If you have been following this blog for a while, you may remember that I started running about a year ago, along with some other healthy life changes. Over the course of the past year, I have logged hundreds of miles, turned down countless cookies, and have lost almost 40 lbs. I will write about my weight loss at another time because, believe me, I have many, many thoughts on it, but for now I want to focus on what I’m most proud of. At some point in the past year, I became a runner.
I have run miles in the rain. I have run in the Texas summer heat. I have tripped and fallen hard in the middle of the road. I have dodged cars in LA and clueless pedestrians on the Town Lake trail here in Austin. I have watched the sun set over lakes and creeks. I have found new little corners of my favorite cities. I have entered the running zone where all my heart and lungs suddenly seem to get it, and I feel like I can run forever. I have started runs feeling anxious and sad, and I have ended those same runs feeling invincible and light. If you’re curious, I wrote about many of the reasons for why I run here.
So how to celebrate a year running? Enter the Longhorn Run 10k of course!
I dragged myself out of bed at 6:30 AM (why do all races have to be at such ridiculous times?!), ate some breakfast, then headed down to the UT campus where, even though it was a stupidly early hour, the celebrations had started.
Nothing is done by halves in Texas, so there was a very sleepy looking marching band there and a DJ. The race began with the “Old Smokey” cannon being shot, which is ridiculously loud, and then the ridiculousness continued with FIREWORKS being shot off a pedestrian bridge and confetti being shot out of cannons by the Texas Cowboys student group. Really. It was just kind of awesome.
Look at those happy cowboys and their confetti!
The race itself went well. I did go a bit too fast at the beginning, trying to keep up with an 8:30 pace, but after the first mile I fell into the 9:15ish crowd, and that seemed to be the sweet spot. I managed to finish without walking and without feeling like I was going to die…success!
I crossed the finish line with a time of 57:19, more than 3 1/2 minutes faster than my goal. I got a bit emotional as I walked away from the race. This is something I never thought I’d be able to do, and I did it. This year has been tough for a lot of reasons, but I have accomplished a lot, and this race was a perfect example of that.
Almost exactly a year ago, I ran my first 5k race and came in just under 35 minutes, which was great for me at the time.
This year, I ran a 10k in 57:19, which was the top third for all the women racers. Yep. I’m feeling pretty darn good.
And I’m beginning to look at half-marathon training plans. Yikes.