Thursday, April 12, 2012

The Year of the Runner (A Monument Avenue 10K Story)

5K, 8K, and now 10K.

I'm not athletic. Ask anyone who has known me for awhile. While they will rave about my many exemplary characteristics, my athleticism is not one of them. 

I'm the girl who avoided doing anything in gym class like it was the plague. Dodgeball? I hid behind the tall people until I realized that this kept me in the game longer. Then I would just pretend I got hit. "Oh that ball came within a 3 foot radius of me? I think it did hit me...somewhere...I'll just sit down now." 

We had to run the mile at least every year for our athletic tests. My fastest mile was in seventh grade: 9:22. That time was thanks to me running with J. Wray.

This year I've decided to take on athletic accomplishments of monumental (like what I did there?) proportions. First I ran the Sweetheart 8K in February, which marked the longest distance and time I've run in my life to that point. Then I was prompted to run the Ukrop's Monument Avenue 10K. I mean, it's go big or go home, right?

My Monument Avenue 10K story starts the night before. (Or actually it starts in the weeks after my 8K where I could not bring myself to train regularly. But enough about that.) I sat at home while Lynn and Dani went to Richmond to grab our bib numbers. At first, I was upset that I did not go with them. But afterwards, I was glad I stayed. I got extra rest and got to eat dinner first!

When I got out of the shower that night, my Monument Avenue 10K bag was sitting on the bed. I looked inside and found my bib number.

To be honest, I chose the wave "TB" because those are my initials. It's the 66-70 minute wave.

My souvenir Monument Avenue 10K shirt and another shirt! Turns out that at the expo, there was a company selling cute shirts with running slogans on them. Lynn and Dani picked out this one for me.

We all decided to wear our shirts for the race on Saturday. On Saturday morning, I woke up at 5:45. Got dressed, ate breakfast, and we were headed for Richmond by 6:30! The first wave of runners were set to begin at 8:30. Mine and Dani's wave wasn't set to start until 9:31. Lynn was in an earlier wave but decided she would wait and start with us.

Race outfit!

Pre-race photo
We sat in the car when we got to Richmond for awhile but then decide we should probably head to where everything was going so we wouldn't miss our start time. By this time, it was raining; it rained from that point on until at least my second mile.

I ran the first two and a half miles with Dani and Lynn and then went off on my own. I could definitely feel that my second half of the race was much faster than the first.

The Monument Avenue 10K is probably the most amazing race in the world. There is so much going on around you that you forget you're running. There are bands playing, people lining the streets cheering for you, and people just sitting on their porches watching all the actions. Some people dressed up in costumes for the race and it was exciting to check out their outfits as I ran by them.

While I still felt strong at the end of 6.2 miles, I can't say that I wasn't happy to see the finish line!

Post race photo!
And while my finish time was nothing to write home about if you're a real runner, I was quite pleased! (69:41)

I actually finished in the wave that I signed up for! =] And the rest of Saturday I rested. Because I could literally not walk. At all. At my mom's boyfriend's house I actually crawled up the stairs and slid down them on my bottom because my ankles were in such pain!

All in all, it was an amazing experience! Prior to the Monument Avenue 10K, I decided that it was going to be my last race for awhile since I couldn't find the motivation to train. However, then I remembered how much I love the feeling I get after I run! Now I need another race to train for!


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