It was a fun race. It was my first one ever, so naturally I was a little nervous and worried. Mostly because I didn’t know what to expect. I think I slept about 5 hours that night, partially because I just couldn’t fall asleep, and also because I had to be at the starting line at 6 am. But, things went very smoothly. I was in the 12th corral and I think we started running around 6:30 am. I had plenty of time to stretch and to finish my Clif bar. It was a cool morning with the temperatures in the low 50s. Very comfortable weather. When we finally started running, the first 10-15 mins into the race I was trying to break away from the crowd and was occasionally bumping into people. After that I felt that I had more space to myself and settled into a comfortable pace. Overall, the race didn’t seem very difficult. It had a couple of hills, but nothing major. I wasn’t very concerned with my speed. I just wanted to experience what it was all about and to get a sense of what it feels like to be a part of a running community. It definitely felt great. The event was a big running party with people dressed up in costumes and having fun. I was so thrilled, that I don’t even remember feeling tired. Closer to the point where I had to turn around and leave the half-marathon crowd I was still somewhat contemplating about just continuing on. It seemed too short. I felt like I just got excited about the whole thing and it was almost over. On the other hand, the distance was still a big deal for me since I started training only 2 months prior. I also hurt my knee in the beginning of March, probably due to running too far too fast. I should’ve been more careful about jumping at long distances too soon without being adequately prepared to handle them. So, I knew that I wasn’t ready for the half-marathon just yet. Good thing my knee was no longer bothering me.
Once I finished though, I realized that I cared about the competition a lot more than I was pretending not to. I was happy with my time for the first 5 mins, because I ran faster than I did when I was training. But when I saw that I finished only in the top 31.7%, I immediately caught myself thinking that I should do better next time. We might keep telling ourselves that running is all about attaining our personal goals and that competing is secondary. But guess what, everyone likes being a winner. I think this little race changed my initial perspective on things. And I do want to do better next time. Hopefully, injuries will not be an obstacle. I do have a feeling that I will be a little disappointed with my results at the next race, because I will be attempting a new distance – a half-marathon. Maybe I should take it easy for now and just enjoy the fact that I am able to run it. But at the next 10K the goal is to be faster and to set a new PR.