Jingle Bell, Jingle Bell, Jingle all the way!

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Well, I did it!!!! I have my first 'official' time since starting the C25k program six weeks ago. This morning it was a brisk 23 degrees as we congregated to tie bells on our running shoes and look over the course map. I immediately KNEW I was waaaaay out of my league here. The run was on the university campus that I work for. ALL the other runners except my husband, myself and two others, were college students! Shouldn't they be sleeping or studying? LOL!! emoticon

Then the announcements started. The race coordinator thanked everyone for their contribution to the missions program that would benefit from the race proceeds (a moment of a warm fuzzy feeling). Then she said, "At the end of the race, we will wait until the last runner is in before we start the awards ceremony". Uhhhh Ohhhh! I knew who that last person would be and immediately felt pressure to do my very best to get it done as quickly as a could. I'm only six weeks into my training! I'm not ready to push fast. I just want to get it done, cross the line, hear the time so I will know much I have improved over the next three weeks. Yikes! emoticon

We line up for the start and I position myself half way through the pack, out toward the curb. I at least wanted to be running with people at the start and knew I would feel defeated if I started in the back and watched as everyone pulled away. My husband is running with me today. He is naturally fast and could keep up with those young guys, but he is my support team today and has put aside his goals for this race. Immediately he tells me I have started too fast and need to step it back. I did get caught up in the energy of the pack and desired to run with them for as long as possible. Running too fast in the beginning would come back to bite me in the end. emoticon

I could not keep up the pace I started at past the half mile mark and my breathing was way tooo fast. I got a stitch in my right side in the first mile. My husband was running a little ahead of me and he would turn around and cheer me on, but I couldn't tell him I was in a little trouble here. I had started to hyperventilate and my energy was declining at the end of the second mile. emoticon

I was using my podcast for week 6 day 3 during part of my run. I did the warm up walk before the race and then ran 25 minutes (without walking!!!!) then I allowed myself to walk two minutes and then resumed running (jogging). I ran again for eight minutes and then walked for two. I ran the rest of the 3.1 miles.

In the third mile, I was struggling and my husband could tell I needed help. He came back beside me and asked me what I was feeling and how I was doing. I told him I was struggling and didn't know why . . . my body didn't hurt. He said, "Well, you need to slow your breathing down." I told him I had had trouble the whole race, since I started out tooo fast I was breathing faster and now I felt like I was pushing my body to match pace with my breathing. He said, "You can't. Slow your breathing to match the pace of your body." and he coached me through purposely altering my breathing. He said "Just like when you are teaching yoga, focus, inhale fully, hold it for three seconds and slowly exhale. Without changing your pace, focus on changing your breathing." I know these things! I taught him these things! Why couldn't I have done that in the first mile???? emoticon

I finally turned the corner toward the bell tower and the final approach to the finish line. I looked at my Ironman watched and realized I could not bring it under 40 minutes. I started to cry. I said "I can't do it, I can't bring it under 40 minutes". My husband said "But you will bring it in". The students had all gone inside to wait. The only people still outside where two grad students holding a sign thanking me for participating and the two time keepers. My husband made sure I crossed the line before him so I wouldn't be the last one in. They didn't announce my time when I crossed, so my husband turn to them and said "Tell her her time"! He knew that is why I was running. Official time 42:48. emoticon

Things my husband reminds me of on days like today when I am hard on myself for not performing well:

1. Six weeks ago I struggled to run one minute without walking. Today I ran 25 min.
2. I am working on endurance and strength at this time.
3. I finished. Some never start and two months ago I wouldn't have started.

The other thing I learned is that it is great to have a husband who is willing to put aside his goals and ambitions to help push me to mine emoticon
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    awesome blog! there's something truly special about putting that number on and pushing toward the finish line! I think the mental hurdles are harder to jump than the physical ones and you did a great job!!!

    Keep on runnin'

    4213 days ago
  • ZOESMOM829
    Congrats for finishing the race!! And congrats on having such a wonderful hubby!! It's nice to have that support system.
    4214 days ago
  • no profile photo CD4811290
    Congrats on your run! You're hubby is amazing, he's you're biggest fan I can tell you that!
    Great to read how you've experienced you're first race, and I'm sure this will make you only stronger and better! Keep running and keep enjoying it!
    4214 days ago

    Comment edited on: 12/6/2009 8:08:11 PM
    Two quotes for you to take in:
    1) "In running, it doesn't matter whether you come in first, in the middle of the pack, or last. You can say, 'I have finished.' There is a lot of satisfaction in that."
    ~ Fred Lebow
    2) "It is very hard in the beginning to understand that the whole idea is not to beat the other runners. Eventually you learn that the competition is against the little voice inside you that wants to quit" - George Sheehan

    Your time is nothing to be ashamed of. It's a totally respectable time, even for your first race!
    You ARE a runner!!!
    And you have an incredible husband. Kudos to him for being your most staunch supporter!

    emoticon emoticon emoticon
    4214 days ago

    Comment edited on: 12/6/2009 6:50:00 PM
    WOW..... You are awesome and brave and I admire you and I hope its OK I'm adding you as a sparkfriend!!!

    >keep up the exceptional work darling you are WORTH it. :)

    4214 days ago
    What a great blog - congratulations on your first 5k!!! And your husband nailed it - you DID bring it in and that's what counts!!! Just keep reminding yourself how far you've come in 6 weeks - that's amazing!!!That hubby of yours was a real sweetheart for supporting/encouraging you the way he did - you are very lucky (& obviously know it too!!).
    Believe me, the fact that you completed your first 5k will bring a smile to your face for days to come...what an accomplishment & I hope you are very proud of yourself - you girl, are now a runner.... emoticon
    4214 days ago
    You ROCK! Your first 5K and you got 42:58! That's great! I applaud you! Keep it up and be sure to kiss & hug your hubby...I wish I had someone to run with me and keep me encouraged. My daughter does the races with me but she and I only see each other at the start and the finish. She's faster than me so she does her own thing. I'm downloading a podcast for my training and I'm going to see if that helps me improve on pacing myself, my breathing and my endurance. I'll keep you posted! YOU GO GIRL!!!
    4214 days ago
    great job!!!!! I know that you'll get to under 40 if that is what you want to do.. it's just training some more!!! I'm proud of you for making it all the way thru. When you start too fast, it's hard to keep up.. A very hard thing to fix! Keep it up!!!! You are amazing!!!
    4214 days ago
    Congratulations on finishing the race--and for improving so much in your short time running! You've done SO WELL--and I'm glad you can focus on how far you've come!
    Way to go! You're getting stronger and healthier in every way! What was your mantra again? Be brave, be bold, be fierce, be fabulous! Well, YOU ARE !!!!
    4215 days ago
    (aw, congratulations on your 5k! i'm very impressed that you pushed yourself like you did - that says a lot about you.

    ::big big hugs::

    i'm very proud of you, girl!)
    4215 days ago
    Congrats!! You did a fantastic job - and in horrible weather, too! The Jingle Bell Fun Run was my first race last year, and although I'm a college student, I was still one of the slowest people who ran! (It seemed like it was just me and the athletic majors...) Be proud of yourself, and make a goal to get it under 40 minutes for a late spring 5k. I know you can do it : ) I'm running my second Jingle Bell one week from today!
    4215 days ago
  • DBELLE39
    You did exceptionally, just look at how much stronger your body has become! Give yourself a big pat on the back for starting & completing the run!
    4215 days ago
    You did SO WELL!! You're leaps and bounds above where you were, and I know you're only going to get MUCH MUCH BETTER!

    Also, your husband sounds super sweet.
    4215 days ago
    Well done that's fantastic: you should be really proud of yourself. I struggle with breathing as well - I'll try your tip on my next run.
    emoticon emoticon
    4215 days ago
  • NC-PAM
    Can I cry with you and share your joy for completing your first run? Your husband sounds like a keeper, Carolyn! How sweet of him to make sure you weren't the last one to finish!! I'm so excited for you to have finished. Now you know what to do for your next run and how to adjust your pace and your breathing. Just remember to control that initial excitement and keep in mind the old adage re: the tortoise versus the hare!
    emoticon emoticon emoticon
    4215 days ago
    Wow! Good job telling the story, it was almost like being there. Brought tears to my eyes to hear you pressing yourself on. Yeah! emoticon emoticon
    4215 days ago
    Way to go! You did it! I am running the jingle bell next Saturday 12-12 in Pennsylvania, North Park. This is my 1st run as well. I, like you start out running a little fast, my breathing is very heavy. I am running in the morning with a group for approx an hour. I am always last, even with the beginners. You have so much to be proud of, supportive hubby and the fact that you crossed the finish line. Great job! emoticon
    4215 days ago
    Way to go!!!!! You have come so far!!!! Remember-you are way faster than everyone who is at home sitting on their you-know-what! Great job!
    4215 days ago
    Congrats on completing the race and also for having such a supportive husband.
    4215 days ago
    Congrats on your 5K! You really did a great job, and have every reason to be proud.

    4215 days ago
  • SPUD1226
    Congrats on the time!!! Just think, next time you'll be faster.
    I always start out to fast also and need to work on that or I'll never finish the half marathon I have planned for next year.
    Keep up the good work.
    4215 days ago
    omg congrats for doing the 5K! only 6 weeks of training isn't much time to prepare, and considering that and how cold it was, you have some serious GUTS to do it! I think it's an amazing accomplishment! your husband sounds like a total doll; i'm glad you had such great support today!
    4215 days ago
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