Saturday, March 19, 2011

My 5K race

I woke up with my 6 am alarm. I had not slept well. Sammy was up a lot, and even though hubby came to the rescue and was up with him those times, I was still awake for much of it.
Hubby was NOT happy I was going to run today with a chest cold. Everything he had read on line (and, admittedly, I had read too) said to go by the "neck rule" when it came to running and being sick. If the symptoms were above the neck (stuffy sinuses, sore throat, etc) to proceed with caution. If the symptoms were below the neck (chest and breathing issues) to NOT proceed. Although I value his opinion and I appreciate his care for me, I just couldn't punk out on this one.
This was for me.
I got to registration about 7am, and I am REALLY glad I got there early. Short line, in and out. A mere 20 minutes later, the line was out the door...whew! There were a lot of runners, as there was a half marathon and a 5K happening simultaneously. I was by myself, and I felt intimidated. Every time I saw a fit looking person I thought "they must be doing the half marathon". At one point, I actually began to wonder if I was the only one doing the 5K! LOL. As I made my way down to the starting line, I found that was certainly not the case.

It was bright and VERY windy and cold. I knew I would only be cold till I started running, but I thought it was smart to wear a scarf around my mouth, so I could avoid breathing in the cold air so heavily.

Still feeling intimidated, I paced around the starting line a little. Then I started hearing some very familiar phrases... "I am going to TRY and run the whole thing", "I'm going to walk and run", "I've been running about a mile at a time" etc... these were my kinda people! I really started to realize I wasn't some sort of outcast in this world. I belonged here! I was not alone in my worries, or in my goals. I immediately began to relax. The starting buzzer was about to ring, so I turned on my running tunes, and suddenly, we were off.
The first 1/4 mile or so of the race was up hill. Normally, I would have freaked out, but I've been working on much steeper hills in my complex, so it wasn't too bad. I stayed focused and tried to establish a pace. I once again felt the bounce of my running shoes, tuned into my stride, my legs, my breath. I was doing it.
The run was along the beach, so it was gorgeous. The sun was shining, the sky was bright blue. It was amazing. I noticed the group thinned out into different groups: The Runners, The Walk/Runners, and the Walkers. I fell into the Walk/Runner category, and I think even if I had run the whole thing, I still would have been with the group. I'm what some would call a "penguin" which is just a cute name for a really slow runner. I am ok with that. A few times I pushed through places I wanted to walk. "Just to the next light post" "Just to the next sign". I did walk a little, well over half way around, when my chest felt too tight to keep going. I slowed my breath a bit and once I felt a bit more stable, I started my run again, and ran to the finish.
I glanced at the clock, and I saw it read 50:00... I balked - no way it took me that long! Then I remembered they started the clock when they started the half marathon, and that was 10-15 minutes before they started the 5K. So, I don't know my actual time. Not that it really matters. I know I did better than my first 5K, which I came in at around 47 minutes. And, in actuality, my goal was to go and to move my body in some manner from the starting line, to the finish line. I surely did that.
It felt a little anti-climactic to cross the finish line and look around as I stretched out. Lots of families and people rooting for their runners. I didn't have anyone there. Don't get me wrong - I have an amazing family, and I know they were all thinking of me - which is awesome - but it would have been really nice to have someone there to see me finish.
Never the less, I finished, and therefore, I rock.
Till the next! (April 9! Stay tuned!)

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