I did my first 5K of the season this morning. It was a balmy 43 degrees and it threatened to rain the whole time. Luckily it held off until the rewards ceremony. I woke up just about every hour and looked at the clock to see if it was time to get up yet. Finally around 7:20 am I got up and threw on my clothes. I tried to eat a bowl of oatmeal but my nerves only allowed me to get a couple of bites down. I left the house a few minutes before 8 and the whole drive there (about 10 mins) my nerves where bouncing all over the place. What if I couldn’t run the whole time? What if I couldn’t finish? What if it was cancelled and no one let me know?
When I went to sign in they said they didn’t have my chip which keeps track of your finish time and that I had to go talk to the timing guys in a van by the finish line. Oh uh, not the best start for someone who is already twitching with excitement. I guess it was a common problem because a line quickly formed behind me. They gave me a new bib number that did have a chip. Although I didn’t get a new bib so the one that is in the pic with me isn’t my actual number; it ended up being 898. On a side note, it was pretty windy so my hair looks alittle crazy in the pic.
It was bitter-sweet for me to watch the other runners. Most had their families with them which was neat to see. Mine were still home and in bed. My head was glad they weren’t there b/c it was COLD but my selfish side wished they were there cheering me on. Oh well, next race. I started near the start line which I never do b/c I’m not fast and I don’t want to get in everyone’s way. However, I did today b/c they didn’t have a chip mat at the beginning of the race to cross and I didn’t want to have time counted against me just because I was at the back of the pack.
I didn’t let it bother me that everyone and their brother went streaming effortlessly by me right off the bat. I kept chanting to myself slow and steady. I knew that before long I would be passing some of those sprinters who ended up walking b/c they couldn’t keep up that pace. Sure enough it started to happen. The first mile of the race was hard. I’m not use to running outside in the cold and my lungs were having trouble with the weather. I told myself not to give up and keep going. Sure enough after the first mile I got into a rhythm.
This was a very hilly race. Luckily the hills were gradual. I also knew that what goes up must come down. So I kept my gaze steady on fellow racers backs and just kept plugging along. There were some cute firemen at the half way point. Luckily I didn’t need their assistance. I didn’t let it bother me when little Grandma’s and Grandpa’s went whizzing past me. Instead I thought about how cute they looked and how I hope I’m as active as they are at their age.
When I saw the end I must admit I was really excited. I sprinted across the finish line. My legs were either so cold or moving so fast I barely felt them hit the ground. It was really very neat. There’s nothing like crossing the finish line with people cheering and yelling, “Go, Go!”
My results really made me happy. Was I in the top 1/3? Nope. Was I in the middle? Nope. Was I in the bottom 1/3 – you betcha. I placed 122 out 166 racers. In the age group 30-39 Females I finished 27th out of 44. Who knew I was running with so many pro-athletes? My time was 33:53 which after looking at a pace calculator online is a 10:54 mile. Not too shabby for my first race. When I was doing them regularly before my second child I was finishing in about 32 minutes. So I wasn’t too far off. I would really love to get under 30 minutes but I’m not going to worry about it right now. Here is the result listing.
So if you’re thinking about signing up for a 5K – go for it! Don’t worry about where you’ll finish just starting is most of the battle. I never get a rush when I’m running but I must say after finishing I have been on a high. I’m super happy and very excited. What a great feeling. Hope you have a great day too!