I Ran My First 10k

I've done a lot of running throughout my life. I ran four years of high school track, ran very long distances post high school, sometimes averaging 13 miles per day, but somehow in the mix, I never really ran an official 10k. Last summer when I was training for a half marathon that I wound up never running, I ran a virtual 10k, but that one never felt official to me since it lacked the formality of other runners, timing equipment, etc... 

Last Saturday I woke up bright and early to compete in my first "official" 10k and I really am pretty proud of the effort I produced on the course. I actually signed up for this race only a week before. I'm currently training for a half marathon that I'm going to be running in October and last Saturday I was supposed to run 6 miles as part of my training. I realized that if I was going to be running 6 miles I might as well find a race and get a medal for it. Luckily there was a race happening in the next town over, so I registered, and then woke up bright and early to make it to the race on time.

My nerves were going crazy before the start of the race. Like most races that I run, I tried to do a warm up run and started crying again, so I just tried to relax and stretch before the race started in a few more minutes. When the race actually started it felt like there were literally hundreds of people passing me. I thought many times, "there is no way I'm actually going that slow...". The hardest part was that they were running a 5k race and a 10k race simultaneously. There was no way of knowing whether or not the people passing me were running the same 10k race as me, or if they were going faster simply because they had half the distance to cover. 

The race was held on a 3.1 mile loop, so the people running the 5k ran one loop, and the people doing the 10k ran two loops. When I finished the first loop I looked over at the clock and saw that it was 33:06, meaning I was running eleven minute miles. I was going pretty slow, but steady. I find it hard at races to see people who get faster times than me when they walk/run the distance on and off, and then I'm just cruising at the same speed, never walking but get a slower time. 

For the second loop I really picked up the pace. There was a significantly smaller amount of people out on the course for the second loop so there would be 50-100 yards before I caught up to the next person to pass. As soon as I would pass one person, I would put my eyes onto the next person, and slowly pass them, and did this for the entire second loop. I sped up quite a bit, averaging 10 minute miles for the second lap. I sprinted the last quarter mile and finished the race in 1:05:44, a 10:36 pace! I'm really happy about that time, especially since my long training runs have been much slower, and I'm looking forward to my first 15k in just a few more weeks! 

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