I did it! I ran my 10k run in fewer than 75 minutes! (I’ll pause for applause)
My total time for the 6.2 miles was 73 minutes. 73 sweaty, grueling minutes, but 73 minutes just the same. After a good night’s sleep, I awoke Saturday morning to beautiful sunny skies and temperatures already climbing into the 40’s. I made myself a light breakfast and after eating it and letting it settle (nothing ruins a run like having to poop in the middle of it), I donned my running gear and hit the road.
Everything was aligned for me to have a fantastic run; the weather was warm and clear, I’d gotten plenty of rest and had taken it easy at the gym the previous day, I had a good route planned out, and I’d swapped out my tired old running soundtrack for something fresh, but for whatever reason I wasn’t feeling it on Saturday and what could have been a pleasant jaunt in the Bavarian countryside ended up feeling an awful lot like work.
I intended to run the route that Don and I had gone 6 miles on a few weekends ago so that the biggest hill would come right at the beginning of my run (I once did part of this route in reverse and when I finally made it up the hill, I had to sit down because my lungs were threatening to mutiny) and it would be easy to add the extra .2 mile. All was well until about 3.5 miles into my run when my legs started to feel like cement and the sun, which had felt like a blessing at the start, began to feel like an adversary trying to slow my progress by melting me. In this situation, I think there is an easy solution for most people: stop and take off a layer! The solution wasn’t so simple for me, though. Yes, it would be easy to remove my fleece pullover and tie it around my waist for the rest of my run (which I eventually did), but because it is a pullover and because I had both my iPod and my heart rate monitor strapped on over it, I had to come to a complete stop for a minute or so to reconfigure everything. It’s not the stopping that is the problem- it’s the starting up again!
With my legs already feeling like cement, they strongly protested to being made to run again after given the blissful freedom of standing still, but they eventually resigned themselves to their fate. The second half of my run was slower than the first, and just when I thought the end was in sight and I only needed to run up a short side street to tack on the last .2 of my 6.2 miles, I hazarded a glance at my FitBit and realized that I actually still had .75 of my 6.2 miles to go. I had forgotten about a turn that Don and I had made that brought our run to an even 6 miles, and this left me with the crushing disappointment of thinking I was about to finish and realizing I still had almost a mile to go.
I’ll admit that it was possibly the slowest 3/4 of a mile that I have run in recent history, and I’ll admit that I was pretty angry with myself for forgetting that last crucial turn, but there was little I could do but keep on chugging along. Because of this error, I ended my run going uphill which added insult to injury but as luck would have it there was a park bench conveniently placed just beyond where my run officially ended. After confirming that my 6.2 miles were 100%-really-truly-all-kidding-aside FINISHED I collapsed onto the bench to celebrate (there were many celebrations: the bench celebration, the celebratory glass of water, the celebratory shower, and later the celebratory liter of beer followed by the celebratory Paul Simon & Sting concert- all of this for only 10k run alone. Can you imagine how I’d celebrate if I ran a marathon?).
It seems fitting that the concert Don had bought me tickets to for my birthday fell on the same day I crushed my running goal, and it was a really great way to celebrate. Now I’ve accomplished my goal and it is time to think of a new one. While I’m disappointed that I spent half of my run hating myself and thinking about how, if I really truly wanted to, I could go the rest of my life without running another step, there are a few things that I’m really glad about. The most obvious of these is that I’m glad I was able to actually run the 10k in under 75 minutes, but I’m also glad that I was more than 3 miles into my run before it really started to feel like work- that would not have been true a year ago. I’m glad that, despite having to wait at a few crosswalks and making a time-consuming wardrobe change mid-run, I was still able to make my time goal, and what I’m most glad about is that it is over!