Well I did it! I completed my very first 5k race! My official time was 31:56 and I placed 8th in my division and 31st out of all 180 women. As you may have seen in yesterday’s freak out post, I was pretty darn nervous about this one. There were just so many unknowns since it was my first time doing a race and my first time running 5k outside. Not to mention the fact that I was just recovering from my hip flexor injury and hadn’t actually run in 3 weeks! I was fully prepared to walk this race if I had to. So I wasn’t expecting amazing results. In fact I was expecting it to take about 40 minutes.
I was very lucky to have my bestie with me for this race. We were able to drive down together and do the awkward/nervous pre race freak out together. It’s always so much better to do things with friends and Rachel is also the best fitness motivator a girl could have. So to do my first race with her was fantastic. Since she was doing the 10k I was able to see her start out and cheer her on. (Which by the way she kicked ASS at! Her first 10k and she placed 10th for the women!)
I took the advice of friends and decided to start at the back of the pack. Better to be passing people then to have everyone pass you right away! This ego did not need to take a hit right at the start of the race since I was already freaking out a bit. I was very happy with that decision and it really did feel good to be the one passing other people and not the other way around.
Another piece of advice I received from a few friends was to make sure I didn’t start out too fast and just to run at MY pace. Great advice. I knew it would be very difficult to judge how fast I was running since I normally have the treadmill to keep my pace for me. So I decided to use Runkeeper and had it set to tell me my time, distance, average pace and current pace. I found it really helpful to keep me on track that way so I knew when I needed to push myself a bit harder.
At about the half way point I almost started giggling to myself. I couldn’t believe that I was actually running in a race. Me, the girl who did NOT run. The girl who after running for 3 minutes straight would be completely out of breath and want to die. A year ago I remember thinking that people must actually run/walk every 5k or 10k cause there’s no way someone could actually run the WHOLE 5k distance right? It just seemed like an impossible goal. A goal which I promptly gave up on 🙂 And after that, to be in the middle of a 5k knowing that yes, I WILL complete this and I WILL run the whole way, well it just kinda made me feel giddy!
So I pushed on and got just past the 4k mark where I got a huge side stitch. Ouch! I was grimacing a bit and slowed my pace down slightly when I looked over and saw this couple standing on the side of the pathway cheering for the runners going by. They were so cute and she was yelling at me “You can do it! You’re almost there!”. I couldn’t help but smile and push myself a little harder.
I came around the bend, saw the finish line and gave it my all. I saw the clock was at 39:00 and thought “At least I’m going to be under 40!” Which honestly was better then I expected. So I finished and walked around to find my husband and kids. Peter seemed a little too impressed with my time. I mean I was happy with it, heck I was just happy that I actually was able to run the whole way, but I’ve definitely run faster at home. My best time on the treadmill was 34 minutes so even though I expected 40, I was still kind of hoping for 35. But I also knew that it was going to be hard since I hadn’t run in so long.
“At least I was under 40 minutes” I said. He looks at me and says “You were under 32 minutes!” I was very confused so he continues “That’s the time for the 10k and they started 8 minutes before you!” Oh…right! Well THEN I was excited. I’d never run 5k in under 32 minutes before! I didn’t even think that was a possible goal for today! I mean I realize this is not record breaking by any means, but it’s record breaking for ME! I was super pumped.
I still can’t believe I did it. I faced my fears, I didn’t use my injury as an excuse to give up and I just showed myself that I am capable of so much more than I thought. I’m so grateful for the people in my life that inspire me and push me to be better everyday. I’ve got an amazing support system of some seriously awesome people.
So now I think I’m pretty hooked on running. It was SUCH a good feeling to finish that race and I can’t wait to do my next one. I guess the big decision will be…go for a better time in a 5k or try out a 10k? Hmmmm…
So what are YOU going to do? Tell me about your next race. Don’t have one coming up? Set a goal and post it here! Cause seriously, if I can do this, ANYONE can do it!