This Saturday was the day of my first 5K. And it went GREAT!!
I was so excited, I woke up early that morning and got dressed. It took a bit more time than I expected to gather up my water bottle, eat my breakfast, and get all those last minute items complete. I was nervous I would be late, but we (my sister joined me just in case I needed any support and to take care of my wallet - thanks, Sis!!)) got to the park just before 8am. I got my number, 1158, and my free T-shirt and then it was time to wait.
It was about 15 minutes before start when I got into line to the restrooms - no running with a full bladder for me! My running partner and I then did some warmup runs/walk intervals for the next few minutes. By the time we were done, it was time to get into position.
The announcer came on and spoke, but neither of us could hear what he was saying even though we stood near a speaker. The National Anthem played, then it was the countdown and we were off!
I was inclined just to start running, but I realized quickly that isn't how it goes - so many people are packed into such a small space, there really isn't room! Not to mention, with half the people walking and the other running, my friend and I spent more time weaving around other people than actual running.
But like I had read, after the first few hundred yards, people spread out. My friend and I found our groove and ran for probably a good mile or more before I was gasping for breath and needed to slow to a walk. We walked for a bit and then ran again - and that was pretty much how we did the entire race. The last mile or so I had to take more breaks - my legs were getting sore and I would pant - but we both ran across the finish line.
I came in #102 with a time of 34:52 - the placement being about in the middle, the time putting me at a pace of about 5.3mph (which is almost EXACTLY what I had trained running on the treadmill!). I was REALLY pleased with my progress - I did better than I expected (I was afraid I would walk over half of it!) but also because I finished.
I never thought I'd be in the shape to run, much less that I would ever finish a 5K. Now that I have, I find it exhilarating. It's great to be running, to stretch your muscles, to push yourself to new heights, and to accomplish something you never thought possible.
This 5K signals a new era of my life - a life of health and wellness of being fit and energetic. I've had such a great time with this run, I'm definitely not making it my last!