I Ran My First 10K Road Race and It Was More Emotional Than I Expected

Great Pumpkin 10K Finish Line

A week ago at nearly this exact time I was arriving at the start line for my first 10K race. I was feeling nervous, but happy the weather cooperated and the sun was shining with the gorgeous southern Maine coast as a backdrop. The main reason I wanted/needed to run a 10K race was so I could submit a proof of time to improve my corral placement for an upcoming half marathon I’m running at the beginning of 2014. I set a time goal for myself and was determined to cross the finish line as close to it as possible. My first hurdle came when I realized I had forgotten to pack my interval timer, which I use every time I run because I take walk breaks and I love that it simply vibrates when I need to switch between walking and running, allowing me to focus on my breathing, my stride and in this situation, reaching the finish line. I decided to wear a watch and adjust my walk breaks by using the mile markers as a guide to stop and walk for one minute each time, which ended up working well. Sometimes you just need to improvise and hope everything goes well.

Starting Line of Great Pumpkin 10K Saco Maine 2013

Since I’m mentioning the mile markers I have to take a moment and say just how much those little numbered guides mean to me, and I’m sure many other runners, while participating in a race. Every time I reached a mile marker, not only was I that much closer to the finish line, but each one helped me to mentally push through to the next one because let’s face it, the mind sometimes plays a much bigger role than the body during a physical challenge. My favorite marker was probably for mile #3 because that is when I realized I was nearly half way done and when I looked at my watch I was right on pace to finish the race in the amount of time I had set as a goal. The mile #4 marker was the one when I felt overcome with emotion for the first time. Not because I was afraid I couldn’t finish, but because I knew I was going to finish. My body was covered in goosebumps and my eyes filled up with tears, but I pushed them back because there was still a fair amount of distance to cover. As I approached and passed the mile #5 marker I felt several emotions and again my eyes welled up with emotion as I felt pride in myself that I would soon complete something I had worked so hard to accomplish. I can’t put into words just how powerful those emotions were and how they simply snuck up on me without any warning.

In all honesty that last mile was a little challenging, especially since I had trained very little and had battled with a cold the week prior to the race, but nothing was going to keep  me from crossing the finish line. I had my music blaring in my ears, which is what usually keeps me motivated during training runs, but that day I hardly noticed it because there was something else pulling me toward the finish line. I remember visualizing myself there, but more importantly I remember visualizing my loved ones waiting for me with smiles on their faces. There were moments when I wanted to sprint so I could reach them more quickly, but I stayed focused on my pace and felt grateful to my body for getting me through my very first 6.2-mile road race.

Great Pumpkin 10K Crossing the Finish Line

Crossing the Finish Line

There was one final bend before the finish line and that is when I used every bit of fight I had left in me to run as fast as I could to finish strong and get congratulatory hugs from my aunt and my son. Crossing the finish line of my first 10K race was hands-down one of my biggest personal accomplishments, especially since I did it at the age of 41 years old. The emotion hit me one more time and I even saw a few tears in my aunt’s eyes as she hugged me and told what an awesome job I did, especially since she new the goal I had set for myself, which I ended up beating by nearly 4 minutes!

My Great Pumpkin 10K Cheerleaders

 These two probably have no idea how much I appreciated their support that day! 

I owe a HUGE thank you to my fabulous aunt for taking these amazing photos that I will treasure always and use as inspiration to train for future races!



  1. Yes, it was an emotional day! I was tearing up during the race and especially as the time clock I was standing by was counting the time and knowing you would be coming very soon as your goal time was approaching! I had no doubt you would succeed and even beat that goal which you did!! It was also a very happy and proud day for this Aunt of yours!! You persevered through several weeks of not being able to train for even your 5Ks never mind this all important first 10K due to injuries. Plus overcoming the inevitable fall head and chest cold season and windy and chilly temperatures on that beautiful, sunny morning. I am so blessed to have been a part of this momentous achievement for you!!!

  2. Wow! Just… wow!
    Such an amazing accomplishment. And to beat your goal…. awesome!


  1. […] a sprinter actually, but right now I’m just a person who likes to run as proudly completed my first 10K and train for my first-ever half marathon next February at the age of 42. Yes I know. I like to […]

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