A few weeks ago I ran my first 10k during the festivities at the Fargo marathon weekend! Working up to and training for the 10k truly was a journey and undertaking for me but I learned a lot about myself and my abilities over the course of my training.
I have a dear and best friend named Chloe who has always been the friend to push me out of my comfort zone and whenever she asks me to do something with her, even if it’s something I would never think to do on my own, her spirit and joy always encourage me to say yes 🙂
Last year we ran the END Racing Uffda Mud Run together and then this past year during late fall/early winter when Chloe and I were hanging out one day and discussing our health and exercise she said “Hey, we should run a 10k”. I am sure my initial reaction was one similar to “HECK NO” because running is very low on a list of exercise that I enjoy. After some more conversations about it I thought it would be a great way to challenge myself and do something out of my comfort zone.
Towards the end of January is when Chloe and I officially began our “Couch to 10k” training plan. We decided on a run training app that allowed us to customize how many days per week we wanted to run, which day of the week we wanted to be our “long run”, etc. but there are so many choices out there! If you’re looking to train for a race choose whatever plan seems best for you 🙂 Since we started training about 4 months before our race we essentially had an extra 3-4 weeks before the real training plan began.
The plan was really easy to follow and if one week the plan didn’t work right for your schedule you could edit and move the suggestions for those days around so that it was do-able for you. Some weeks I found myself editing my cross training days so that they fell on the nights I wanted to go to spin class. While we’re on the subject, I found it really important during my training to engage in the cross training and other kinds of exercise. It helps to work different muscle groups and breaks down that soreness that can come from consistent running.
As our 4 months of training went along Chloe and I tried to meet up every so often to do our runs together to keep each other motivated, especially on our longer run days. During the winter months we were often meeting at Choice to run inside on the track but as the weather improved we started meeting down at Lincoln park to run on the greenway trails. When I think back on the training program I truly believe I wouldn’t have been as successful as I was if I hadn’t had Chloe doing it with me. It was great to have someone who asked me how my runs had been going, encouraged me through the tough days, and was a running buddy whenever we could make our schedules work together. Here we are on one of our cold, rainy training runs on the greenway. We ran a 5k that night and were feeling like rockstars at the end!
As we got closer to race day I was sometimes feeling discouraged because the more I began to run outside the more I realized how different it was from running inside on a track. With our winter weather it isn’t something that is easy to control around here but I had to move past the fact that my times outside wouldn’t stack up to my times inside for the same distance.
The night before the race Chloe and I drove to Fargo and were able to stay with our friend Lynsi so we could get good rest and be ready to wake up early for the big day!! We had a nice carb-filled supper and went to bed early. The morning as we got dressed in our matching funky floral leggings we were nervous but knew this was the big day and were excited at how the accomplishment would feel once we crossed the finish line.
The energy when we arrived in the Fargodome that morning was electric and it became clear to me why people loved doing competitive races so much! The race itself felt like a blur from the adrenaline and excitement and it was so encouraging to have so many people lining the streets and neighborhoods we ran through. There were funny signs, high fives, and cheers for everyone as well as a few bands along the way to keep your motivation going with the music.
As I neared the Fargodome and the last 2/10 of a mile until the end Lynsi was there cheering for me and that pushed me through to the end. The smile on my face when I crossed the finish line was genuine and joyful. It feels good to see the results of your hard work pay off and it was overwhelming to officially check off that 6.2 miles!!!
As most of you have gathered from previous posts of mine I really enjoy food. Once you finish the race the thought of food is exciting to say the least and the Fargo marathon team didn’t disappoint with their post-race snacks!! Edible cookie dough, pizza, chocolate milk, bananas, fruit cups, and more were all waiting for us when we got back in to the dome. It was fun to share a post-race celebratory meal with Chloe after we were reunited after the race!
I have spent the last few weeks taking a break from running for the most part and my legs are happy for that! But on my radar and coming up next is the Wild Hog marathon weekend here in Grand Forks in late September. I am planning to begin training again to run another 10k and I hope to improve my time and really focus on following my training plan diligently to get the best results possible.
At the end of the day, I am so thankful that Chloe encouraged me to take this journey with her. As someone who despised running at the start of this process I can now see why so many people enjoy making running part of their exercise routines on varying levels. I hope that this journey will keep me in this same mindset about running and I also hope that I will continue to push myself to reach new goals! I encourage anyone who has considered training for a race like this to give it a try. It’s a great feeling to accomplish a big feat and stretching yourself (physically and mentally) proves to allow for some exciting growth.
Thanks so much for reading! Have a great week,