Joe’s Run 10k Race Report (My First 10k)

First off, let me re-state as I have in earlier posts that I am not a good runner. Well, I’m not a fast runner. So the title of “Race Report” on this post may be a bit misleading. But, I thought it sounded just a tiny bit better than “Super Slow Old Lady Shuffle Wannabe Runner Report.” 😉

So yeah. Since I’ve been such a horrible blogger and so behind, this post may end up meandering and going all over the place, but hopefully we can all end up at the…end. Wow, it’s way too early, and I haven’t had nearly enough coffee to form complete thoughts yet it seems.

Ok, second cup of coffee is here, so that’s much better. So, back in February or March, when I knew that I was going to be having all this work stress and moving was on the horizon, I signed up for my first 10k. I figured signing up for a run would help give me a goal to work toward, keep me focused on weight loss and exercise once I got settled in.

Yeah, that didn’t work. Between getting a new job, living with my mom again (let’s just say we butted heads a bit), finding day care for Rea, finding a house, etc etc etc….I was happy to just be maintaining my weight by watching food, and working out, much less following a training plan, definitely took a backseat.

So the race approached, and suddenly I had to make a decision. I thought briefly about cancelling and just not going…I had tried to drum up interest in friends and family, but there were no takers…so not only would I need to do a distance I had never done before, and one that I didn’t train properly for, but I’d have to do it alone. Oh, and did I mention that this was also happening on the same day that I was going to be moving Reagan’s furniture in to the new house? That Saturday night was to be our first sleeping at the new house. So I had plenty of good excuses on NOT doing the run. But I finally said to myself no…I had already committed, already paid, and the very worst that could happen would be that I would just have a really long walk.

That Friday (which I had already taken off of work to work on unpacking) I went and grabbed my race bib and such. This race – called Joe’s Run for anyone who is interested – is kinda small and more for fun than anything, so there wasn’t a lot of swag, but the tank shirt is really cute! I am not at a point yet where I feel like I can wear sleeveless shirts in public (I hate my upper arms of course), but I planned to where it that next day under my t-shirt for the run. I may have mentioned it before…but having a large chest + a baby + 75 pounds of weight loss leads to a lot of….bouncing. So I usually have to where a tight sports bra as well as a tighter shirt under my t-shirt to run comfortably.

Anyway, I digress…

Race bib, shirt and shoes

Race bib, shirt and shoes

Saturday morning I woke up, put on the clothes I laid out the night before, set my mom up with the baby monitor since Rea wasn’t yet awake, grabbed a couple of bananas and headed out. The race was only about 6 miles or so from my mom’s, and I found it pretty easily with the GPS. There were a lot more people out there than I expected, actually. I didn’t have to pee, so I skipped the bathroom line, and I hung out near the start. It was a little awkward for me, since I didn’t know anyone…I’m kind of a shy extrovert, so even though I wanted to be talking to people, I didn’t have the guts to just walk up and start a conversation with anyone!

So I did what any self-respecting newbie would do - took a selfie!

So I did what any self-respecting newbie would do – took a selfie!

They were playing music at the start, and the energy was good. I was still crazy nervous about attempting the 10k, but I had no illusions or goals for a time I wanted to come in at…just to finish, even if I had to walk. I made my way toward the back of the pack, and we started promptly at 8am.

Making my way to the starting corral

Making my way to the starting corral

The very first thing I learned from the 10k was that I need to buy a hat, or a sweatband, or something! I had put on sunscreen that morning, and it was already in the 80’s when we started. Since I’m mostly a treadmill runner, I don’t have much experience with running outside (I mean, it’s Texas, why would I WANT to run outside?). The sweat was already pouring 5 minutes in, causing the sunscreen to drip right in to my eyes and BURN! I looked like an idiot I’m sure running while trying to wipe my face on my sleeve. Luckily after about 5 minutes or so of THAT annoyance, the sunscreen above my eyes must have mostly sweated away, because it became a bit more tolerable. (UPDATE: I’ve talked to some runners since, and purchased a 2XU visor. I haven’t been able to run in it yet, but I mowed the yard and it and it was awesome at keeping the sweat out of my eyes!) That was my only real bad experience!

I am sure I started out way too fast, but I quickly tried to pace myself. Within about a half mile or so all the fast people had found their areas up ahead, and I was with a little group. There was this guy…a very stocky guy with huge calfs (I just started calling him Huge-Calf Man), and he and I were playing leap frog forever. I’d pass him, and then a few minutes later he’d pass me…and then start walking. So I’d pass him again at my little slow jog, and then he’d start running again and pass me…and start walking. I thought it was very odd, but it gave me something to focus on besides “holy crap it’s really hot out here!” Finally at about the halfway point, I had to walk for a bit and was fussing with my headphones, and he went on ahead of me.

That was the second thing I learned – figure out music ahead of time! I put on my headphones and such right before the race, and just started the last Pandora station I had been listening to, which I thought was based on Pink…so should have been some good, upbeat, angry white girl music. But it turned in to love songs. And of course with all the issues with with X, love songs were NOT welcome. So finally around the halfway point I decided to change it…well I was in a hurry of course because I wanted to start running again, but then my debit card fell out of my running belt when I took my phone out, so it was just really annoying. I finally got it figured out and put on some more upbeat music, which definitely helped on the last half.

After the turn around and the walk break, it was definitely a lot harder to run…and again, my “run” is an old lady shuffle. I was much more tired, and my left ankle was aching a bit. The interesting thing I found though was that it hurt MORE to walk than to just keep shuffling. On the first half I only took one walk break through a water station, but I was taking a few more walk breaks on the second half. Not too bad, I would guesstimate that I only walked about .5 miles of the whole 10k.

Despite that, it seems like the second half went by faster than the first. I think it’s because the music was better! 😛

Once the end was near, I tried to pick up the pace…and though I don’t think anything picked up, I felt like I was a runner and ran through the finish line! The after party was a lot of fun, they had a Jimmy Buffet band, and some really great booths. I grabbed some bananas, and a Gatorade, and just stood around trying to ignore my screaming legs for a few minutes. I went through and looked at the booths, and bought another tank top (they had extras from last year).

My post-race selfie. What did I just do!?

My post-race selfie. What did I just do!? And I already want to do it again next year!

Once I started to feel human again and realized that I am awesome and just did a 10k, I went and got the really awesome after-race swag – free beer and a burger! I ate about half of the burger, and enjoyed the beer, even though it was a bit darker than I care for.

This made it totally worth it! ;)

This made it totally worth it! 😉

I hung around to cheer for the racers who won trophies, and then headed home.


Fun times at the after party. It wasn't crazy-stupid loud and crowded, which was nice for me!

Fun times at the after party. It wasn’t crazy-stupid loud and crowded, which was nice for me!


My little one enjoyed some of my post-race swag. 😉

I'm a princess!

I’m a princess!

The last thing I learned from my first 10k. I look like a complete goober. Seriously, my race outfit is terrible! After looking at these photos, I vowed to dress better for the next race. I am still dressing like I weigh 262 pounds…and the result is a scary looking man, not a 75 pounds gone woman! Ugh…seriously!

"She Looka Like a Man!!!"

“She Looka Like a Man!!!”

And can you say, needs new headphones!? I had left my good running headphones in my gym bag at work, so all I had were these...circa 1995.

And can you say, needs new headphones!? I had left my good running headphones in my gym bag at work, so all I had were these…circa 1995.

Slightly looking like a member of the female sex here.

Slightly looking like a member of the female sex here.

As superficial as it sounds – does anyone have any advice on how to dress after a good amount of weight loss that is both comfortable for running, but also makes you looks halfway decent??

Oh, yeah, and here are my…ahem…sad stats:

Like a turtle, slow, but steady

Like a turtle, slow, but steady

So yeah…that’s it, my rambling race report on my first 10k. I loved it, and I loved the challenge of the distance! I am already looking at doing another one. Hopefully I can actually train for it. The bar has been set (thankfully, very low, haha!).


I Think I Found My “H”

It’s Thursday, and that means it’s almost Friday!

Yesterday’s workout was indeed hard, but I did it! Right now I’m using an app called 5k Forever to train with, because I already am able to “run” a 5k distance. This app is designed to help you get faster. My lofty goal right now is to be able to run a 5k in anything under 34 minutes…it’s my 33 by 33 goal, since I turn 33 soon. Unfortunately by “soon” I mean one month from today. I don’t know if I will make it, only because right now by my calculations my fastest 5k time is 37 minutes and some change. But, I don’t feel discouraged, it’s just a goal, it’s not something I’ll want to cry about or anything if I don’t hit it ON my birthday. I know that I’ve done the best I can with my hip issues, etc putting me out of commission a couple of times this year.

So anyway, back to yesterday. Like I said, I’m using the 5k Forever app, and I’ve really enjoyed it so far. Yesterday I was on week 5, day 2, which is what I would describe as a “long interval” day (I don’t know much about running and terminology, so if anyone out there knows better just correct me!). The run consisted of 15 minutes at “normal pace” (which for me is a 5.0 on the treadmill, which is supposedly 12mph), 8 minutes at “slightly faster” (which is 5.4 on the treadmill, about…11.6mph?), and then 10 minutes at “normal pace” again.

It was SO HARD. I’m in that stage now where running is a lot more mental than physical. First off, I got about 6 minutes in to the run, and then had to go to the bathroom. It’s the first time I’ve felt the need to go in the middle of a workout enough to actually stop the treadmill and go, usually I’m able to wait. But I was able to jump right back on and continue afterwards (whereas before I might have talked myself out of it and just walked or jogged). I finished my 15 minutes out, then ran the faster 8 minutes…and then I had to walk for a minute. I’m still not great at “recovering” from intervals where I go from a fast run to a slower run (as opposed to a fast run to a walk), but I’m working on that. But after the minute walk break, I went back in to running at “normal pace,” though I slowed the normal pace to around 4.8 for the first couple of minutes there as well. Once the 10 minute interval was over, I tacked on an extra minute of running to make up for the minute of walking I took.

The whole time I was running, I wanted to stop…I couldn’t find anything to keep me distracted…I was listening to Jillian Micheal’s podcast, and though I like it, it just wasn’t keeping my mind off of the self-torture I was doing. Nothing on the TVs was interesting, staring off out the window wasn’t helping. This is the hardest part of running for me…my body wasn’t hurting enough to want to stop, I was breathing ok (for the most part), I just…felt like I “couldn’t do it!” Someone told me they think my gym has free wi-fi, so I might take my iPad next time and try to watch a show on Netflix. Once it’s cooler outside (I live in Texas), I want to try and start running outside more.

BUT, once it was done…I was elated! I did it! I was able to sustain those paces – I was worried about my “normal” pace because I had recently had to take time off from running because my hip was hurting, not to mention the “slightly faster” pace…but I was able to jump right back in! I was grinning like an idiot afterwards and the whole way to the showers, I even stopped to take a photo like a nerd:

Yes, I am one of those...

Yes, I am one of those…

As I was in the shower, I felt so accomplished and just…goofy happy. I mean, it was only a silly little training run, and I had to stop the treadmill in there, so I didn’t even know how far I went in the total time, etc…but I just…felt happy. I got to thinking that maybe this is a little tiny whisper of what a…”runner’s high” feels like? If so, I think I found the H in runner’s high, lol!

Today is a rest day, but I’m trying to watch my food intake a lot for the next few days, one of my DietBets ends this weekend, and I am worried I won’t make my goal!