Monday, July 12, 2010

And I did it!

And We're Off!

After a few years of "talking" about it (ok, not really talking but it did appear on my 101 in 1001 list and subsuquent New Year's resolution lists), and almost a year of running, I finally took the plunge and ran my FIRST EVER 5k event on the Fourth of July - the Firecracker 5000 in Peoria.

Exciting, I know! Nerve-wrecking as well (see my
apprehension here). But I did it, which is awesome.

Now I know I'm not the fastest, actually let me rephrase that… I know I'm really slow, but I accomplished all my goals and Mike's as well in this race.

Goal #1: Finish race by running the entire 5k course - Check!
Goal #2: Don't come in last - Check!
Goal #3 (aka Mike's goal): Finish in under 40 min - Check!

Though I started running at the end of last July (and it lasted until the beginning of November), I only started to get pretty serious about it this spring after I tried to start the Couch to 5k program again in February. I've been running the 5k distance pretty regularly since mid-May, so really this wasn't a giant physical breakthrough, it was more of a mental one. Showing myself that I really can do it. And though my 39 minute 5k was my personal best (PR came earlier in the week before the race when I clocked in at 38:05 one morning with Mike - after choking a couple days earlier during his attempt to get me in at 40min), I was so happy with the result.

Running by the River - 2.5 miles in

When the race started (and I took off like a jack rabbit - unintentionally - according to Mike), I was totally overwhelmed. I wanted to step onto the sidewalk, sit down and start bawling. And though my breathing was nearing hyperventilation, I took to heart what Coach (aka Mike) told me and really focused on taking deep even breaths. Before the first mile was even complete, I had calmed down and spent a lot of time trying to not to focus on ALL the people flooding past me.

Seriously I felt like I was running at least a 15 minute mile and I was convinced that if I turned around, I would see that I was quickly becoming one of the last runners on the road. I was shocked when I came to the first mile clock and realized I was running an 11 minute mile (I NEVER run an 11 minute first mile, I'm usually lucky if I can hit 12:30). That worried me a bit, and I knew if I tried to continue at that pace, though the prospect of a 33 min time was tempting, I would end up needing to walk and for my first 5k that was not something I wanted to do. I wanted to prove that I could run the entire thing, gosh darn it!

So I tried to slow myself down, though I wasn't really successful until after my second mile (I hit mile 2 at around 24 minutes) - around the time I finally saw Mike on the course. Silly him, was panicking because he thought he was at the 1.5 mile mark and was freaking out that I hadn't passed him yet, little did he know (until he started jogging next to me and I told him) I was at the 2.5 mile mark. By this time I was really dragging and even though I knew the finish was so close and that I should push it, I wasn't really successful in doing so - though it sure felt like it while I was running. Looking at the photos from the last quarter mile or so are kind of embarrassing because it seriously looks like I'm walking. I swear I wasn't - I'm just not a very good runner, haha!

Getting Close

According to Mike, I was neck & neck with another girl coming up on the finish line and she kept trying to edge me out, but I'm pretty sure I succeeded in beating her (I can't ask Mike for sure because he's at a work thing, doh). I have no recollection of this at all. All I know is I was singing along to my ipod trying to get myself to just forget how hard I was having to work and to just push myself to cross the finish line.

Thanks to my trusty Garmin Forerunner, I was able to know my real time for the race (39 minutes) because though I was wearing a chip so therefore have an official time (39:26, I believe), the race coordinators didn't have us cross the chip pads to start the race, only to finish.

After getting my chip clipped, I grabbed some Gatorade and water and sat down to wait for the official times to be posted. As you can see by my last photo, I was really, really sweaty after running. Though the morning seemed like it was going to be awesomely pleasant (then again it was 5am when we left), it was actually pretty warm out that morning on the river and it didn't help one bit that we were on pavement and in the sun the entire time.

Waiting for Times to be Posted

For some reason, earlier in the week, I got it in my head that I absolutely needed to have a Dunkin Donut pink frosted donut after the race, so Mike indulged me - though it wasn't nearly as yummy as I remembered (I swear, they had changed the recipe since I was a little kid!). Then we headed to Mike's parents' to have a lunch BBQ and wash up, and then headed to my college roommate's to visit and continue our 4th of July tradition of getting together (this year with a baby added to the mix!).

Oh! How could I forget, of course my first race couldn't go off without a hitch. As I stood in line for the port-a-potty shortly before race time, I hear my name (and ONLY my name) being called over the PA. Luckily the nice women behind me let Mike hold my place (because I REALLY had to go), as I ran to the PA person. Turns out the registration lady forgot to mark my bib number on my registration form - the form I forced her to take because though I paid online, I was emailed and told I needed a paper form for legal reasons, but she didn't think that was necessary - so it was nothing I did wrong, but it was still embarrassing. Thankfully it was also quick, so I was able to get back to my spot in the port-a-potty line before my turn was up because as I mentioned earlier, I REALLY had to go.

The Butt Print

If you want to see a little video Mike put together to commemorate my first 5k, click here to watch it on YouTube. If you couldn't tell, we just got a video camera and Mike is obsessed (which has compounded in the past few days since we also got a new MacBook Pro that can handle the video editing way better than the netbook could).


Jenna Z said...

SUPER!! Way to go!

Knit Night Jen said...

Awesome! I'm so glad you did it!