Thursday, December 24, 2009
This Sunday I ran my VERY FIRST RACE and can now confidently call myself a runner. I didn't meet all my goals, but I made a good start, and that's the best I could have asked for!
I turned in early Saturday night after downing a NeoCitran to knock out any impending sniffles and to make sure I got some good sleep. After dragging my sorry butt out of bed at 7:10 am, I munched on a bowl of oatmeal with cinnamon, a banana, a clementine and a glass of milk to fuel up.
The race seems to have been a small one, with maybe 100 runners present. We were handed our numbers and pins by some lovely Running Room ladies, and then I stood in a corner quietly panicking while my mother tried to talk me out of my tree. My boyfriend, who has the patience of a saint, ran out to get me water from the corner store since I'd completely blanked on getting some for myself. Looking around, everyone seemed to have a camelback with little water pouches on it. Having had to carry a bottle of water with me, I now realize that they're incredibly useful!
In my panic I completely eschewed warming up and stretching. Huge mistake. I was too scared to do anything but breathe, though. I wanted to go home, I was on the verge of tears, how was I supposed to compete with these people?
The course was along the shore of Lake Ontario on a paved path with 2 challenging hills. The course was a 5k loop that the participants were to complete 2 times.
Getting started, I popped in my iPod earbuds but ended up not using it the entire time. I ran for about 7:30 straight with the pack, then had to take a walk break. From there, it was pretty much downhill.
Despite my efforts to try and push, the combination of the cold weather and my cold muscles held me back. I don't think I ran after that first push for more than 2 minutes at a stretch, and I felt pretty pathetic watching people pass me while I tried to power-walk. I hadn't really trained for a 10K- heck, I'd barely trained for a 5K.
In the end, I finished one 5K loop before having to stop. Mom and Jeff cheered me through the finish arch and supported me no matter what, propping me up as I dealt with not finishing the 10K I'd come to do.
Now, with a little perspective, I know that I did as well as I could under the circumstances. The fact is that despite my failing to train properly and my poor conduct on the day of the race, I still managed to set a personal best time: I finished the loop in 35:31, a full 4 minutes better than in October! Thank you, long legs. I had also bashed up my left knee by tripping on my basement stairs the day before, and it's been giving me a little bit of trouble since Sunday.
It's nearly Christmas, and after that I'm re-embarking on my running journey with new goals and hopefully new equipment! For my birthday (Dec 26) I've asked for a trip to the Running Room to get my first pair of REAL running shoes and new leggings, since the ones I've had since grade 12 are coming apart at the seams!
So here's to a job well done, a good start and a bright running future.