Today I’ve got a guest post from Team Triumph member, Daphne:
I’m four weeks away from running the Saratoga Great Pumpkin Race 10K October 22. I have run 5K’s before, but a 10K is a new challenge. Training is going well. I did a long run of 6 miles last week, I just finished a (much needed) recovery week, and I’m ready for the homestretch.
A little back-story. When the idea of running a 5K was first suggested to me by my health coach, I laughed. Literally. I had lost about 20 pounds and did plenty of walking, but probably couldn’t even run for a minute at a time and had no interest in trying. Well, I didn’t start running immediately after that conversation but the seed was planted and eventually it did sprout. My first 5K three years ago at the age of 45 was my first athletic endeavor EVER. My goal was to finish – and I did with a time of 42 minutes. I was one of the last people to finish which made me a little anxious, but I can still remember my husband Michael’s huge smile when he met me at the finish line. I could feel that he was proud of me and that made me feel proud of myself.
The most recent 5K I ran this past April was ten minutes faster (and I’m about 50 pounds lighter):
So… why do I race? It’s fun to get the T-shirt and it’s rewarding to improve. But the main benefit is I find it exciting to be a participant and not a spectator. I had never pictured myself as anything other than a spectator so it’s not an exaggeration to say I find it thrilling to look around and see that I am one of the group that is doing the running and not the group watching. That experience gives me a boost of self-confidence that I use to help me cope with various moments of self-doubt in life. (I’m a natural pessimist so I need an arsenal of strategies to combat that tendency. One of which is reading Emily’s marvelous blog!).
When I decided to up the distance of my next race to a 10K, Michael suggested we drive the course to check it out. What a great idea! During the reconnaissance trip, we had two opposite reactions. Michael was concerned that it was too challenging, but my reaction was “I can definitely do this.” Very empowering! I’m likely going to be at the very back of the pack once again, but I’m okay with that now. Practicing yoga has enlightened me that comparing myself to others is not what this process is about.
For those of you on Team Triumph running the Tel Aviv Night Run 10K, know I am very jealous! Israel is always in my heart.
A few tips:
1. Whether you are well-endowed or not, a comfortable and supportive sports bra is a must! I like the Moving Comfort Juno for the adjustable straps.
2. The right running shoes for your particular foot and gait are important. Road Runner Sports has a great quiz.
3. If you have the opportunity to hire a supportive and knowledgeable coach such as Emily — do it. My work has been with another talented coach and after years of struggle it has been the key to all the positive physical and mental changes I have made. See photos for the evidence.
Daphne, that was such an inspiring post! We wish you tons of luck in your race and can’t wait to hear all the details.
Team Triumphers, write your stories! Send ’em on in and I’ll post ’em.