Recently I ran my first ever 10 km race.
Now this may not seem like a huge deal for some people, but for me it was a milestone in my adult life.
When I was younger I always played on sports teams. I loved soccer and being in a team environment and working towards a goal, which was winning mostly. Since I graduated high school I have never done anything remotely physical in a competition setting, until this race. I’ve wanted to join rec teams but my anxiety has always stopped me, but I’m done with my anxiety holding me back.
I signed up for this 10 km race in Kelowna just before Valentine’s day and decided that this would be my ‘hello’ back into the sports world. Since February I have been working my butt off to be able to run. When I was living in Thompson, Manitoba I did a 5 km race, but that was the longest I have ever run.
If you know me I also used to be a smoker (yay for quitting) so I never thought I would be able to run for that amount of time.
After work at least three times a week I would try to get out for a run. I used the Nike Run app on my phone to track the amount of runs I did, what my pace was, and how long they took me.
Before my race I was running between 5-7 km every run. I did my very first 10 km practice run in one hour and 10 minutes. that may not be the best time for a race, but for me it was a very proud moment. I didn’t care about the time, I didn’t want it to be a competition, I was just so happy to be able to say that I ran 10 km.
On the morning of the race I woke up extra early, ate my breakfast and drove to the college where the race was taking place. I became extremely anxious while I was waiting to start. The room was full of crazy intense people who were either running the 10 km, half marathon or the full marathon.
My mind was telling me that it was a joke that I was even taking part in this. I couldn’t do as well as the others, so why was I even trying? I pretty much told my mind to get lost and I started to calm myself down.
The first thing I do when I get anxious is I listen to music. I put on some The Tallest Man on Earth, put my headphones on and I just started to breathe. Four seconds of breathing in, four seconds of holding, and four seconds to let the breathe out. Eventually with those techniques I started to calm down.
We were told to go to the start line and I was ready. I had my bib on, my headphone in and I had written “Always More” on my wrist, so whenever I didn’t think I could go further, I would look down and realize I always had more to give.
When we started to run it was like this rush I had never felt before. I wanted to finish it. I wanted to run the whole 10 km without stopping, and I wanted my time to be under an hour and five minutes.
I kept a pretty good pace, I kept repeating “always more” in my mind and I kicked ass. It was hard and at times I said to myself I never wanted to do another race again, but when I finished it, I was on top of the world.
I finished my first ever 10 km race in an hour and three minutes. When I turned the corner and saw the finish line I sprinted to the end. One of my best friends Kelsey was waiting at the finish line cheering me on, screaming her little face off and it was a feeling I can’t even explain.
To accomplish something that I honestly thought I couldn’t do was great. To have my best friend and someone I care so much about at the finish line cheering me on was such a bonus. It made me realize that I can do anything I put my mind to and I honestly have the most amazing people in my life.
The race may have been hard but the lesson I learned from it is something I will take with me forever. Train hard, work hard and accomplish anything you put your mind to. It’s completely possible and I have shown you that first hand.
Bring on my Whistler race in June! I’m ready for you!
Running is not about being better than someone else it’s about being better than you used to be.