Hey ya'll! I know I am late in posting this, but this week has been crazy hectic already. I couldn't wait to share my experience but I haven't had a chance. Here I am finally, though!
Last Saturday (October 6th, 2012), I ran my very first 5k. I am so proud that I got out there and did it, because I certainly didn't think I would complete a 5k anytime soon, even though our 10k is scheduled for November. I guess I just thought I'd go big or go home, so to speak, and my first race would be the 10k. When Leigh Ann suggested we run a 5k in our town in the place of our 2 mile "homework" for running clinic, I figured, why not? I will admit, it felt like a good idea until I showed up, but I did want to practice a race and get the full experience before our 10k, so I knew it would be a good idea to start with the 5k.
I woke up Saturday morning around 6 because sign up was at 7:30 and the race was at 8 and I wanted to eat something well in advance. I had a Peppermint Stick Luna Bar and a tall glass of water and got dressed and ready. I arrived a little bit earlier than Leigh Ann because I'm always nervous to be late to stuff like that. I signed in and received my "swag bag" which was just a t shirt and some ad's for local companies. I also got my race bib, which I was super proud to put on-my first of many! Leigh Ann arrived and we warmed up a little bit. Next time I will stretch at home then again at the race site. I got my music and heart rate monitor all ready and the nerves started going crazy. Was I really doing this? It was what they call a fun run, so I knew there would be runners and walkers. I think if it was strictly running I'd have been a little more hesitant.
In all the chaos, I wasn't expecting that gun to be shot so when it was time to start it was kinda like, "oh crap, let's go". I totally forgot to start my heart rate monitor, because I was too busy adjusting my little belt I use to hold my car key and phone.
As expected, I started out way faster than normal. Everyone was running together, as there were no corrals or anything, so I just kept up with the pack. I didn't really struggle as much as I thought. My first mile was completed at a 9 minute pace. That shocked me because my average pace is 12 minutes, then 13 or 14 as the miles progress. The second mile was finished in about 12 minutes. I lost track of my pace towards the end and don't even know what time I finished yet. (More on that later.)
While I was still toward the back of the pack of runners, I could tell I paced myself better than some and although I was slow, I felt steady and strong. I kept thinking, "I'm really doing this! I'm really doing this!" Such a proud feeling for me. I stopped to walk a couple of times but always just for a few seconds at a time.
At about the last 1/2 mile, my music stopped. I pulled my phone out of its pouch and that's when I realized my car key (which I had detached from my key ring) was no longer there. I kept feeling around and ultimately stopped to see if it had just then fallen out. I made a decision to just keep going because I could see the finish line. I know that cost me some time, but I really tried to make the best of it and not stop. I crossed the finish line with a couple of girls from our running clinic cheering me on, again such a great feeling. The first thing I told Leigh Ann was "I lost my car key!" The running high was short lived because I don't have a spare (smart, I know) and my husband was not anywhere near to take me home. We walked to the starting point to see if I had lost it when I put my phone in the belt at the beginning. It wasn't there so I said, "Hell, let's get a mimosa" Yes, there were mimosas at the finish line! We tried to figure out what to do before Leigh Ann suggested asking a cop if anyone had turned it in. He said they hadn't, but he could have the DJ make an announcement. Thankfully, about 5 minutes later, someone turned my key in and they announced it was at the award table! I was so happy it was found and I could go back to being excited about what I had just accomplished.
In all the lost-key-excitement, I forgot to stop my running app that told me my pace and time, so I don't know what time I finished or what my actual average pace was. I am hoping I can find it online sometime soon. Once I do, I'll definitely post the results.
I never thought I'd be a runner. I never thought I'd run a 5k. I never thought I'd run a mile. I never thought I'd run more than a minute without feeling like I was about to collapse a lung. But I did. And I will keep going. I am a runner. If I can be a runner, you can too. I can't wait to run more 5k's! I can't wait to run 10k's. I can't wait to meet my ultimate goal of running a half marathon. I can honestly say, running has changed my life.