My journey to a healthier me

Tales of my life

My first 10k

on April 21, 2013

Well I did it. I participated in and completed my first 10k event. It was one of my goals for the year. At the beginning of the year, I made a list of 4 things I wanted to accomplish and I’ve already done 3 of them! I’ll have 2 chances at the 4th one, but that’s a post for another day. In the meantime, here’s how today went …

I’m awake earlier than I need to be. I’ve been nervous for 2 days. Second guessing myself about doing this 10k. I think I’m a little crazy. I’ve only walked this much twice before. Am I really ready? Will I be able to finish? What happens if I can’t? I get up, shower, pick out my race gear, get dressed, and head downstairs to make breakfast. I opt for my usual smoothie and turkey bacon, and add whole grain toast with a little peanut butter for extra carbs and protein. I head down to my computer to kill some time before heading out. I’m trying not to think about the race. I’m excited because a bunch of my friends are participating too. I love seeing them. Such cool people. Liz, Aidan, Andreas, Karen. Tyler will be there with Jim, Morgan, and Jay. Others may be there as well.

Anyway, I finish my breakfast and play a few computer games before heading out. Dan drops me off at the event on his way to work. I’m early because I haven’t actually registered yet. I see Liz first. I’m glad to see her. I bring her some of my homemade protein balls. She loves them. Now that I’ve arrived, the nerves really kick in. I get myself registered and start pacing around. Soon others start arriving. Good to see everyone. And some seem as nervous as me, which makes me feel a little better. Tyler comes in and I chat with him for a bit. He can see my nerves I think. My friends and I decide to go outside to wait for the start. We don’t have to wait long. Everyone lines up at the start. A few words are said, a moment of silence, then we are off!

I think I’m crazy for doing this. I’m slower than everyone. I’m trying to walk a good pace, but I’m not sure how well I’m doing. I try to jog a little. My left foot is not liking it. I swear I heard it say “oh no no no. If you want to finish this 10k, then we are walking it!” And I’m pretty sure I heard my right foot agree LOL. So I switch back to walking. I’m still trying to keep a good pace. But everyone is pulling farther and farther away from me. I’m alone. I have my music playing on my phone which helps. I’m trying to keep the negative thoughts out of my head. Not an easy thing, especially today. But I keep moving, determined to finish no matter how long it takes.

I think most of the people are doing 5k today. A bunch of those are already on their way back. I’m cheering them as they pass me. Some are cheering for me too. I get a bunch of high fives. It’s nice to have the extra encouragement. I need it today. At the turn around for the 5k, there is a water station. I’m pretty sure the people there expect me to turn around. I tell them I’m doing the 10k. I grab some water and continue on. More cheers and more high fives. All my friends are on their way back now. I continue on just hoping to be able to finish, but having my doubts. There are cops and volunteers all along the route, making sure the runners and walkers are safe. A few of them ask me if I’m okay. I say I’m fine, just slow.

I’m still not at the turnaround, but everyone has long ago passed me on their way back. I finally get to the turnaround. One of the cops there says that if I need a ride back, just let them know. I say thanks, but I need to cross the finish line. As I start my way back, he pulls up along side me and says the other cop will follow me back. Nice. Feels like my own personal police escort, I chuckle to myself and keep going. A car pulls to a stop a little ahead of me. My friend Karen gets out. She’s long finished, but came back to help me finish. I’m glad to see her. I’ve been struggling for a while, questioning whether I can finish or not. Having her there is a big help. I think she can tell I’m struggling. Every once in a while she asks how I’m doing. My feet hurt, but otherwise I was fine. She keeps me chatting, keeping my mind off my sore feet. We crack a few jokes. Occasionally we say something to the nice cop following us. I want to get his name because I want to thank him. I think he’s going above and beyond today. And I appreciate it very much.

We finally make the turn into the parking lot. We’re in the home stretch. Only a couple more turns to the finish line. I ask Karen to go up ahead and take pictures or video with my phone as I cross the finish. She takes my phone and trots on ahead. A few people who finished honk their horns as they leave or are standing on the side of the road and cheer for me as I pass them. Nice. As I near the finish, I can hear my friend Liz cheering my name. I love her. I cross the finish and I’m so glad. The race officials record my time and get my name. Almost everyone has left already. Everything has been packed up. Liz and I sit for a few minutes before heading home.

I never did get the name of the cop.
And I never got my official time.

But that doesn’t really matter.
What matters is I finished.
I completed my first official 10k event.
And I’m proud of myself.

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3 responses to “My first 10k

  1. Carrie and the Bear says:

    So proud of you!!

  2. leannenalani says:

    Yes, you should be proud! A 10k sounds challenging. I’ve only ever walked a 5k. Great work!

    • jenncoleman says:

      Thanks! It was much harder than I thought it would be. I’ve walked 10k before on my own so I knew I could do it. Maybe it was the pressure of the day, I’m not sure. But I’m glad I was able to finish. Although I think it will be a while before I do another 10k LOL

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