I did it! This was my second 10k race this year and I did SO much better this time. I felt like complete crap the morning of the race and so my friend Lesley and I decided to start the race before the official timing began. It would have been nice to know my actual time, but I have a very close approximation. It was in Forest Park- this HUGE wooded park in Portland. The trail was absolutely gorgeous and since we ran before the official start, it was uncrowded for most of the run. Still, there were lots of other women running when we were and it is such a great environment. As women pass each other they cheer for each other and compliment each other- a nice reminder that women can and do treat each other well!
The first 3 miles were rough- very steep uphills. When I saw the 3-mile marker (next to the mind over mountain sign), I was shocked because I was sure I was near the end. However, the last 3.4 miles were fantastic. Long periods of downhill in which for the first time in my life, I felt like I was really running. I had watched one of the eye-candy males (the trail is public and a few guys were brave enough to run amidst/before the 750 women) fly down the hill. I had always kept my regular pace downhill, but what he was doing looked much more fun. So, I mentally unhinged my legs and basically let gravity move me down. It was SO fun! I felt like Phoebe when she told Rachel that she runs the way she does because it's how we ran when we were young and running was fun (arms flailing, feet flying)... Look at me quoting pop culture- oh, is it still pop when it's 10 years old? Anyway, I was enjoying myself so much that I really picked up my pace and was a little disappointed to end the race (which was a SHOCK because I did not think I could run that far- though I probably walked about a 1/2 - 1 mile total on the hills). The combo of feeling proud of myself and the endorphins TOTALLY changed me from a tired, crabby whiner to a happy, energetic girl! Plus, I got so much free stuff (dry-fit tank, running socks, running hat, a plethora of luna bars, 2 water bottles...). Morale of the story: when you feel like crap- dust off your running shoes and run like a 5-year-old girl :)