23: The Berkeley Halfmarathon (10k)

If you had told me a year ago, that I would run a 10k at the Berkeley Halfmarathon event in 2015, I would have laughed and called you crazy.

Seriously, even though I’ve played sports all my life, I never had ambitions to become a serious runner, let alone participate in any races. Sure, I had been running on and off as part of my exercise routine, but I usually didn’t pay attention to distance and pace or set any goals, and I surely did not want to compete with other people. Therefore, I always suffered from the internal doubt that I was not a “real” runner.

Well, here’s a news flash: if you run, if you put one foot in front of the other and move forward, you are a runner.

The courage to lace up your shoes, go out there and push yourself to move your body, despite all the self-doubt in your head, is what makes a runner a runner.

4 months ago, when my friend Susi, who had also started serious exercise about a year ago, asked me if I would run the 10k at the Berkeley Halfmarathon event with her, I laughed. Then – inspired by her own goal setting – said: Let’s do it.

And so we signed up.

And then time flew by really fast and yesterday was the day!

I drove to the Bay area on Saturday afternoon and stayed over night at Susi’s house. We did some carb-loading the night before and then relaxed and chatted for a while before heading to bed at a reasonable hour. I didn’t sleep too well (I think I was suffering from nerves!) and was up before 6 a.m., which was almost the time we had get up and get ready for the race anyway. I was a little worried, because I am not a morning runner. I do most of my workouts in the afternoon or early evening and didn’t know how I would feel about the morning run.


We got to the start line with plenty of time to spare and walked around for a little bit. 30 minutes before the race, we did a light warm-up run and some stretching, and then got ready at the start line. 


I was a bit bummed that Susi and I weren’t going to run the race together the whole way, but we crossed the start line hand in hand before we each settled into our own pace. I had a pretty good start and was pretty happy with my pace-updates throughout the first 5k. The route went down to the Marina along the water and we had a beautiful view of the SF skyline and Golden Gate Bridge. When we headed back into Berkeley, my pace slowed down a bit more than I had hoped, but I was still pretty much keeping it on target. 


She made it!


My official race time was 1:00:14 – 15 seconds short of my goal (I wanted to stay <60 min). However, I am still pretty happy with the results, because I trained in even terrain (and the Berkeley course had inclines, especially over the last two miles) and I also didn’t run the optimal race line (something I didn’t even think about prior to the race). According to GPS, I ran 10.3 km total and according to my average pace, I did complete the 10k in 59:10 minutes. I didn’t beat the personal PR that I set only a week ago, but that doesn’t matter. I am pretty happy with my results, it was a great experience and I am so glad that Susi and I did what we set out to do and finished our first race!

Thank you all for cheering us on! I know a lot of you are runners yourselves and have accomplished much bigger goals, but this was a pretty big step for us! Maybe we’ll consider the half-marathon next year ;)

  1. Yeah to you! Great accomplishment in a awesome time. You might would motivate me to sign up for a 10K or half marathon. So far I have only done a few 5K’s.
    Congratulations to both of you!

    1. Thank you, Tanja… this means a lot! (I hope your recovery is going well!)

  2. Well done to both of you and those look like pretty nice medals :) It’s a bit mean of them to finish with that incline, it would be nicer if they reversed the direction and you got to start with a nice downhill instead :)

    1. Thank you!! Haha, and yes, wouldn’t it have been much nicer if they had reversed the course? ;)

  3. Congrats on finishing your first race! I think you should be really proud of yourself – especially since the terrain was more challenging than you are used to! And don’t discount this accomplishment just because others who consider themselves runners have tackled different distances. 6 miles is still a big deal! I bet a very low % of our population could do that so keep that in mind! The thing I love about running is that the end of the day it’s all about improving my performance. I do struggle with not comparing myself to others but I have gotten better at not using others paces/race times as a measuring stick.

    Once again, congrats!!!!

    1. Thank you, Lisa. This means so much coming from you (you’re definitely one of my inspirations!). I think you’re right, the comparison game is never a good idea!

  4. Your finishing time is great for your first race! You can be proud of yourself. And… that elevation profile looks atrocious! So kudos to you! You have ran 7 and 8 miles, right? So I am sure you would be able to make it through 13.1. Great job!

    1. Thank you, Stefanie! I appreciate your support!

  5. That’s awesome!! You’re faster than me, girl. :) Just because someone has run farther, doesn’t mean they’ve run faster. It’s an accomplishment no matter what.

    1. Thanks girl, I appreciate that! :)

  6. Congrats on your first 10K! You should totally sign up for a half marathon. The Shamrock’n Half is in March and the Urban Cow Half is in October. Both are good Sacramento races to choose from.

    1. Thanks Gina! And I would definitely consider a run here in Sacramento sometime!

  7. Woo, congrats! You are such a rock star!

    1. Thanks, friend! That means a lot!

  8. This is amazing! The farthest I’ve run was an 8K and I managed to do that in an hour! So you definitely have awesome timing! Good for you lady!

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