Saturday, July 26, 2008

Seafair 8K

Tonight I ran an 8K (that's 4.97 miles to you)! This is a very big accomplishment for me and I'm super excited that I finished. You see, I was the girl that only did one season of soccer in high school because I hated the running involved. I was the ballet girl who hated any type of exercise that didn't include pas de chats or arabesques. In the past two years I've had some fleeting experiences with running. I ran a 5K in 2006. I did a sprint triathlon, which included a 2 mile run, in 2007. But since that triathlon, my exercise has been some intermittent 1-2 mile runs every few weeks and hiking in the summer. Running was a chore that I tried to endure, but wasn't able to maintain.

In February I went to the doctor and I got back on a scale for the first time in months. And in March I turned 25. Both of these events affected me. I decided it was time for me to lose some weight, and I know the best way to do that is through running. But more importantly, I thought about being in my mid-20s and not being in shape. I felt like the longer I waited to get into shape, the harder it would be. So I decided to start running. Instead of just running to run, I decided I would probably end up pushing myself more if I had a goal, so I picked the Seafair 8K (more than a 5K and not as intimidating as a 10K). I started out at being able to run about 1.5 miles. And I gradually added 1/4 of a mile every week or so.

I've run about 3-4 times a week now for months. And a funny thing has happened. Instead of forcing myself to run, now I look forward to it. It's a stress reliever. And it has made me more energetic. I used to be very tired through-out the days even though I got plenty of sleep, but now my evening runs energize me and I feel more alert during the days and can stay up a little later. And instead of feeling like I'm trying to become a runner, now I feel like I AM a RUNNER! My SHORT runs during the week are at least 3 miles. I go running in the cold and the rain and the heat. I've lost 10 pounds since February and I feel incredible.

So today was the race I've been working towards for so long. My goal was to finish the race, run the entire time, and stay under an 11 minute mile. I was super excited about this run. Seafair is a month-long celebration with several different events. The race immediately precedes a downtown parade, so we were promised crowds of thousands to cheer us on. The run starts on a viaduct with beautiful views of Puget Sound. It's really interesting to run on the viaduct because it's normally a street only available for car traffic and it's a major highway. After running up that for awhile I made it to the tunnel which was probably about half a mile long. That was pretty neat to run through a tunnel. I realized that my first two miles were pretty slow, so I tried to pick up the pace a little bit. It was really neat to start running through downtown Seattle. And the last two miles were incredible. The streets were lined with people and children cheering us on and waiting for the parade. Kids were lined up on the sides of the streets with their arms stretched out to receive high-fives from the runners. The crowds' encouragement and knowing that I was almost done spurred me on and I ran pretty fast the last two miles. It was a really nice run, a few long gradual inclines, but no real hills to worry about.

I crossed the finish line with all of my goals met. I ran the entire time (passed many walkers) and finished the race in 54.20. That's an average 10.55 mile. And I felt great, I probably could've gone quite a bit farther. So my next big goal is to run a 10K. I'm going to Florida for Thanksgiving, and my Dad and I are going to run the Turkey Trot 10K together. I can't wait to finish a 10K with my Dad.


Michelle said...

I am so proud of you! That is AWESOME!!!! So glad everything went well and you met all your goals!

Holly said...

That is quite the accomplishment. Good for you! I keep toying with the idea of becoming a runner. You are an inspiration. Thanks!