Lake Union 10k in 62 minutes and 12 seconds. On average, that's 10 minutes and 2 seconds per mile-- not bad for a person who said over a year ago to a friend, "I. Do. Not. Run." The smile you see on my face is the post-run elation of having trained for a challenge with focus and drive. Of course the endorphins came out to celebrate. In the back of my mind, I thought, "This is great! What's next?" Goals keep me going.
Two weeks before the race, I had a minor overuse injury that sidelined me for five days. I walked during that time, but I also rested quite a bit-- more than I had in a long time. When I began to run again, I did "easy" 11 minute miles.
How did an eleven minute mile become easy? In college, I ran 20 times around the gym in fitness class, and it took me 24 minutes-- longer than it would have taken me to walk one mile.
Good shoes helped. Thanks go to Fleet Feet Sports in Seattle for taking the time to fit my wide feet with supportive shoes and inserts. (Minimalist shoes are for other folks!) For years, I struggled through gym classes where every running step sent little shocks up through my feet.
Perseverance helped. I thought that since running appeared to be easy for other people, it mustn't be my sport. I wish I had learned to be an advocate for my own fitness much earlier on. My motto is, "Still not the fastest." What of it? I'm not racing anyone but myself.
When I strained muscles, balm with cayenne-pepper oil helped. Ice-packs helped. Gentle yoga and a foam roller were essential for self-care. I was (and am) grateful for the emotional support of specific family and friends. Bede didn't grumble when my alarm went off 30 minutes before his own, and often, I returned from my training to find a poached egg on toast just about ready for my post-run protein boost.
Yesterday, after I passed the finish line, my daughter ran up to me and said, "Wow, Mommy! You weren't even the slowest runner!" No, I wasn't. I was in the middle of the pack. Someone had to be the slowest runner, though, and I am proud of that 1,058th person. That person showed up, ran 6.2 miles in over two hours, and finished the race.