The night before the run, I had a (not-so) bright idea of going to Starbucks and getting coffee. When I tried to go to bed at around 10:00, the caffeine was not letting me. I was completely wound-up, wide-awake and despite my best efforts did not fall asleep until around 1:00am. Then I woke up at 3:00am, 4:00am and finally when my alarm went off at 6:00am.
To add to that, my tummy was very upset in the morning. That coupled with poor sleep had me in a funk and not feeling as confident as I should on my first race day.
Once I got to there and picked up my packet (which included a cool t-shirt! hooray!), I was much happier. I do have to note, that this particular run was labeled as a “competitive race”, not a “fun run”. In my mind, the only person I was racing against was myself though. I had a personal goal in mind, and was going to try not to feel intimated by all the hard-core runners there. Although I’ve done bicycling rides/races before, this was my first organized running event. There are a lot of similarities in the two, which made it a wee bit more comfortable. I was surprised at all the people running BEFORE the race! Yes, they were practically sprinting down the course, as if they were being timed. For a second, I thought maybe the race had begun! I opted to NOT join them in their pre-race “warm-up” runs, and just sat & hung out with the hubby who was there to support me and take pictures.
I wore my bicycling sunglasses, since it was already in the mid-seventies and hot & sunny (and HUMID!) at 8:00 in the morning. Are bicycling and running glasses the same? I guess it doesn’t matter as long as they stay on your face and don’t slip. These are great and never slide on me.
I started towards the back, letting the serious runners stay in front. I didn’t even hear them fire the gun, blow the whistle, or say go… next thing I knew everyone around me was running forward and I thought “Oh wow, I guess we are running now!”. I wore my HRM to sort-of keep track of time, and looked down and it was only 1:30 into the race and I had all these thoughts yelling inside my head: “What am I doing? Am I really running with all these people? Will I make it? Maybe I’ll just go over to that tree and nap. I think I should have went to the bathroom before. I have to pee. Oh shit, I have to pee and now I am only 1:45 into the race. I’m thirsty. No, if I drink more water I will really pee. Oh that little dog in that yard is so cute. Wonder what his name is?”
Finally the crowds dispersed and I was in a much smaller group of runners, and the loud thoughts in my head went away.
A guy passed me who smelled like raw onions. Really? Only 1/2 mile into the race and he already stinks that bad? Whew. Lucky for me he was faster than myself, so he took his onion-smell to the front of the pack.
Then this other guy was running to my right at my same pace, and he had keys and change in his pocket. Jingle, jingle, jingle. It was so annoying, so I ran faster. Then he ran faster. Then I ran slower, he ran slower. I really hoped he would not be next to me for long.
At the 1 mile mark, I was at 10:10. We were now “in the woods”, and it was so humid and the canopy of trees had shut out any sunlight, and kept the moisture inside. The ground was still wet from all the rain from previous days, and there were some slippery slimey leaves on the ground which made me aware of what was underfoot.
A little later, I was behind a woman who was hyperventilating so loud. Her breathing scared me. I know everyone breathes loud, but she was wheezing. Asthma I wondered? A little while later I passed her, and hoped she make it.
Mile Marker 2 came up, and they shouted out “21 even!”. This is when I took advantage of the water they were handing out. It is so hard to drink and run at the same time, I couldn’t do it, so I stopped off to the side for maybe 15 seconds to drink a few sips, then back on track. Mile 3 seemed the longest, I kept thinking I’d see the Mile Marker people at the next corner, but nobody was there.
When I finally did cross Mile 3, I did not hear the time. I was just relieved that there were only .2 left! Should I sprint now? Hmm… I kept at the same pace and ended up behind 3 other women, and we all ran in a pack. As soon as I saw the finish line, I got a burst of energy and sprinted to get the edge. After all, this WAS a race, so why not?
I saw my husband there at the finish line, which made me so happy to see a familiar face
Time of first 5k: 33:20.7 – Finished 119
The first thing my husband said was “You did it sweetie. I am glad you didn’t puke.” I thought maybe he said that because my tummy was not well that morning, but I guess 5 minutes before I crossed, 3 people crossed the finish line and threw up all within 10 seconds of one another. Is this common?
Did not stick around for awards or results (had to go home and shower to meet up with the in-laws for SUSHI! Priorities, people!). Grabbed half a banana, water and a few power bars for later and went home. It felt good to have finished, and I did better than I thought! Certainly I am not going to win any awards with that time, but I made it and now can’t wait to do another one! These things are addicting!