September 19, 2010

Finishing the Air Force 10k

Yesterday was an amazing day. I finished my first 6.2 mile run with a better time than I expected. The weather was wonderful, the energy was awesome, and all of that was shared with some great friends! We meet up in the dark hours of the morning, 5:30am to be exact, to car pool up to Dayton for the Air Force 10k run, which was at the Wright Patt Air Force Base. All morning long, huge military aircraft were flying over head, buzzing though the sky with such great force, giving me chills every time one flew overhead. I captured this shot right as the sun was starting to rise over the buildings on the base.
Once we got through the traffic madness and made a pit stop at the porta john's, we headed to the starting line to take off for the 10k. The picture below show the military planes that are all along the finish line for the races.
During the run, I felt pretty good for the most part. There was a pretty big hill between mile 1 and 2 and our group agreed to power walk the hill, which helped us not be totally wiped out for the remaining 4 miles. We stayed with our 3 & 1 intervals of running and walking during the entire 6.2 miles. I did start to have some doubt around mile 4 about how strong of a finish I was going to be able to have. Mind over matter, that's a popular saying, right? That's what I had to do, I leaned on my friends, who were right there encouraging me along, and pushed though some of the mental doubt that was starting to creep up on me.

Coming up to the finish line was such a great feeling. I knew that JJ and my parents were going to be in the crowd of people cheering everyone on as they finished and I couldn't wait to see them. As we turned the corner to head down the final stretch of the run, it was really emotional to see all those planes lining the way for us as we pounded our feet towards the finished line. About 100 yards out, I spotted JJ and my family and heard them shouting out my name, encouraging me as I crossed the finish line. As my running buddies and I crossed the finish line, we threw our hands up in the air and cheered out as all three of us had just completed our first 10k run. Right after finishing, we were presented with our medals by members of the Air Force, which was a pretty special moment.
The numbers break down like this - my total time for 6.2 miles was 1:22:15. My goal was to finish in 1:30:00, so it was a great feeling to have beaten that time. My pace per mile was 13:26, which is good for me. I finished number 1260 out of 1701 runners and in all female runners, I finished 641 out of 967.
Thanks to my running girls - Beth and Julie - for pulling me through miles 4 & 5 and pushing me to the finish. A big thanks to JJ and my parents, who showed up and fought the traffic to make it to the finish line to watch me accomplish this big goal of completing my first 10k run. Having you guys there was really great and I am thankful for your support!

1 comment:

MacDougall Family said...

Len, I'm so proud of you! These pictures are awesome, especially the one at sunrise! Can't wait to see your medal this weekend! Congrats again!