Saturday, 25 June 2011

First Race - Check!

It's done, it's over. I'm still alive.


Today I ran my furthest run ever. The Race for Life 10k.



I've posted about why I started running back in February (click to read) & I have been nervous about this race possibly since I signed up (and then even more so when someone mentioned the "huge hill" I had no idea about!) So when today came around, I definitely had a fair few butterflies kicking about.



I guess a lot of the nerves come down to the fact that it was my first ever race. Something tells me I should have started with something such as, oh a 5k, but I like a good challenge.




[caption id="attachment_495" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Looking special."][/caption]

10am came around quickly, I had been there since 9am, pinning on signs, being excited / nervous and generally wondering where on Earth this route was going to take me.


A good thing that calmed my nerves was that it is "Race For Life," it's family friendly & women of all abilities showed up. It made me feel more relaxed but in between that and a "funky feet" warm up I don't think my head was completely where it should have been by the time I was at the "Start" point.




[caption id="attachment_497" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption=""Warm up" or, make yourself look like an idiot."][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_496" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="My "WTF is Funky Feet?" face."][/caption]

I got the choice of "Runners," "Joggers," and "Walkers." ... I can't be on Team Bangs on the Run  and not opt for the Runners column, so off I went after a split decision to join them.




[caption id="attachment_499" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Starting point."][/caption]

Amazingly Vicky, an old friend of my Dads & mine, found me at the start, it wasn't long before we lost each other (she was fast!) but it was so nice to see a friendly face there who was doing the same thing.

Then I was on my own. 

The very first part of the course was up-hill. That, did not fill me with confidence, but I kept going. I stuck to my run four minutes, walk quickly one for the first part but it didn't take long for me to realise just how difficult this was about to be. Training inside and running outside are two completely different things.

1k - 2k I ran up the hill, full of adrenaline and spurred on by all the other female runners, I tried to keep up, but I knew I needed to be true to myself and stick to what I'd practised. It was between these two km's that I realised, "Wait a minute, why are these km's so far apart?" I felt like I'd been running forever but the distance between the sign posts wasn't getting any shorter.

3k - 4k I was pacing with a girl by this point, we were just about running at the same pace and I settled into a nice routine. Still, I was panicking that the km's were seriously further apart than I thought. I was about 30 minutes in and beginning to struggle, but by 4k I  had my boyfriend cheering me on, the first friendly face so far, that definitely kept me going.

5k - 6k I had grabbed a drink at the 3 mile point and my confidence in finishing the race any time soon was out of the window. I think I even gave the water-girl a look of "why the hell am I doing this?". I felt like I should have finished, but no. I was slipping further back and probably being over-taken by people who started in the jogger group - but then finally, a down hill part! I was so pleased, I ran down the entire thing, not paying attention to my run four, walk one system.

7k - 8k Where was 7k? Up the biggest hill I'd ever seen. I had just run down to be forced back up again. I remember giving out a massive sigh & "ffs" whilst talking to myself. I'd just ran through mud, been over taken by a small child and didn't feel like I could take much more. I checked my Nike+ sportsband,"5.7 miles" it said, lies, I was nowhere near finished. 8k also saw the presence of my inhailer that I'd been carrying in my butt pocket. Defeat & tears that were wanting to come out resulted in some difficult breathing.

9k - THANK THE LORD! My hair had fallen out of place, I was splattered with mud, my legs were cramping, I couldn't breathe, I was pretty much a big, hot mess, but seeing that sign and "Time" by Chase & Status blasting out of my iPod  spurred me on completely to give the last km all I had. The route meant you came out round a corner, the first person I saw was Vicky, she had finished, I kept running, people were clapping, the DJ was talking crap, I kept running...

10k - Could This Be Real? - Sub Focus starts up, I am actually questioning whether this whole thing is real and I've actually nearly finished. I see my boyfriend, try to smile for the camera, clearly got distracted something, shiny? I dont know. I see my dad, my grandma, my uncle, my cousin & a curly haired little dog. By then, I'd done it, I had passed the finish line! My dad shouts "keep running!" - no thanks, I'd passed, I couldn't wait to stop. 1hr 15 minutes of running, jogging, walking, struggling. I was done.


I went on to the end and picked up my medal and goody bag, plus a bottle of water they had been ranting about all day - that got drank quicker than I could say "Hi" to anyone.


Then came some tears. I'm not sure if it was disbelief, relief or just every emotion from that day hitting me in the face, but either way, they were mainly happy tears and I'm pretty sure I wasn't the only one there that shed a few.


I said bye to everyone and shuffled on back up the hill to the car park.


It was over.




[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="299" caption="My name is on there!"][/caption]



I'm so happy I did it, it was a bigger struggle than I expected, why? well I'll post that another day.


Right now, its all about relaxing and eating foods I haven't eaten for the past couple of months I've been training (mm, pizza)


All in all, a great, eye-opening experience.


Heres to the next one xo


http://www.raceforlifesponsorme.org/samantharaceforlife2011

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92 comments

  1. Well done you!! I am hoping to take part in this next year for my sister who is just about to start her chemo and my late aunt and late grandfather

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  2. What a great story! Congratulations on your amazing run!!!

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  3. that is awsome. good for you running the 10km. personally i would of gone with the walkers or joggers i can barely run too miles with out getting extremely tired. congrats on being freshley pressed. visit my site pls!!! i need comments.

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  4. Congrats on a great finish! And congrats, as well, on Freshly Pressed! Now you'll face the race of comments coming at you like more miles to run!
    Kathy

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  5. Congrats on a great race! You did it!*

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  6. Even though it was a few weeks ago now, congratulations! I've just undertaken running as well, good to see from your other posts that you're sticking with it!

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  7. Great post! I love the km-by-km reliving. I still remember my first ever race in grade nine (four years ago) was only 3KM and I had practically died LOL.

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  8. Congrats - you did your 1st marathon. I do not like to run unless chased, so I do not see a marathon in my near future. I would rather bike 25 to 50 miles instead of run. Thanks for sharing - Congrats on being FP!

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  9. Wow! Thank you all so much! Complete shock to be on Freshly Pressed but I'm very grateful for all your lovely comments :) it was a difficult but great first race & I definitely recommend giving it a go. I've gone from a coach potato to half marathon training and its a wonderful journey that I am loving!

    Thanks for the support :) xx

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  10. Very inspiring and congrats on finishing the race and getting freshly pressed. I was training to go into the army reserves and discovered I really love to run (once I learned the right way!) but then I got pregnant...(so no Reserves) ... I'm hoping to pick back up with running once I'm given the all clear after delivery and maybe I'll look at doing a marathon...thanks for sharing!

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  11. This is so great! I love how you described each kilometer. You've summed up everything I feel during a race - but doesn't the finish feel fantastic?! Congrats!!

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  12. Congrats on the Race! Just finished my first half a month ago and did my first 10k in February! youre well on youre way to finishing... LIKE A BOSS!

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  13. Hahah! Thank you! Well done on your 10k & Half Mara! Impressive!

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  14. Aw thank you :) well done on army training and good luck getting back into it! x

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  15. It really does feel amazing, nothing quite like it :) thank you x

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  16. Yay U! and congrats on FP. Great pics btw:)

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  17. Its a wonderful event & for such a great cause, you should definitely do it :) good luck x

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  18. great job! i think it's almost better to start with a longer race, my first race ever was a half-marathon, and somehow i survived it. now i can't stop :) i have a training schedule on my blog if you want to check it out. good luck with the next one!

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  19. Haha! Definitely true, my blog has never seen so many comments. Thank you! x

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  20. Thank you, it was difficult but worth it :) I'm glad I started in the runners, even though maybe ended with the walkers hehe!

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  21. Aw cool, thank you, I will have a look soon :)

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  22. Congrats! Running is SO rewarding and wonderful! I've only been running for about a year, but it's been pretty spectacular. I hope it'll be the same for you.

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  23. Thanks so much, I hope so too :)

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  24. I am so proud of you! I am contemplating starting running in the fall, because this Arkansas heat is just so overwhelming for running right now. I hope to train to be able to run a race in 2012. Congratulations on finishing, and also for making the WordPress freshly pressed page! I will subscribe to your blog to get more inspiration soon :)

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  25. Thanks so much :) you should definitely take it up when it cools down!
    Fortunately here in England we don't have that problem haha! x

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  26. congratulations on this accomplishment!!!! You go girl!!! :)

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  27. job well done! I've done a few 5Ks which aren't a big deal, but my next goal is a half marathon in October...and i'm nervous. I suppose it's just going to take some training, and some dedication, but it's good to hear another persons journey.
    www.icouldntmakethisshitup.wordpress.com

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  28. Oh wow! Congrats on the 10K! I've only walked a 5K before and I'm aiming to run my first one in early September for the Komen Race for the Cure in memory of my dear friend who passed away a year ago after fighting breast (later it moved to her liver) cancer for eight years. I hope I can make it through. At the very beginning is a very large hill entering the park (Garden of the Gods Park, Colorado Springs, CO) and I hope I don't collapse just .25 miles into the race! Google the park, it's gorgeous!

    P.S. Your orange colored chart with your progress during the race, how do you get that or where?

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  29. Well done!! It's awesome to have a post about Race for Life on Freshly Pressed. Congratulations on completing 10K! (I've always chickened out and gone for 5k) Have an extra big slice of pizza. You deserve it!

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  30. Good job!!! Doesn't it feel like you could do anything after you've run further than you ever have? I always have to mentally talk to myself during half marathons and long runs to keep myself going. :)

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  31. Congrats! 10k is a long ways to run. I'm a horrible runner, just 10 minutes of level 4 on a treadmill has me gasping for breath.

    -Bianca at http://theinbetweengirls.wordpress.com/

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  32. Congratulations on doing and finishing the race! Quite an accomplishment! A nice recap also. You have inspired others! Congrats on being FP!

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  33. Nice work, next up 1/2 Marathon?
    I love that Nike+ graphing function, I'd imagine my first 1/2 marathon looked about like your 10k, i.e enthusiastic first half, a boost at the half point, and then hitting the wall near the end! Crossing that finish makes it so worth it, if not for the sense of accomplishment, then at least for the knowledge that it's over!
    Keep up the good work!

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  34. Congrats on your first race! It is a great feeling.

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  35. I just did my first 10k too! Aren't they fantastic! Congratulations and love the pics!

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  36. Sure wish I can jog for more than 10 minutes.

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  37. Congratulations!!! I love reading about races and how people accomplish things they didn't think they could. You're awesome :)

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  38. me hubiera gustado estar presente, que lo practiques por siempre.
    la carrera fortalece otros deportes.

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  39. I have run 5ks, 50 mile ultra trail races, and everything in between. I still get choked up at the end of every race. There is an awesome emotion that comes with crossing the finish line -- with knowing that your determination was stronger than the will to quit. Congratulations. Hope you do it again.

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  40. Congratulations! I will also be a first timer race- but for a marathon in December! I guess I have to get a feel of a shorter race.

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  41. Well done, and congrats on your first 10k. I'm in training now to run one with my friend. Congrats on Freshly Pressed.

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  42. Hi. Congratulations on your 1st 10k run... Can't imagine how I'll finish mine, with an oxygen tank most probably. :P But really, great job with the hilly route and all. Btw, how long did you train for this?

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  43. Excellent analysis of your run, and very well written as well. Youre an inspiration for all footsloggers out there.

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  44. you got a great job
    hot post
    ^,^

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  45. Wow. That's an awesome effort. Congratulations!!! I'd be so scared to do something like that. You're awesome!

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  46. Definitely :) I'm constantly having conversations with myself on any run! I'm sure its 50/50 of mental and strength xx

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  47. 10 minutes is at least a mile though :) I couldn't run for a minute straight when I started in February! X

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  48. It is indeed :) http://samantha-avena.com/2011/06/20/who-what-where-when-why/ in London in September :)
    Thanks so much x

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  49. I'm sure you can ! :) Keep going, I honestly couldn't run for more than 2 minutes at the beginning x

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  50. Thank you, really is a great feeling :)

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  51. Thank you, it is a completely unique feeling :)

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  52. Thank you very much! Really appreciate that :)

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  53. Thanks so much, you'll do great I'm sure! hehe, I trained for about 4 months on & off, most intensely in the last 2 :)

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  54. Good luck :) 5k is a long way! You'll do great at the half marathon :)

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  55. You'll do great I'm sure of it :) just keep going and focus on breathing and you'll smash it.

    The charts are with Nike+, google and you buy an app/sportband which tracks how long/far/ you run each time :) I love mine x

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  56. Thank you!! :) Try the 10k, I'm sure you can do it :)
    Pizza was huge! hehe.

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  57. It really is :) I'll never forget it thats for sure!

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  58. Try it ! :) You'd be surprised at what you can do

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  59. Thank you :) it was definitely a challenge.

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  60. That was one triumphant race. Your determination as well as those who ran that day is an inspiration to all

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  61. Congratulations for two reasons for making it to the freshly pressed and of course finishing the race! Two wins for you. :)

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  62. Awesome you! And congrats on being freshly pressed!

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  63. I ran the 5k Race for Life. More, accurately, I walked half and jogged half. :) Someday, though... :) Great post, VERY inspiring!

    -Allison
    http://writteningold.wordpress.com/

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  64. Congratulations !! please drop in to my blog as It will help you to prepare for future marathons... http://benefitsofreiki.wordpress.com/wp-login.php

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  65. Thanks so much, I would love to do it again next year :)

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  66. Wow, this is such an inspiration to me! I am trying to become in better shape myself, and hope to be able to run a 10K one day.

    -Cecilia at http://healthfortheaverage.wordpress.com/

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  67. [...] back from a run when I went to have a look at things on le blog… 300+ views, 25 comments.. on First Race – Check? What .. the [...]

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  68. Wow, thank you & good luck! It is achievable if you want it to be :)

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  69. Congrats! Before you know it you'll be running a marathon!

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  70. Thank you hehe... Half mara may be enough for me!

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  71. [...] being Featured on Freshly Pressed & Shortlisted for the Cosmopolitan Blog Awards, it really was a good year for this little fella [...]

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  72. [...] is the second time this has happened to me, my first being the Race For Life 10k but I’m so happy that my pictures of Herbert have spread so much [...]

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