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 ;)