Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Breaking an hour aka huge PR aka greatest feeling ever

Let me start  24 hours later and still I'm

Yesterday, I ran the RITNY 10k, which was the third race in my 10k series of six.  The Run into the New Year as it is known, turned out to be the strangest race I’ve ever run.

A few months ago when I ran my first 10k of 2013, I told the fiancé that my goal for 2013 was to break an hour in a 10k.  With my last 10k time in November being a 1:05, I figured there was no way I could do that before the end of the year.  With the race on Tuesday, on Sunday I decided to be prepared and go pick up my race packet early.  Much to my surprise, the ‘swag bag’ also had a bottle of champagne to celebrate the new year, and an amazon gift card for $10 off the Runner’s World Cookbook.  Plus the obvious t-shirt and race bib.  Really, it’s the little things :)

I knew that yesterday would be rough because I had to wake up at 5:00 a.m. to work for a few hours before my race – in hindsight, I should have taken the morning off.  When I woke up, the temperature registered 4 degrees with a -20 windchill.  Welcome to Wisconsin.  While I was at work, I consistently checked the temperature to see if it was going up – the race started at 12 specifically for this frigid reason.  No dice – I left work and it was a whopping 8 degrees.  Color me excited.  When I signed up for the series – I said I would run each of the six races, no matter what.  The fiancé and I drove to the race site with me wearing two pairs of running tights, compression sleeves and two running jackets with gloves and my favorite running headband.

Once we parked and walked to the race building, I realized I was in trouble.  It was so icy on the course that I had to hold onto the fiancé the whole time to keep from falling.  Still, with my teeth chattering, I told myself I was going to run the race. 

We started shortly after noon, and less than 100 feet in, I fell flat on my kiester.  Quickly, I got back up and started running again.  I was very cold.  A half mile into the race, the course went up a little hill that was glare ice – try running uphill on glare ice when it’s 5 degrees out.  Because the original course was so icy, they changed the course and had us run 5 laps around this 1.2 mile loop…so we got to run that hill five times.  How fun.  My first mile marked me at an 8:05 mile – that’s way too fast for me, but I was so cold, I couldn’t stop.  My second mile was 8:07 and at the third lap, I was exhausted from the ice and dodging and cold.  One of my coworkers had run the 5k earlier and I saw him when I started my 3rd lap and he ran with me for about a half mile, showing me the best course to stay away from the ice.  I was so tired – I really was just done – that ice was a killer – it makes you run funny. 

Throughout the race, I was so focused on trying to stay upright that I wasn’t really paying attention much else.  On my fifth lap I looked at the distance on my GPS watch and realized that I only had about ¾ of a mile to the finish…and was only at about 51 minutes.  When I saw the sign in the home stretch that said mile 6, I just gave it everything I had.  I was cold, I was tired and in pain.  In that last .2 miles, I had to ask myself how bad I really wanted to break that 1 hour.  I never saw it happening that day but I wanted it so bad.  I crossed the finish at 58:08.  

Immediately, tears came to my eyes because I had worked so hard for that goal.  I wanted it so bad.  That’s one thing I’ve learned in my running – if you want to accomplish a goal, it’s not all about the training.  You have to really want it.  I really wanted it.  It was worth the pain, the ice, the cold and the falling.  I had a huge PR, broke an hour in a 10k and managed to do it without freezing or breaking anything.  

HAPPY New Year :)

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