Tuesday, August 30, 2011

My FIRST 5K - The Wrap Up

Well, I did it!!!!

I can now mark that off of my bucket list. In retrospect, it was a GREAT experience. However, about 2 miles into the race, it was the worst experience of my life.

I was told this race was going to be "hilly." Hilly doesn't cover it. Some of these hills rivaled Mount McKinley, I'm sure of it. Okay, maybe it just felt like it. But, at one point, I had my head up, was looking straight ahead and all I saw was sidewalk. Yes, the hill was THAT steep. I had to look straight up to see the sky. There wasn't just one hill though, there were about 75 million. Sooooo, maybe that's an exaggeration, it may have only been 70 million.

Regardless, this was a tough run! I truly didn't think I was going to finish. When I got to the end, I thought it had taken me an hour. I was so disappointed in myself. My goal was to finish in 50 minutes. I didn't care about placing, getting a medal or competing with anyone else. My competition was only with myself. I haven't trained that much or for that long, but when running on the trail near my house (which is also hilly, but more like Mount Olympus than Mount McKinley), I average 41-42 minutes. Knowing my official 5K was a more difficult course and was in the morning (I'm use to running in the afternoon, among other issues you can read in my previous blogpost), I set my goal at 50 minutes. Now, for me, I wouldn't have cared if it was 50 minutes and 59 seconds, as long as the first two numbers were 50 -- that's my goal. At the end of my race, I really thought it had taken me over an hour.

I was wrong! I finished in 40 minutes!! WOO HOO!! Not only did I beat my goal, but I beat it by 10 minutes AND I beat the time I normally run on the easier trail where I live! The torture of this race only made it FEEL like it took an eternity! What a relief!

I have to say the best part of this race was the end, but not because that meant it was over. What made it so great was seeing my little guy standing there holding a sign and cheering me on, along with my hubby, baby and other friends and runners from my running group....WOW, what a feeling! Even though I was disappointed in my time (I didn't learn I had done it in 40 minutes until after the awards ceremony), when I got to the end and saw my family and friends cheering me on, I instantly felt better. I realized that I may not have made my goal (or so I thought), but I stuck with it, finished it and that I was so very blessed to have all of these wonderful people supporting me. I am a lucky woman.

This post wouldn't be complete without mentioning that my running group (The Pulaski Trail Runners), is full of outstanding runners who supply support, motivation and inspiration. Two of our runners placed 1st and 3rd in their age group and I was more excited for them than if I had won myself. In my age group, 3rd place went to a woman who ran the race in 34 minutes. I wasn't even close and I don't remember her name, but I was in awe of her and the other women who ran this race in the 20-30 minute range. They are superstars! Two of our runners had their daughters running the 5K as well and they won 1st and 2nd in their age group! Once again, I was super proud!

The little guy also ran the kids race (1K). He didn't place, but again, I didn't care. I was just proud of him for doing it and with a fantastic attitude. He also didn't care if he won, he just had fun! I think a lot of us need to remember to do that! He did get a ribbon and we all got matching t-shirts for doing the run.

Another great memory from this race was the little guy at the end of his race. When he heard people cheering for him, he just looked up, started waving with both hand and giving "thumbs up" as if he were the star in a parade and everyone had just come to see him. He was truly playing to the crowd and cracked everyone up!

At the end of this journey I realized one thing, I can't wait to do it again!

Me & the little guy before the race

The little guy playing to the crowd.

The little guy and his ribbon.

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