Last weekend on Sunday I ran the quarter marathon (10.5K) in Linz, Austria. I hadn’t ran a 10K race since I was in Istanbul in November of 2015. I mean, I did one on New Years Day 2017 with my mom and perhaps a few others in between – but not a race. There’s something different about a 10K race that’s different than just running a 10K (or more or less) on a normal day.
Running is a love/hate sport for me. I used to love running a lot when I lived on the beach in California and could go for an energizing or stress-relieving run whenever I wanted. I know that might sound a bit “spoiled” or “Califonia-ish”, but I am just being honest. The last time in my life I really remember loving to run was when I was able to run on the beach.
But since I moved to Austria, and got hurt running a half marathon in Verona a couple years ago, I kind of distanced myself from running. I just didn’t get the same feeling as I used to when I would run back in California. And then when the Austrian winter time would come, I was definitely not going outside for anything other than to get from point A to point B.
I am much more of a high intensity training girl with bodyweight and weight-bearing exercises. But about 7 weeks ago, I started training for my first Sprint Triathlon. Therefore, I have been doing a lot more running, biking and swimming (of course). The cardio time isn’t very long (between 15-35 minutes 5x per week), but I have really been noticing a lot of improvement in my endurance and “tolerance” for cardio – if that makes sense. I can honestly say I am starting to enjoy it again.
So after doing my first 10K race after 1.5 years, I can say that I am really proud of myself and my performance this go around.
My 10K race recap and learnings
1. Having the right shoes is everything!: I had the opportunity to have my running strike and style examined when I was at adidas Headquarters at their Global Influencer Event earler this year. I got the perfect pair of adidas running shoes to suit my heel strike and flat feet. This made all the different in the world.
2. The race mood is awesome: It’s so cool how so many strangers standing alongside the race route cheering can really motivate you. I really loved reading all the signs and seeing all the people take some time out of their day to cheer us on! Plus, a lot of my colleagues participated as well. This added to the motivation and positive energy.
3. Start out slow and steady: That’s what I did anyway. My first kilometer was the slowest. I hate when I start out a race with a lot of power and then I am dying at the end – I really made sure that I did not do that this race. As you can see from my kilometer-by-kilometer recap in my Runtastic app, I actually progressively got faster as the race went on. I am not 100% sure if that’s the “right” thing to do for a 10K – but that’s what I did. I am assuming it’s better if you determine, train for and race at your goal pace the entire time. Well, perhaps next time I can up my training game a bit better.
4. You vs. you: This was probably the most important part and most important learning. I didn’t care if I was faster than anyone, I just wanted to beat my previous 10K race time of 57:14 (which I ran in Istanbul). And, I did! I finished the 10.5K in 55:57 (official time) and so I was really proud of that. The pic below is me with my medal…I was really proud of that and forwarded that picture to a lot of people in my family and my boyfriend’s family — proud moment!
5. Celebrate your success: After the race I went home and ate homemade quinoa and cacao porridge (blog coming about that later because it was too good not to share!), sat on my balcony in the sunshine and read a book. It felt so good to relax and give myself some much-needed chill-out time. Plus, I got a little bit of a tan since the sun was shining so bright. Gosh I am already looking forward to summer!
The main reason I wanted to share this post with you is not because I am this professional runner who has a crazy amount of knowledge to share. It’s because I wanted to show you that it’s normal to go through phases with training and to be really into something and then lose some interest. That’s why, for me, variety is so important to keep my body in shape but also my mind. I want to feel mentally confident with whatever training I am doing as well as having fun at the same time.
It’s always fun to have personal goals and to compete against yourself – that’s why working out and fitness is so amazing! Do you have anything to add to this posting? Send me a tweet! I look forward to hearing from you.