I Hate Running But Ran My First 10K

The Decision

Five months ago, I moved to a new city without a job lined up after my temporary contract with my old position ends. The first thing I did was cut down every monthly expense that I could, which included my gym membership. I knew I needed to stay moving.

Hey! I’m living right where The Oatmeal hosts his race, Beat The Blerch! I love The Oatmeal he’s awesome and inspiring!

I also needed a goal..

So I registered for the 10K. I got a friend to commit to running also, though he signed up for the half marathon. I’ve only run 5Ks before. Slowly, but I’ve done it.

I’ve pretty much always said that I hate running. This summer, I’ve learned a little more about myself and that it’s not running that I hate. It’s the exhausting, out of breath, feels-like-dying feeling that running brings. Just thinking about going for a run, my chest tightens up, and I get into my own head.. I can’t do this, it’s going to feel awful, I don’t want to go. I can’t, I can’t, I can’t!

Wrong.

The Training

The two-month journey after my investment in a spot in the race was actually exciting. It wasn’t without minor injuries or getting caught in the rain, of course, but the small achievements, my accountabilibuddy, and the fact that I paid to be there kept me going.

I needed to find what worked for me. I knew that pushing myself too hard would lead to potential injury and failing myself would be mentally painful.

I decided to meet myself in the middle and try run-walk intervals. I read a little about it, and even though it may inhibit a super awesome pace, it’s good for keeping up momentum late in the game. The less feeling like death, the better!

As much as I despise it, I’m not new to running. I started out with 1.5 minutes running followed by 1 minute walking. Repeat. Hey.. This isn’t so bad.. I’m doing it!

Once that was comfortable, I upped the run time but left the walking at a single minute. Then repeated that. 5-second increases were hardly noticeable when I made them, but over time, I found myself wondering if my audio cues were even working! I use Seconds Pro for custom interval timing, and I LOVE it!

Eventually, I settled with a 3:25 run and 1:00 walk. I’m confident I can totally do 3:30 now!

I tracked each of my runs with a series of apps (MotionX GPS and the eventually FitBit app) so I knew what my timing and pace was, give or take a few seconds to start and stop the app each time.

I did a few at the 10K distance, even! I knew I could do it.

I was ready.

Race Day

I was pretty excited. It was finally happening! There were some nerves, but I think those kept my energy up.

It was also raining. Mainly sprinkling, a little rain-rain, but I was definitely pretty soaked by the time I finished.

I checked my apps after I finished and got my medal… And my pace was a good :45/mi under what I had expected.. WHOA!!

My guess is that this is due to to the extra excitement of finally doing that thing I set out and trained for, plus being distracted by all of the other runners, trying to pass others appropriately and making sure not to get in their way, especially when I slowed to the walking interval.

Official Results

Time: 1:10:06
Distance: 10K / 6.2mi

Overall
: 386/947
*All female: 222/666 (667)
*Age division f20-29: 67/176 (177)

*Somehow, I was registered as a male.. The number in parentheses is with me added to the female total. Sorry, ladies after me, you’re now ranked one less!

The Future

Would I do it again?

Yes. Now that I know I can, and it doesn’t feel like horribleness!

Would I run longer distances, like a half-marathon?

I am undecided. I would still like to increase my maximum distance, but at the moment, I don’t really feel like making that commitment. Perhaps if I increased at my own pace instead of with a race date in mind.

Don’t you need to do different things to keep your body from just “getting used” to a routine??

You betcha! I really want to get back into weight training 🙂

Any advice?

START. Start small and go from there. It will suck at first, but I promise it gets better! Give yourself time to improve.. Just do a teeny bit better each time. Don’t forget to rest. Do happy dances 🙂

I need a good brain distraction so I’m always listening to music. I’d like to try audiobooks or podcasts to see if I can pay attention.

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