Today I woke up at 5:00 am to run my first 10k in Ellicott City, Maryland with my best friend Christina and my Dad (he came to support and cheer). This was my first race since May 2009 and my first race over 3.1 miles so I was a little nervous but also excited.

After we arrived we got our bib number, stretched went to the bathroom twice and than we were off. There were a little over 300 people so the start was a little slow but it didn't take long before I got into a good pace.

I ran cross country in high school so I have had my fair share of courses from hills to mud to woods to flat but today was by far the hilliest course I have ever ran. Every time I saw a hill coming up (which was often) I would initially think 'I'm going to die' but I would quickly change my thoughts and repeat 'I can do all things through Him who gives me strength' over and over again until I made it up the hill. It was incredibly encouraging and allowed me to focus on God and remember why I can and am running.

I ran the first three miles in about 26 minutes and finished the over all race in 54 minutes (About an 8:30 mile pace) and I was placed 15th for females in the age group of 20-29. I plan on training much harder in the next month to improve my time but for now I am happy that I was able to complete the race and remember why I was there; to bring honor and glory to God through my running.

Christina did a amazing job and I was so proud of her. After she finished she told me that she was embarrassed at first but than realized that it wouldn't be any fun so she quickly changed her mindset and had a great time.

It is so true what they say, running is running 10% physical 90% mental.

Another new and exciting thing happened today. I learned that I am dyslexic. My bib number read 52 but from the point when I put it on to when we were driving back home I thought it read 25. Before the race while stretching I told Christina that I hadn't seen anyone with a smaller number she pointed out a 42 and a 38 both of which I responded "Nope, mines lower." She didn't correct me thinking it was some sort of running thing. At the end of the race they had a list of bib numbers of the first 40 people that pr-registered. I went over and looked down the sheet and didn't see 25 so I walked away. Finally in the car Christina said her number out loud and than said mine I started to say something and than looked down and realized I had had a blonde moment for well over three hours. I was pretty upset because I may have won a prize after all but what can you do?

My next race is a Nightmarathon (a 5k with a serious of obstacle courses) in two weeks and in October I will be competing in my first sprint triathlon. I am excited for the things to come and to see where God leads me.

"I run because it’s my passion, and not just a sport. Every time I walk out the door, I know why I’m going where I’m going and I’m already focused on that special place where I find my peace and solitude. Running, to me, is more than just a physical exercise... it's a consistent reward for victory!"- Sasha Azevedo

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