10k Report: A Moderate Success!

Good news! I finished the 10k and didn’t poop my pants! Bad news: I didn’t finish in 1:05 like I’d hoped.  I stopped once to readjust a blister-inducing sock and I stopped at all 4 water stations. Those stops coupled with decreased speed in the last two miles tacked almost 5 unwanted minutes onto my final time.  I finished at 1:09:43.  The half-marathon winner finished at 1:09:46.  Ha! I beat him. (Never mind that he ran more than double my mileage.)

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The weather forecast predicted an 80% chance of rain and warm temperatures. I was not looking forward to repeating the Chinatown 5k conditions.  Thankfully, it only sprinkled on our way in and was beautiful for the entire race.  With the weather mercifully overcast and breezy, I didn’t overheat.

According to Map My Run, I had a decent pace at first but steadily got slower as the miles wore on.  I kind of psyched myself out before this race.  I was afraid of dehydrating so I stopped at every water station. I was afraid of pooping in my pants so I woke up every hour the night before to try to go to the bathroom. I was afraid there would be hills (and there were) so I got some helpful tips from my trainer on how to handle them. In hindsight, I really felt good the entire time and could’ve pushed myself harder but let fear stop me.

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Once I crossed the finish line, I realized I wasn’t dying, I wasn’t hurt (other than sore knees and a couple blisters) and I actually did it! I ran a 10k!! Even though I didn’t meet my time goal, I still accomplished a HUGE goal! I NEVER would’ve dreamed I could run 6.2 miles.  I never would’ve dreamed I could run for more than an hour.  I’m still incredibly proud of myself!

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Pardon the ID card in the bra. It’s the safest pocket I had.

A carton of chocolate milk, a string cheese and a couple cups of water later, I was on the rail at the finish line to wait for Christian and Nick to finish the half marathon.  They both ran a half in Indianapolis in May and were talking the night before this race about how they didn’t train as hard for this half.  That didn’t seem to matter when they sailed across the finish line, shaving a couple minutes off each of their times.

These champs ran the half marathon and beat their previous times. Hills and all.

A post shared by Sara Jane Castro (@saryjanecastro) on

After their race, we enjoyed our complimentary beers and rested a little while enjoying beautiful Miller Park. (Bonus: we get to go back because each registration came with a ticket to see a Brewers game!)

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Pardon the bare feet, I took my shoes off for a bit on account of the blisters.
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Too hard to smile, brah.

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Now, time to get back out there and continue training for the 15k in November.

tl;dr 10k:done. Pants: accident-free

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Biggest Loser 5k

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I ran the Biggest Loser Run/Walk 5K yesterday and finished in my best time, to date! I felt amazing until about mile 2.5. Then I got super hot and really could’ve used a second water station.  But I pushed through and finished with an average pace of 10:24 and a total time of 31:04.  Best of all? I came in 17th in my age group! (If I hadn’t just turned 30, I would’ve been 20th or higher in the younger group.)

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Cute custom shirt by talented big sister Joy “Too Cute Designs” Jones. Visit her shop here.

While it was kind of annoying to have to dodge walkers, (for the love of pancakes, please stay to the right!) this race was encouraging because there were people of all shapes and sizes out there, walking, running, doing their best.  Some even had canes! I never really watched Biggest Loser.  In fact, I think I’ve only seen one episode and I rolled my eyes the entire time at the drama of it all. But I do commend them for inspiring so many people to make positive, healthy changes in their lives.

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The Bears are trying to recruit me. I’m trying Soldier Field on for size.

There was certainly a time, not too long ago, when I would’ve balked at the idea of walking a 5k, much less running one, because I didn’t think I was in shape enough to exercise.  Kind of a hilarious thought now. How did I expect to get in shape without exercise? So it was a nice reminder that when my goals seem really far away, the only way to achieve them is to start walking or running towards them.

The most beautiful photo ever taken of me.
The most beautiful photo ever taken of me.

This race was also great because of how much loot they gave away.  I didn’t even take half of the stuff they gave out and walked away with my bag stuffed full of goodies.

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In less inspiring news, I started seeing the scale creep back up this week.  I was frustrated and discouraged but it was kind of an inevitability given the fact that I’ve had like 5 birthday meals, enjoyed more than occasional cocktails and milk-based coffee drinks and have given myself too much leeway lately. I also haven’t tracked my calories in weeks, thinking that I’ve got this under control and there’s no way I could gain weight.  Wrong.  Will you help me stay accountable? I want to post my menu here each week (with calorie counts) and be held to it.  Also, if you see me socially or in the office, will you ask me how it’s going? Don’t feel shy! I need the encouragement.

And lastly, I’m including this picture because that little girl looks so mad about waking up early to run a race.  Especially with a gigantic bow on her head. Special thanks to race photographer and handsome boyfriend Christian for most of these pictures.

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tl;dr

go big girl, go big girl, go big girl, go

5K report

This morning I ran my first* 5k! My goals were to run the whole thing without stopping and to finish in under 35 minutes.  I’m pleased to report that 1) I did not die 2) I ran the whole thing without stopping and 3) I finished in 30 minutes!

The race wasn’t officially timed so I used the Nike app on my phone.  The GPS didn’t kick in right away and I forgot to hit the stop button until I’d been across the finish line for about 30-45 seconds but still! I’m super proud of myself for accomplishing my goals!

Before the race, I was a nervous wreck.  I welled up with tears like three times this morning because I was super scared.

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Putting on a brave face for the camera.

Once the race started, I felt much better.  It was surprisingly much easier to run amongst all those people than it is to run alone. I’d pick out targets ahead of me to pass and I was delightfully distracted from any tiredness or pain by listening to an episode of The Bugle. I find it nicer to run with a podcast rather than music because I don’t know what’s coming next and I have to pay attention to the speaker rather than my run. Probably not a great plan if I was running to beat my time or something but it works for me now.

Since this race was called the Bacon Chase, they offered all-you-can-eat bacon, cups of bacon bits at the water stations along the trail and a bloody mary after the race.  I chose not to partake. Somehow the offer of greasy bacon and spicy tomato juice didn’t sound appealing when I’m drenched with sweat.

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Photos courtesy of photographer/boyfriend Christian Castro

I had a few very sweet supporters.  Christian stayed up way too late making signs and Sarina surprised me by showing up to cheer me on! I may or may not have welled up with tears again at the sight of them by the finish line.

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Speaking of finish lines, Christian caught a picture of me smokin’ the old lady behind me.  Good thing she had a bloody mary to wash down all my dust she just ate.

Finish Line

At the risk of sounding like an ego-maniac, I’m incredibly proud of myself and I’m so glad I didn’t chicken out!  I felt good, comfortable and (dare I say it?) I’m really looking forward to doing more races in the future. Who knows? Maybe I’ll join Christian next year for the Indianapolis Half Marathon? We’ll see… first I need a hot shower and possibly a nap.

Post Race

*I’ve signed up for two 5Ks in the past but never run them.  One I walked with my college friends Rebecca and Diana and the other was one to support an animal shelter. Susie and I were so late for it, the 5K was over so we just walked around and pet peoples’ dogs.

tl;dr

ran a race, it was cool