We’re excited to have our friend Tiffany guest blogging today. Tiffany has been running for a little over a year and ran her first 10k race with us on January 1st. Here’s her story:
It’s minus 10ºC. The only thing between me and the air is a few layers of technologically-advanced fabrics. Any moment now, the guy at the front is going to tell us it’s time. As I stand in anticipation, I set my watch. My fingers tremble as it locates the satellites. Oooh, we’re almost there! There’s only one thing left to do now….RUN!!
This year my husband Tyler, a more seasoned runner, is doing the 10 km resolution run with me, a one year amateur. I must say, our start was great, calmly making our way to the front half of the small herd of runners, commenting on the change of course from last years’ run. Almost immediately I complain how ‘they’ have us going uphill right out of the gate. What are they trying to do? Kill me right away? I press on. My goal us to run 10 minutes and walk 1 minute and maintain a 6:05/km pace and I figure with Tyler there, no problem.
First lap, 2.5 km, piece of cake!
Second, KILL ME NOW! Why was this sooo difficult? I looked at my watch and we had only gone 3 km! How am I pooped out so soon? Was it the cold? Nope. Already a sweaty beast. Was I not hydrated enough? No. I dug a piece of gum out of my pocket. Somehow it helped. Maybe I’m just nuts?
I whine to Tyler that ‘ how am I ever going to run a half marathon if I can’t do a 10 k fun-run without feeling defeated 3 k into it?”
“That’s normal”, he says.
“It gets better”, he says.
I roll my eyes and chew my gum faster.
We turn the corner where a friendly volunteer cheers us on. I’m wearing a bright orangy-pink sweater while Tyler wears bright green. The volunteers thus names us ‘team neon’. Cheesy, but oddly motivating at the same time. We just go with it and make it work for us.
Third lap starts off with a new sense of determination. I felt renewed like somehow passing the halfway point made everything better. I can do it. I can do anything. I am woman! I felt strong and relaxed. Not like that thing that was whining the lap before. We turn down a side street and I hear a little girl yelling at all the runners, ” Why are you running?” I yell out, ” Because we can!” Like an excited idiot, my voice cracking like I’m about to cry from absolute pride, when in reality, I was choking on my own saliva.
Woohoo! Last lap!! Tyler at this point tells me he’s impressed with how my running has improved. I’m not so bouncy. I have breath control and I have learned to pace myself. He also tells me I need to stop talking from now on so I don’t tire out. Is he really just thinking of me and my goals? Or is this just a good way to shut me up?
I had hoped to come in under the one hour mark, shaving 6 minutes off my personal best. With 1.3 k left I thought there was no way. I told Tyler I couldn’t do it so his advice was to no longer look at my watch. We marched up the final hill, taking off into a sprint, looking like two gazelles swiftly moving across the Serengeti. Not really. But I felt great, excited and happy with my efforts. The best part was running with Tyler for my first 10 km race. My final time was 59:55.
Will I do the Resolution Run again? Absolutely! Considering last year at the same race, it was my first 5 km run ever, I feel I have improved dramatically. I love that my husband and I enjoy doing it together. My next goal is the Mississauga Half Marathon in May. I was asked by a non-runner friend, “Isn’t it non-motivational to not be timed or potentially get a medal?” For the majority racing and running isn’t about winning or placing. It’s about setting a personal goal or challenge and meeting it or completely slamming it! It’s the knowing that YOU CAN run that far or that fast. It’s very personal and it’s different for everyone. I look forward to next year’s Resolution Run and everything in between!