Tuesday, December 01, 2009
Thanks to everyone for thinking about me on Thanksgiving Day and those weeks up until my first 5K race. It was a stressful three weeks of learning how to run and then actually running my first ever race! Even through the tough times, it was a fun experience and I am thinking towards the next one in the future, maybe.
Thanksgiving Day: We woke up to a very dark day when everyone but my husband and I were awake before even the country roosters. It was rainy and visibility was less than preferred. Yes, it was the perfect North American winter morning that one should normally stay in bed and sleep until at least the sunshine peeks through the clouds. But at last, the two of us grudgingly drug ourselves out from under the covers of our now warm bed to get dressed and eat a small breakfast. My husband, the more experienced cross country racer, decided on a nice selection of two pieces of toast with peanut butter and half a Cliff Builders' Bar. Me, along with my nerves, choose half a lemon Luna Bar which was the perfect sweet but savor taste for my pre-run tastebuds.
After about 40 minutes in the car, we finally arrived to the destination of the race and found that only about ten cars were there. We later found out that many people, although they are speeders at heart, are not usually on-time for the race. Around 500 people showed up (200 more than they had expected from results last year). Seeing that about 300 of these people were late we had to wait an extra thirty minutes to start the race which left all of us standing outdoors in 30F/-1.11C!!! It wasn't the best weather for a standing waiting for the beginning of a race but hey, at least it was only sprinkling at this time.
Finally the race was to begin and we found out that everyone was to start at the same time in a large mosh-pit style run. Image 500 people in a small area trying to run toward the same direction within orange cones that was really setup for 200 less people... Unlike my previous assumptions, the race did not begin with a shotgun but I was soon to find out why many people like the sound to be able to start... Since this was a smaller race the organizers decided it would be amusing to just scream out "3,2,1 GO!" Yes that would be without a microphone or anything so that people could actually hear the start of the race. So, let's just say we were asking if the race had started or not... After we finally saw the front of the crowd moving, we finally got to move also and start running. There was a time lag though since many people were unsure in front of us too. I learned that we did not want to be in the back of the crowd because it was very difficult to pass people, especially slow people that I later found out from my husband, had intended to move around so that people could not pass them. I never knew that people actually moved right in front of other people so that they could not pass - I'm competitive but I guess not in that sense. In addition, there were children in the race that kept trying to run really fast for about 30 seconds and then stop right in front of us. We still are not sure where the parents were of these children but it was a hard to get used to almost falling of a child that has just run in front of us and then stopped completely. It's all a new learning experience for me to say in the least.
Haha If the start of the race were not bad enough, we also found out that there were to be no tracking chips (we kind of figured since it was a smaller race). So, there was one (yes, I know, ONE?!) person with a time watch for all 500 people running that day. The time watch was started at the beginning of the race when we were still scratching our heads and looking for clues to see if the race had started. It was a very strange experience but at least we finished. So, the one person tracking our run said that I finished around 33:19:16 in total. Strangely enough my husband and I finished at the same time and he was tracked slower than me. haha So, we have learned that if we do this charity run next year we are going to take our watch and track our own time because we are not confident in our times at all. We conversed afterward and think that with the speed that we were going, we probably finished around 30-31 minutes in total.
Even though we are still really unsure of our completion time we are really proud of our accomplishment from this last month. It was really nice to get up in the morning on Thanksgiving and get started on exercise and actually run in a race before eating all those calories. Even though I am thankful I do not have to run up that muddy large hill again (twice in the official race) I am thankful to have run in our first race together and make a difference in the charity we were supporting.