An 8 K is 4.97 miles. Since that is hard to map out, everyone just rounds it up to 5. 5 miles of running. For a novice runner, like me, if I can even call myself that anymore, 5 miles is no joke. For an avid runner, 5 miles is a warm-up. I have gone 5.05 miles before, and that is the absolute farthest I have ever gone. I was mentally preparing myself for the 8 K we were supposed to run/race Saturday morning.
I was actually a minute or two early for the race on Saturday morning. I was the second person there, right after my good friend who self-proclaims herself a wackadoo! Even the team captain, at whose house we were meeting, opened the door to see two people at her doorstep. I was a little nervous, but it was no big deal.
Once everyone arrived, our fearless leader gave us maps so we could study them and know where to go. We were running on the main road, down to the "beach", and back through the neighborhood. I calculated a run similar to this two days prior, and came up with a mileage closer to 6.2 miles. Since we weren't going back on the main road, but through the side street, what she mapped out must be a shorter distance. We were all there, we knew where to go, our mp3's were blaring and our pedometer's/gps trackers were turned on. On your mark, get set, go!!!!!
I stayed with the group for a total of 30 seconds. First hill, I slowed down, and everyone else kept going! I was a step or two behind, and that's where I'm used to and comfortable being, so I made no effort to try and push harder. My goal was to walk the bare minimum, and have an 11 minute average pace.
I was actually enjoying myself as I was singing every third word out loud to my song. I'm the annoying one in the back that woo's and hoo's. Contrary to popular belief, this is so I can catch my breath, not so I can go back to my cheerleading days by being obnoxious and peppy! I was a really good actress back in my cheer days, because peppy people kinda irk me!
I was happy as a clam with my music blaring into my ear drums, and then I realized there was no one around me. I was so far behind that I couldn't even see anyone anymore. Finally, I was at the top of the hill, and a few people were at the bottom of the hill, so I could see that I was going the right way! Before I even hit 3 miles, I had to walk to catch my breath! Usually my tracker chimes in at each mile to tell me my stats, but she must have been on vacation, or I was breathing too heavy to hear her! I was breathing more slowly now and I started to run again.
I ran past a man who was watering his lawn, and I sure did ask him permission to run through his sprinklers. I looked kinda dumb, but it felt great. Had he not been there, I would have lapped the water up like a dog! I get to the "beach" (its more like a part of a lake with sand) and feel like I had been defeated. There is no way we only have 2 miles back to her house. My tracker already said over 3.
3 or 2, whatever, I still had to keep running. So I ran flats, and walked hills. I was just plain tired! I pushed my tired self through the neighborhood and onto the main road. I whip out my phone and look at the tracking device- 4.15 miles. OK- now I know, and I am getting mad! Her house is definitely more than a 8/10ths of a mile away. By this time, I am at a slow crawl when I am actually running because the sun was shining and the humidity you could cut with a knife.
Walk-run-walk-run. OK- I know her house is right around the bend, and over this HUGE hill! I look at my tracker again, and I am at 5 1/2 miles. Some 8 K huh? I get to her house, which I think is the finish line, but OH NO!!!, you have to go to the stop sign and back. For real! I get back, get my officially time, stop my tracker and see that it says 6.19 miles. DID I JUST RUN A 10 K? And my pace- ha- 11:04. I finished up 15 minutes after the first runner, and 7 minutes after the one just before me. I was DEAD last- by a lot!
Even if I was dead last, I felt pretty accomplished that I could even finish a 10 K and I was able to walk the next day. I guess I am making some progress after all!