OK, I did it. I completed a 15k. In the rain. Here are a few things I learned along the way:
1 – Don’t do a long distance race. Hahaha…just kidding. Actually, running across the finish line in this race was one of the proudest moments of my life. I had accomplished something, and it was big. All of my training, all of my stressing, all of my whining and excuses had finally come to this moment.
2 – That brings me to my next thought. An event like this requires a LOT of preparation. I knew I wasn’t actually ready for running this distance, but I gave it my best. I ran my first 5k in November. My longest actual run (without walking) was 5 miles on December 1. Since then, I’ve done several distance runs with walking breaks, so I knew this race would be a run/walk. I completed an 8 mile run/walk with just over 15 minute mile pace and I did a 10 mile run/walk with just under a 15 minute pace. The minimum pace for this run was 15 minute miles, so I knew I had to bring it. Luckily, I wasn’t alone so I brought it.
3 – FIND FRIENDS TO RUN WITH! This was important for me. Since I’ve started this little running journey, I’ve been running with my sister. It’s great when we both push each other to keep going, but it’s not so great when we help each other make excuses. Overall, we’ve done a good job keeping each other on track getting ready for this race. Luckily, we had two co-workers who also wanted to run this race. One of them finished an hour before us (but waited for us at the finish line!) and the other stuck with us. It was awesome to have friends there encouraging, cheering me on, and keeping me going.
4 – Most importantly, have fun! Everyone got into running for a reason, and I’m sure fitness was in there somewhere, but if you aren’t having fun, then why are you doing it? This particular race was awesome because it was the Hot Chocolate 15K. That meant awesome fuel during the race and an AMAZING post race snack. This race had the best swag of any races I’ve seen. All of the volunteers and staff were all friendly and happy to be there. It was such a great experience running with my friends and enjoying the day.
I am so glad I did this race, and I can’t wait for the next one. I have a 4 miler coming up in March, but no more long distance races until my half marathon in November. Let the training continue!