This past week has been a doozy for me. But I think that I got out of my unhealthy mindset and turned my healthy mindfulness back on. I'll write more about that later, though.
What I wanted to report back was that this weekend I ran my very first 7K.
To be honest, I didn't want to. I thought of eleventy hundred reasons I didn't want to...eleventy hundred reasons of why I shouldn't have to.
To start, I've never run a 7K. Ever. Not even on my own (i.e. not during a race). In fact, I've never even run 4 miles in a row, so running 4 and a half? What was I thinking?
Also, last week (you know, the week where I ate like complete crap) resulted in a gain of 5 pounds. FIVE POUNDS! And I only ran once - and that was on Friday at around 2.8 miles. Not exactly the best lead up to my first 7K. That was a good reason to quit.
When I checked the weather report the night before, it indicated that it would be in the 20s for the race and would be snowing in the middle of it. Are you kidding me? No WAY am I going!
I set my alarm for the next morning anyway. I took the dog for a walk to do her business. And I decided to "nut up." I got on my gear, took a quick picture of myself in the elevator on the way down to the street, and took a bus to the race start line.
Only aparently, 50 thousand other people had the same idea. I'm not kidding you. They announced that we had over the capacity of Coors Field already registered for the race. And I was one of about two thousand that hadn't yet received my number and timing chip - so I had to wait in a crazy long line. In fact, the line was so long (and poorly managed), that I didn't even get to start the race on time. I didn't even get to run with all of the walkers that started their race 15 minutes after mine started.
Surely that was reason enough to quit, right? I didn't get to have the high of starting in a group of people. I didn't get the adrenaline bump that you get when you start races. AND I knew that my boyfriend was at home, warm, in bed, and would love to snuggle with me. I already had the t-shirt. No one would know.
But no. I was here. Who cares if I don't get my official time? I mean, it's not like I was going to PR (personal record) the thing, right? So I ran it anyway.
I ran through literally thousands of people that were walking - people that were walking with their dogs, pushing their kids in strollers, or in general being zig-zaggedy about how they were walking. I added a lot of mileage just running around people.
I ran up some major hills with some really tough gradation (see this post to read about my first biking experience on one of those hills). Of course, this meant that I got to run down the same hills (which sounds like more fun than it actually is).
In the middle of it, my left foot had a horrible pain in my arch - almost like it was cramping up. I tried to run through the pain, but it eventually hurt so bad that I went to the side of the road, untied my shoe, and massaged it - hoping to ease it's pain. After about 45 seconds of that, I tied up the shoe and continued running. And I didn't stop my iPod at all (I run with Nike+ software -which allows you to pause your workout at times like these when you're...well...pausing. That means that you could technically cut out the non-running time to get a more accurate pace and time).
So I ran...mostly. I walked, two times - when the hills were so tough and my arch was cramping so badly that I needed to take it easy - but each time, it was for about 15-30 seconds.
See the even pace and then the decline at the end? I actually ran a lot faster (covered more distance) at the end. Because Nike+ actually measures the distance by number of steps (which you can calibrate) it thinks that my longer stride (and therefore more time between steps) is me running slower. Basically, it just means that I probably need to calibrate it again. The distance was longer than a typical 7K because I actually started the time when I started running, which was (stupidly) well before the start line of the race.
And at the end? It was snowing. My fingers were freezing and I couldn't wait to get home, get a hug, and hop in a hot shower. So it wasn't a "running of the green" as much as it was a "running in the white." :)I'm proud that I finished. I'm proud that I completed something that I wanted to do. I'm proud that despite a bunch of reasons to quit, I didn't.
I accomplished a goal yesterday. And it feels great.