I never considered myself a runner, until this year. Thanks to the inspiration of and motivation from a few great friends (Lacey, Akanksha, and Joe), I have picked up the habit of running. I began my adventures in running by accomplishing one fourth of a mile. Not very impressive, I know. However, I have slowly worked on improving that distance. After several months of working my way up, I signed up for my first 5k at my Alma Matre in Kearney, NE with my good friend, Lacey. Although it was cold and there was ice on the course, we had such a great time. After one race, I was hooked.
Most recently, I ran a 10k in Omaha with my friend Akanksha. I have to say, it was my favorite race so far. We could not have asked for a better morning, the weather was beautiful, sunny and around 70 degrees, and we ran around a beautiful lake. I had trained pretty well for this race, running three to four days per week, at a minimum of three miles per day. With each new distance, there is a new sense of accomplishment as it is my new farthest-ever run.
Even with my training, Akanksha and I were slightly intimidated when we showed up on race day. It was pretty clear that everyone else there were hard-core runners. However, in running you are only racing against yourself, and that is the approach I took as everyone sprinted ahead of me at the start line.
Having never before run a 10k, my goals were to run the entire race (without walking or stopping) and to finish in around 65 minutes. As the race began, I settled into my running mix and enjoyed the scenery of the lake. I listen to pretty mellow music when I run, as it relaxes me more than fast paced tunes. Running takes a lot of mental strength as well as physical endurance, and that is what I focused on as I went. I told myself I wouldn’t stop, and thought of Lacey and my adopted motto which we found on a t-shirt.
In the end, I slowed down a bit at mile 5 for water and a short 0.20 mile walk. Considering I ran the other 6, I think this is pretty good! I finished in 65 minutes exactly, and was very satisfied with my run. Akanksha blew me away, finishing in around 54 minutes. All in all, we both had a great morning, and so much fun. The morning finished with a sweet surprise as we decided to cool down with cold coffee, and due to malfunctioning computers, were given free Starbucks. We took this as an unexpected reward and enjoyed our cold treats as we celebrated our awesome accomplishment!!
Next up on my list of running goals is to complete a half marathon. Even if it takes me another year to train, I will slowly work my way up to this goal. In the meantime, I will keep motivated with 5 and 10k races. There is nothing quite like the thrill of race day, and nothing like the feeling of finishing a great run!