In December 2009, I wrote a list of 30 goals to accomplish by the time I turn 30 years old (my 30x30 list, which I refer to often). Feeling ambitious, I included "Enter a 5k race and RUN it" as one of the goals on my list. At that point, I had never run 3 miles in my entire life! I was probably about 220 pounds, and I literally could not even run 1/10th of a mile. I was in the "honeymoon phase" of weight loss, and felt very ambitious as I included it on the list, but I really did not believe it was possible.
In January 2010, my friend Renee (a hardcore runner) gave me a birthday gift. Included with the gift was this card and coupon:
Isn't she a great friend?! I registered for that 5k and planned on working my way up to running 3.1 miles by October. In March, I decided to start training. I ran as far as I could, and it was not even 1/10th of a mile. It was discouraging, but I tried again a couple of days later. I went a little farther than last time. Each time after that, I tried to add a little more time to my runs.
In April, I ran my first 5k distance... and my pace was well over a 13 minute/mile. After that, I began running 5k three times per week, and worked on going a little faster each time. By the end of May, I was at a 10:42 pace. On July 2nd, I ran 5k in under 30 minutes, which was a HUGE goal for me! (a 9:25 pace). I STILL did not actually do a 5k race, because I was holding out for the one in October with Renee.
In the meantime, I began running longer distances as well. I did a couple of shorter runs and one long run per week. On August 11, I ran 15k (9.3 miles)!! It just blows my mind that I went from literally not running at ALL to running 15k in just 5 months.
I started adding in a couple of speed workouts here and there. On September 15, I did a "practice" 5k--basically just a 5k run, but I ran it as if I was racing, just to see what my time was. I finished in 26:41 (8:37/mi)!! I was SHOCKED. So I set a goal of finishing my October 5k race in under 26 minutes.
This morning (race day) I woke up at 4 AM. I had to be at Renee's house at 5:30 to head up to Detroit. Renee's husband drove, and our friend Jessica came along too. When we got there, we watched the marathoners start their race, which was exciting. After that, we went to our start line.
When the race started, it took us a few minutes to get to the starting line. It was REALLY congested with people--there were 2300 running the 5k. I spent the first half mile to mile dodging people and trying to get up to my faster pace. I really felt like I was going too slow. After about a mile, it cleared a little, so I was able to go faster. I screwed up when setting up my Garmin Forerunner, so I had no clue how I was doing. Renee stayed with me the whole time, even though her pace is normally much faster than mine. She wanted to finish with me, which I thought was awesome of her.
At one point, I tried to take a picture while I was running. The Detroit skyline actually looked pretty cool, but my picture was (obviously) very blurry:
I'm used to doing 5-7 mile runs, so the 3 miles went by really fast. My legs felt like rubber at the end, though, because I'm not used to doing that fast of a pace. We crossed the finish line and I had no idea what my finish time was.
We went and watched some of the marathoners and half-marathoners run, and we took a couple of pictures of ourselves.
On the way home, we looked up our results online. My results:
Finish time: 27:16 (8:46/mi)
I placed: 246 overall; 74th out of the females; 7th in my age group of 25-29.
All-in-all, I did pretty well. I was hoping for under 26, but I think that the congestion in the beginning of the race really slowed me down. I think it's a great time for a first 5k race, though!
A picture of Renee and I:
Renee, Jessica, and I under the starting line:
My running paraphernalia:
I thought it was hilarious that the D-TAG (for my shoe) said "ROUND IS GOOD" in caps. I spent the last 14 months trying NOT to be round :)