On Sunday, I went on my first race (Vancouver Sun Run- 10kM) and whew my legs. Good thing I had been training prior to the race. Lunch time runs will definitely become a thing for me especially as the weather warms up a bit (it’s less kilometres, though). I’ve always wanted to go on a race for charity, color run, to mention a few. It has been on my bucket list for a while- shout-out to my aunty. The initial goal was to attempt it. If like me you struggle with the 10-minute cardio warm-ups, you may understand my fears when I understood the race was 10km. During the race, I had the time to reflect on my journey so far which involved signing up, preparing for the race and taking part in the race. Here are some insights I would like to share.
1KM -Some journeys are intended to be embarked on solo: Trying to recruit people to go on the race with me was not successful and I finally realized that this was probably something I had to embark on alone i.e. without the company of a friend. It was possible that timing was just not right for my friends, and/or that this was not something that they desperately wanted to so. Either way, I couldn’t find anyone to go with me on the race. It hit me that perhaps I was meant to go on this race alone. So rather than give it up, I decided to do it solo.
3KM– You can do whatever you set your mind to do: There were so many reasons to not go on the race. I had less than 2 weeks to prepare for it. I didn’t have a running buddy, and worst of all, I hurt my knees and hip in the process of training. To further discourage me, I read somewhere that people trained for 10 weeks before going on a race. A friend also pointed out to me that running was not the best sport for one’s legs as it put a lot of strain and weight on the legs. There were days I felt I couldn’t do it or was not prepared enough, but once I set my mind to it, I was sure I could finish in good timing.
5KM- It’s okay for your goals to change as you move on in life: When I signed up for the run, I just wanted to go on a race; I wasn’t too keen on completing it. After a while, I wanted to complete the race no matter how long it took me. While training, I realized I could average 5.6mins/km and became determined to finish in a little over an hour (rest breaks included). I changed my goal three times in less than two weeks, but that was fine. At the end of the day, the ultimate goal was to improve hence I never stopped pushing myself to get better and meet new goals.
7KM– Plan, Practice and Prepare:My training process was pretty simple – every time I went on a run, I pushed myself to go a little further and a little faster until the day of the run. I sometimes ran in the rain but also took rest days because of my knees. I pushed myself to make it happen.
8KM- Always be nice to people; you never know who you might run into. I knew a few people who were running but was pretty certain I wasn’t going to see anyone I knew. Then, I ran into an old co-worker who I had kept in touch with. Interestingly, she had sent me an email within that week, and I had forgotten to get back to her in a timely manner but eventually did. I kept thinking about how awkward meeting her would have been if I had never responded to her email. The point here is simple: value relationships, respond to emails and always be nice to everyone. You never know when you might run into someone or need their help.
9KM– Stay Focused: There were water and snack stops throughout the race and a few times, it crossed my mind to grab a bite or a drink. However, I reminded myself that I could not afford to stop or slow down my pace, not if I wanted to finish early. I could always have the snacks and drinks when the race was over.
10KM– Go at a pace that works for you and enjoy the journey while at it: I was determined to finish very early, but my legs hurt so I chose to walk for a bit till I felt a little better. The beauty of life is that you can always take a break and then continue the journey. The key thing is to keep at it and have fun doing it and I can honestly say that I had much fun running and walking.
That’s it from me. Hope you enjoyed this and are inspired to chase that goal or thing you have always wanted to do.
PS: Completed the race is 59mins.