After five months of diligent training, I am proud to say that I successfully finished my first official 10K last weekend! The girl who, last October, despised running a mile (and hadn't done so in at least seven years) ran 6.2 miles of torturous hills in JUST over an hour. Oh how I want those 24 seconds back! What a great experience it was to race in front of thousands of people willing you on when you think you're too tired to go on, and what a completely different experience from a skating competition. I was always one of those skaters who gets sick to their stomach the morning of competition, and let nerves get the best of me. Those of you at 2007 Nationals can attest to that! Before the race, I was so pumped for it to start, and couldn't wait for it to begin. What a different feeling for me!
People may be thinking, why is she writing this on a skating blog? The key word is: MOTIVATION. I set a goal that I thought would never be attainable, trained relentlessly through the winter, and never gave up on myself, even when my quads turned into jelly with each 1/2 mile I added to my training. I want to prove to all of you skaters out there that hard work pays off. When your coach tells you to do that double run through, DO IT. There is a point to it, even if your tired and don't think you have any energy left to expend. The more you train, the more consistent you will be, and the less tired you will be come competition. Oh how I wish I had the attitude that I have now when I was sixteen years old. I had so much potential that was untapped because I didn't have the fight and drive to push myself, even though my coach tried her hardest. (Oh how I must have frustrated you Lisa!)
To those skaters out there who want to improve and want to compete at your best: set goals. Work towards achieving them. Don't be lazy and push yourself. It always pays off in the end, and the feeling you get when you succeed is AWESOME!