Thursday, April 11, 2013

Something New

You may recall that at the beginning of the year I shared some challenges (not resolutions) for myself for 2013, one of which was to try at least one new thing a month. Last Saturday was a big new thing for me--my first 10K.

So far this year I've run at least one 5K race a month. This is quite a step up from last year, when I ran a grand total of one. I've found that the best time for me to sign up for another race is immediately after finishing one, when I'm in a state of post-race euphoria and the endorphins scramble my brain. That's pretty much my only explanation for why I impulsively signed up for this 10K instead of sticking to my safe, comfortable (although still challenging) 5K.

Before signing up I'd mentioned to various friends, co-workers and fellow boot campers that I was contemplating making the leap to a 10K, and they all offered encouragement and expressed confidence that I could do it, which definitely boosted MY confidence and made me more open to actually following through with registering for it.

It didn't take long before doubt started to creep in. Although I'd gone on walks longer than a 10K (6.2 miles for you non-metric folks) before, I'd never been timed on one.  Since my last couple of 5K race times had been around 34 minutes, I set a goal of finishing the 10K somewhere between 70 and 75 minutes--what if I finished far after that? What if I finished dead last?

Race day finally arrived this past Saturday, a gorgeous cloudless day that started off a bit chilly but would quickly warm up. There were only about 65 people racing the 10K portion (the 5K race started a half hour after ours) and I hung out near the back to avoid getting run over by the racing veterans. We took off and I did my best to pace myself and not go too fast too soon. The majority of the race was in a large neighborhood and included running down and back up what felt like THE. LONGEST. STREET. EVER. I was so glad when we got to finally turn off that particular street, even though there was another long one ahead.

I had to stop and walk at a few points along the way, mainly because my calves were tightening up, but I'm pleased to say that I ran the majority of the race. I finally crossed the finish line at 70:47, within my goal time range and without collapsing in a sweaty heap afterward. And although I was at the back of the pack I wasn't dead last, so my ego is still largely intact.

Crossing the finish line AT LAST--my first 10K in the books!

The 10K was long and tiring and challenging but I'm so proud of myself for accomplishing it. And I'm proud of myself for doing far more races this year and getting out my comfort zone. 

That same afternoon I went to support one of my co-workers who was also trying something new--her first (and last, according to her) beauty pageant. She just turned 60 a couple of months ago and was asked to be in a pageant for women ages 60 and up. After much coercion encouragement from her co-workers, she signed up and before we knew it, we were cheering her on at the pageant.

I'm sad to report that she did not win, but she had a great time and made some new friends. She's always a good sport and I'm inspired by her willingness to try new adventures all the time. I hope that I'm as open to trying new things when I'm her age.

So have you tried anything new lately? A new recipe, new brand of toothpaste, new challenge? What are you waiting for?!?

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