Sunday, October 17, 2010

The Last Mile

I did it. I ran my first 10k. Honestly, I really never thought I'd be able to do it. It just seemed so colossally big and beyond me, but now that I've done it, it seems like nothing.

Okay, not exactly nothing. Here's the thing: I undertrained. I really, really undertrained. I run 2-3 miles for my regular run, and by regular, I mean about twice a week. That's all I did in preparation for this 10k. I wanted to do more. I meant to do more. But I didn't. Instead I just visualized and mentally prepared and told myself I could do a combination walk/run thing after running the first 3 miles.

But then something happened. After mile 3 I thought, maybe just to mile 4. And then at mile 4 I thought, maybe just to mile 5. And what do you know, I can apparently run 5 miles, and not just that, but run 5 miles at a pace I find respectable, coming in at 53:38 for the first 5.

Then came mile 6, that evil, spirit crushing mile. Thanks to my new practice of running with other people which calls for a different kind of cardiovascular demand what with all the chatting I am apt to do, my lungs were doing great. They really were. My legs? Not so much. They. Were. So. Tired. I pushed through. I figured if I made it this far, I shouldn't walk the remainder of the way, but I really, really, really wanted to. So I walked for a second and realized that actually didn't feel any better and I might as well run.

Then up ahead of me, I saw signposts for the finish line and it looked really far away, discouragingly far away. I didn't think I could keep doing it, not with the muscles in my thighs giving out on me the way they were. I pushed and pushed. And then something dumb happened: I couldn't figure out where I was supposed to cross the road for the finish line. I know. I'm dumb. But that's the truth. Did I mention I was tired?

I finally figured it out, but between tiredness, laziness, confusion, and bad decision-making, I really blew that last mile. It took me 15 minutes to finish that stupid mile. I hate that mile. I want to blow that mile up.

And so what should be a victory is instead a disappointment. I ran my first 10k and I did more running than I thought I would be able, but that last mile is a thorn in my side. It's 15 minutes I will keep revisiting over and over again, a painful reminder of a moment of weakness I hope not to repeat.

I am trying to remind myself, girl, you just ran a 10k. That's pretty cool. But I want to be even cooler. Next time, mile 6, you will not best me. You will be mine for the conquering.


Jennifer said...

Molly, you did great! You'll run other 10Ks, and based on your first 5 miles, you will KILL them!

Foxygen said...

I write a lot about running here, especially since it's so foreign to me. I was kind of mad after I finished my half-marathon last month because the last half of it sucked - 6 whole miles of sucking. My legs felt like they were disconnected from my body. It took me about a week and a half to realize "Hey, I finished a half marathon and I can still move." That was pretty awesome.

You did great. You ran out of your comfort zone. 6 miles is a lot different than 3, especially if you're not quite ready. And now you have a goal for your next one :)

Good job!

DL said...

Wahoo! I think I've already congratulated you on those 6 miles, but I figured I'd do it again so that my congratulations can be immortalized on your blog. Ha.l

Way to go, Friend! You've officially ran more than I may have run in my whole life put together!

High fives,