Six days. Nine hours. Eleven minutes. Nine seconds.
That's how close the start of my first 10K is.
And I am so ready.
Months ago, after running my first 5K, people asked me when I would run a 10K. Quite frankly, I wasn't sure I would.
Sure, I could run 3.1 miles -- but 6.2?! As a buddy of mine said to me recently in an e-mail, "congratulations, you're a runner now. You won't want to stop."
And you know what? He's right.
On July 3 I will run the Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Finish at the 50 10K. I was actually inspired to run it by a fellow blogger, my Twitter buddy Unathletic Runner. I've never met her, but she's been an invaluable resource for me as I have learned to run. Plus, she's super encouraging and an all-around nice person to chat with. She's running this race, too, as well as my buddy and colleague, Joe Allen-Black , who was kind enough to run my first 5K with me.
During the past few months I've gone from loathing the idea of running, to being proud I could hammer out three miles, to being so happy I survived five.
If you have learned anything about me while reading this blog, it's that I like to challenge myself. That's true. But I'm also a planner. I like to have a game plan figured out first before I tackle something. It makes me feel better prepared, and helps calm my nerves.
And so, while I was on vacation, I decided I wanted to take away one of the biggest factors that was making me nervous about my 10K: The fact that I had no idea what running six miles would feel like.
So last weekend, I laced up my trusty and well broken-in sneakers, strapped on my GPS tracker, and told my family I'd be back after I ran six miles.
Someone out there must have wanted to test my mettle, because, about one millisecond in to my six-mile run, it started to pour. I'm not talking about a slow drizzle. I'm talking the-heavens-have-opened-up kind of rain.
I could have stopped. I mean, I was soaked to the core. But I didn't. I kept on keeping on.
My usually crowded three-mile route was deserted. It was just me and the puddles. I told myself I didn't care how long it took me to run this six miles: I just wanted to do it -- just to finish without stopping (which was also my mantra for my 5K).
And guess what? I did.
When I got home I was sweaty, drenched, and completely and utterly pleased with myself.
So now, to all those people who asked me if I'd ever run a 10K and I answered with an "I'm not sure" ... to all of you, I now say, giddy up. Let's do this.