Is he the reason for all the races? Possibly.  When I first met him, Darius did 3 Half Marathons within a week span. Then he went on a few of out-of-town trips for races. He made it sound like the best time. I was intrigued. Then I did a few races of my own and I was hooked. Now, we have a fairly busy race schedule. One of my goals is to shorten his wait time for me at the finish line.

There you go… Now you know why I run. Any more questions?

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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 🙂