Oh hey there friends You’ve been waiting patiently for my race recap, you say? Wait no longer!
As most of you know, I started training for my first 5k in October after I learned I had shoulder tendonitis and had to stop my primary forms of exercise (weight lifting and yoga).
Since I do not looveeee running, this was kind of a big deal for me. Actually, I have been known to despise endurance running. It’s a true fact. But truth be told that after I started following a training program diligently, I discovered that running wasn’t actually the devil and I began to see the joys of it. My first practice 5k was monumental (in my mind ), and I was ready to tackle my first race……since high school track (which, I must add, were all sprint and hurdle races. Nothing near a mile much less 3!).
The morning of the race was freeeeezing. Literally! As in 18 degrees. Plus windchill and all of that, right? Ummm, yeah. Luckily I had forced myself to run in the exact same temp outside a week beforehand just in case this happened. So I knew about how many layers to wear and what it would feel like (which did not include my fingers or toes!).
After registering and meeting up with our friends who had also signed up to run the race with us, we made our way to the start line. I was kind of in a daze when the race bell (gun? weird sound? I have no idea what it actually was) went off because there were SO many people there. I believe there were about 3,000 runners. Since this was my first race I don’t think I was totally mentally prepared for all of the people at the beginning to try and weave through. I really wanted to make sure I was on my own pace but being around all of those people kind of made it a little hard to do.
I’m not going to lie, it was a little difficult to get my pace going because of all of the people around me running all crazy. I’m sure this is normal in a race but I was literally tripping over people (and there were a lot of them) who would sprint for a little bit and then couldn’t keep going so they had to walk and just stopped right in the middle of the track…leaving me and others to weave our way around without a second warning, ya know what I mean? I remember seeing this man running barefoot and doing a total double take. BAREFOOT. In 18 degrees! He is a brave, brave man.
I tried not to be totally consumed by the endless amount of people surrounding me and focus on maintaining my pace, but I was totally unsure if I was running at my normal pace or not. There were some killer hills around the middle of the course. That was lovely.
Once I saw the light at the end of the tunnel (aka: the finish line) I really kicked it up a notch. I turned the corner for the final .1 mile to see the beautiful “finish line” sign , starting sprinting and then almost wiped out because there was this couple who thought walking in the middle of the road in front of the finish line was a great idea Of course I went around them but couldn’t keep running as fast because there were ice patches everywhereeeee and the last thing I wanted was to literally wipe out in front of lots of people right in front of the finish line. It could have been an epic finish if that had happened, let me tell ya.
But I looked up and was pleasantly surprised to see that I finished in 29:30. Given the ridiculous amount of weaving people, hills, and walkers at the finish line….I was happy with my time. For this race my goal was to 1. finish and 2. do it under 30 mins. Mission accomplished!
I had fun at the race, but probably had a little more fun running by myself around my neighborhood. I will most likely continue to run 5ks here and there, but I still don’t see myself dying to do anything beyond that. I am really glad that I did it and know that I CAN do it! There’s nothing better than setting a goal for yourself and then crushing it, right?
How did you feel after your first race?
Do you prefer races or running solo or not at all?