Monday, December 17, 2012

I Ran My First 10K!

Here's Calvary Chapel's Running Team before the race:

We all gathered at the start line, 5Kers and 10Kers in a combined start.  I was excited when they asked the 10Kers to move to the left (the faster lane!) before the race began. And we're off! I had adrenaline helping me get up the hill and for the first 1 or 2 tenths of a mile. Then my body protested. It usually does, especially at the beginning of an actual race when my pace is determined by adrenaline and the people around me. At first it's really slow, almost a walk, then I match the people running nearby. That never lasts more than a minute, though! I soon settled into my normal pace. People began passing me, but that was okay. I wasn't trying to win. We rounded a corner and neared the bridge. The Bridge. The Huge Bridge. The huge bridge that I've run a dozen times. Before the race there was heavy fog, so much that we couldn't see the bridge from the park and it's very close. As I crested the bridge I looked out to see the water but I couldn't see it because the fog was so thick.

This isn't an actual picture of it since I didn't have my camera with me and wouldn't have stopped during an actual race to take a picture anyway. It was this thick, though.

I was a little sad about not being able to see God's creation of sky and water. He then reminded me that fog is His creation too. Oh yeah. It is! He was closer to me, enveloping me, than if I had been able to see and marvel at His other creations like I was expecting to. He reminded me that pilots learn to fly by sight and then by what their instruments tell them even when they can’t see the sky/horizon/earth. I was running by faith, not able to see much of what was around me but knowing it was still there.

Downhill was not as fun with hundreds of people around. I couldn't open up as much as I would've liked. We approached the 5K turnaround. I felt like part of an elite club when I continued on and didn’t turn around. J

I wasn't paying attention to my music as much with so many people around. People were passing me but I didn’t mind (too much). We turned north at the roundabout. The directions and map said that the 10K turnaround was a little past Bay Esplanade so I went about a block past in training. Apparently “a little” to the race organizers is about *4* blocks! That added another minute or two to my total time. Wait. If that added a minute or two to my time and if I finished 42 seconds faster than the one and only time I ran the entire distance in training, then I finished quite a bit faster than expected! I used the calculator on my phone and it said that my pace was 13:22 instead of 13:30 like it had been, but that’s incorrect. Well, not incorrect; actually I interpreted it incorrectly. First, I didn’t take into account what I just told you about the longer distance and shorter time. Second, I forgot to convert seconds (time) to tenths (distance). Or something like that. 82 minutes divided by 6.2 miles equals 13.22, which is 13 minutes and 12 seconds per mile, not 13 minutes and 22 seconds. So I went faster in addition to going longer! I like that!
Somewhere around mile 3-1/2 I felt like I could go on like this forever. That almost always happens but not always in the same place. The first few seconds I run I feel powerful. Then my body realizes what I’m requiring of it and protests. NO!!! STOP NOW!!! When I don’t stop, my body realizes it better kick it into gear. It does, in its 43-year-old obese way. Then I tend to stay in that zone for the majority of the run except for some occasional bursts of speed that last for a few seconds.
At about mile 4-1/2 a lady said she liked the back of my shirt:
Going up the bridge at mile 5 was tough, as it always is. I didn’t slow to a walk, though. It might have looked like I did, but I didn’t. J I went down the spiral thinking that this race was almost over. As I crested the last uphill the woman in front of me turned around and asked if I was Michele Ervin. She is a member of my church’s running team but we had never met. We ran the last 0.3 miles together, which was nice.

As I turned the last corner and began the downhill path to the finish line (I love that they structured the course that way!), I saw my family and friends waiting! That and the downhill slope caused me to run faster!

I even disconnected the cord from my MP3 player, raised both arms into the air, and ran that way for a few yards! Victory! My first 10K completed without injury! I'll do another post when I get some more of the pictures they took. 
I crossed the finish line at 1:21:58 according to my watch. 
The official records say 1:22:10.  I came in 56th out of 61 women in my age group in the 10K.  I didn't finish last!  I came in 613th out of 638 total runners in the 10K. 
People say that we need to get out of the way and let God work, but I think many people don't know how to do that. It can be difficult to understand what our responsibility is and what God's responsibility is and not get the two confused. In running it's a little easier than it may be in other situations. I know I have to dress appropriately, move my feet, pump my arms, make my lungs expand, practice, set goals, push myself, etc. Then when race day comes I have to take my concerns that I'm not fully prepared, set them aside, and let God do what He does best. Show Himself. He didn't show his power in making it so that I won the race or even my age group, and I didn't expect Him to. I won by running faster than this woman

That makes me a winner in my opinion no matter what the official results say.  J 




  1. Michele, I LOVE this post!!! I'm so proud of you girl!!

  2. I am visiting your blog from TLT ... and I'm so encouraged by your perseverance!! How incredible you are running like this and pushing yourself as the Lord leads. Just amazing what you are accomplishing!

  3. Great posts. I love how you incorporate the pictures with the text. And the end of this one is AWESOME. I love how you're looking forward, but still able to see from where you've come. It's encouraging for me to see you so encouraged. Keep up the great running!