Well, yesterday was my official 5k, and I am so glad I signed up! I waited till the last minute because of all my self doubt, but on the last day I just did it. I found the route was right by my house, so I have been doing practice runs for the last few weeks. And my awesome boyfriend bought me a Garmin running watch so I know my pace, time, and such while I am running. So, I was up yesterday morning at 4am full of nerves. The race started at 9:20. When I got there it was just a huge mob of people all standing in the street. I was doing some light stretching and before I knew it they were getting ready to blow the starting horn. I was towards the back of the pack to start, which now I see as a mistake. The 5k is a run/walk and so lots of the people towards the back were the walkers. The race was chip timed and so after they blew the horn, we had to file between two barricades to cross the sensors. Then finally I could somewhat break into a jog. I was weaving through the drove of walkers with their strollers trying to catch up to the runners. In all this confusion and mayhem, I forgot to start the timer on my watch :(
Finally though, I started to be able to pick up pace and found myself passing runners. The pack had somewhat thinned out and I just kept passing runner after runner. I had started my timer so late that I had no idea of timer or distance, but I could see my pace. I was keeping a pretty steady pace and just kept passing people. The first water stop was right before the big hill that I hate. You actually had to stop and wait for a cup of water. I thought about skipping it, but my mouth was so dry. I stopped for what seemed like an eternity and chugged while I ran.
I powered up the hill, by this point lots of people were walking. I just kept pushing and ran up the whole thing. At the top is the last stretch of the course. A long straight road to the finish. I continued to pass people and was once again keeping a good pace. My breathing was calm and I just felt very in control. Once I got to the point nearing the finish, I was so excited. But, as I got closer too the line, I could see the time in big red numbers glaring at me. It said 51 minutes!! I was crushed, and you can see it in my face in the pic they have of me crossing the finish line. I could not understand how that could have happened. All my practice runs were right around 32 to 33 minutes. I walked around at the finish trying not to explode into tears. Then I saw my two boys and my parents. My oldest son was holding a bouquet of beautiful flowers and a bunch of balloons. My dad had tears in his eyes and told me how proud of me he was. My mom was snapping pics of me and all of a sudden that time didn't matter anymore. I was realizing how proud everyone was and how proud I was of myself. Even my boyfriend who is not a morning person came to cheer me on. My dad asked what my time was and I said that the timer said 51 minutes. And to my relief he said "you have to deduct 20 minutes from that time"
Yup, because the 10k runners started before us, the timer had been running since the start of THEIR race. SO, the 51 minutes was actually 31. My exact chip time on their record is 31:26. And I could not be more happy. I was so crushed wondering how I could have taken 51 minutes when I felt like I was really pushing.
So, now that I have my first race under my belt I want to do more. More 5k's and I want to start pushing to be able to do a 10k. I really love running, and the events are so much fun! I am so glad I signed up.
Here I am crossing the finish. I was so bummed about that timer!!