On Saturday, April 24, 2010 I attempted my first 5K run. Attempted being the key word here. I have been doing the C25K training program but I am still in week 5. I knew I was no where near ready to run a 5K but I thought why not at least try.
So I showed up early on a cool, rainy, 60 degree morning to get registered and get my number, shirt, and goodie bag. After I was registered I began warming up and getting ready for the race. Before I arrived that morning I did not know what the race route was. I found out and realized that part of the route was where I had been doing some of my 5K training runs, so I thought that won't be too bad. However, I did not know what the route was like beyond where I had been turning around. I found out later, during the race, that the route was mostly flat with a slight incline just before the turn around point.
Just before the race a friend spotted me and came up to say hi. She asked if I was running or walking and I told her I was attempting to run. She said she was walking but I didn't believe her. I told her to say hi when she went buzzing by me later. She told me she wouldn't go buzzing by me. I said yeah sure, we'll see about that.
Finally, the race begins and we are off. I settled into a pace and realized that there were 2-3 other women runners at the back of the pack with me. I thought this is good, maybe I can keep pace with them and figured they were my main competition for the race anyway. I knew I couldn't keep up with the "runners" or the rest of the pack so I was comfortable where I was. We all stayed fairly close together for several minutes. Eventually, I passed the one in front of me. However, it didn't last long because I had to stop and walk shortly after that and she passed me back. This began the back and forth race between about 3-4 of us for most of the rest of the race.
Before we got to the turn-around point my friend buzzed by me and said here I go buzzing by you and I said see I told you so. OK, she wasn't really buzzing by me but she was going faster than I was going and I couldn't keep up with her. I last track of her before long.
I finally made it to the turn-around point, 21 minutes after the race started. Yes you read that right, 21 minutes at the half way point. How pitiful! But as least I was trying. When I turned around to head back I noticed we had a nice little down hill descent. I didn't realize how much of a hill I had just come up until I turned around and saw where I just came from. I thought this would be a good chance to make up a little time. So I started off running down the hill and it was nice to just be able to coast down the hill without much effort. That didn't last long though until I was back on the flat again and working as hard as ever.
I continued on, alternating running and walking until the end. I kept trying to push myself and kept telling myself to keep going and not quit, the end was coming. I wanted to save some for the last push to the finish line but I didn't think I was going to have anything left by that time.
I kept looking for the finish line and then I finally saw it. I got really excited and thought I am almost there. I can do this! Also, up ahead I saw my friend that passed me several minutes before. I decided I was going to try to catch her. She was walking and walking rather slowly by that point. I thought that once I caught her I would have two options. One, run by her and see if she would try to catch me after I passed her, or two, catch her and challenge her to a race to the end. So, I decided on the latter but I knew I was going to have to work just to catch her because she was quite a ways ahead of me. I finally did catch her and I said hey, you need to kick it in gear. She looked over and said you're not going to beat me and took off running. I said well you better get going then or I will or at least I am going to give you a run for your money.
She took off just ahead of me and as hard as I tried I could not pass her. She finished just a step or two in front of me and we finished together to a crowd of clapping and cheering people. It made it all worth while.
So what happened to the others that were with me in the beginning. Well, one of them really picked up the pace after the turn-around and after I while I couldn't keep up with her anymore. Another one that I stayed with the whole race, even though she ran the whole thing and I didn't, finished just a little bit in front of me. The other lady finished somewhere behind me.
I have lots of room for improvement and my goal is to do better next time. My time, by my stop watch, was 42:30, just about 3-4 minutes faster than my walking pace. :(
All in all, it was a good day, challenging, exhausting, and even fun!