Thursday, December 11, 2008

My First 5K

I had been freaking out over this 5K for the last month or so (starting about the time I realized how far off my training program I’d fallen.) Well, it was definitely an experience. I actually completed my first 5K, The Jingle Bell Run, in Raleigh last Saturday. I was going to wait for a picture to post with this, but pictures are overrated and I’m impatient.

I had a really bad night the night before the race. I woke up not wanting to go at all. I mean AT ALL. I was in a funk and I knew I was going to suck and I just felt drained. But I had friends that were running in this just because I convinced them to. One even tried to back out the night before and I wouldn’t let her. So I knew I had to go.

The race was in downtown Raleigh and it was chilly out. My friend B had made us these funky scarves for the race. Everyone was in envy of them and kept commenting on them. I wore the dorkiest blue headband to keep my ears warm, gloves, a long-sleeved t-shirt and my typical black pants. I was cold at first, but it warmed up quickly and during the race I was downright HOT. I had to tie the scarf around my waist, take my gloves off, and push up my sleeves to keep from burning up.

It was a very festive atmosphere. Everyone tied jingle bells to their shoelaces. Some people were dressed up in funky Christmas attire. Some people wore reindeer antlers or santa hats. One guy was in a full out santa costume. (He was annoying before the race, but actually motivated me during the race). There were also intimidating people in hard core running gear. I tried to ignore them in their shorts and sleeveless shirts in 40 degree weather. Were they crazy??

When we lined up for the race I was starting to freak out. I HATE crowds and this was a crowd. On top of that I was getting ready to run 3.1 miles. What the heck was I thinking!?! I turned on my I-pod and tried to disappear into my own little world. We were right in the middle of the pack so when the gun went off I tried to ignore what was going on around me and just keep my pace. (Although it was hard to ignore the guy that ran by juggling bowling pins. Yeah, running and juggling the whole way. Show off.)

It was a long run, but flat for the most part. I had to take quite a few walking breaks. But when I was about at the 2 mile mark I ended up near this family that inspired me. The dad was pushing a stroller and he had his two girls, about 6 and 10, running with him. The younger one was feeling it like I was. She kept whining “Daaaadddd, I can’t.” He would stay positive and slow down to walk with her for just a bit, but then say “Ok, we are in the home stretch, you can do it, let’s go.” The older sister would turn around and say “Come on Ella!” encouragingly and the younger one would start running again. For some reason this inspired me. I imagined they were encouraging me too in my head.

My final time was 37:21- under the 40 min mark I was going for. But I did not feel like a success that day. I had come in last out of all my friends. I didn’t feel good about my performance and I just wanted to go home and sulk.

Five days later I feel ok about it. I’m glad I did it. I will do another one and I will beat my time. Heck, I will probably even do this race again because it was very festive and fun. I will just be better prepared physically for the race and I’ll do something light but fun the night before so I am in a good mood on the day of the race. Because it’s just as much mental as it is physical.

1 comment:

Jane said...

Congratulations on completing your first 5K! :-) I have never been much of a runner, so I can completely sympathize with how you were feeling before and after the race.

I love the new layout, by the way! :-)