I can’t believe I haven’t written about this yet! What’s the point of me even having a blog if I can’t find make the time to blog about THIS?!?!?
I ran my first official 5k on 4/22/12!
My time was the best I’ve ever run 3.1 miles.
But first let me preface this post with this…
I am a slow runner.
No. I am a very very slow runner.
Most people probably wouldn’t call what I do running. But I do. I know I am running. I am moving faster than I walk. I am exerting more effort than I walk.
I am RUNNING! I am a RUNNER!
I wasn’t going to tell anyone I even signed up for this 5k. Who wants that pressure? I had been thinking about running it the week or two before and finally decided to just do it and signed up on the last day of registration.
And then I quietly wrote it very small on the fridge calendar.
I really wrote it there more for me. Not that I would forget it but to make me more accountable for it. To make sure I really did it.
But then… Sam saw it when the girls were washing the dishes that night. She comes running into the front room yelling “You’re going to run a 5k???”. So much for keeping it quiet and sneaking away…
Seriously I was not going to say anything to anyone. I really didn’t want to make a big deal of it because part of me wasn’t even sure I was going to run it.
After Sam spilled the beans, Rick goes “Do you need us to bring anything for you? Or drive you?”
“Well it’s going to be at 8am on Sunday and I want to be there about 7:15… I wasn’t sure you’d want to come.”
“We can drive you.”
So that’s how my “quiet first 5k” turned into a “OMG! MOM IS RUNNING A 5K!” family event.
Did you say HILLS? No one told me there would be HILLS in this race!
The Wednesday before the race, I decided to drive the course (since it was all on roads) and then run it. I’m glad I did because the very first part was a large frickin’ HILL! Where I normally run there aren’t really any hills. My town is not hilly at all so this hill looked like a mountain to me and photos never do a hill justice. At the top is where we would turn left but I had to GET UP the damn hill first!
All I was thinking that Wednesday after driving the entire course (which turned out to have several rolling hills) was “What did I get myself into? Everyone knows about this now.”
Can I even do this without embarrassing myself?
The night before the race, I expected to be quite nervous. But the nerves never really came. I went to bed around 9:30-10pm or so and actually fell asleep and slept through the night. No tossing or turning. When I got up on race day, I figured I’d have the nerves and my stomach would be in knots. But it wasn’t. Not at all. As we were driving I mentioned to Rick that I wasn’t nervous at all – not even a little butterflies which for me is VERY STRANGE. I think this surprised me more than anything. Maybe it was because I ran the course once. I don’t know.
I had two basic goals for the race.
- Run the entire course. I knew I could because I had run 3 miles straight before – just not on rolling hills.
- Run under 40 minutes. I had never ran under 40 in any of my workouts. 3.1 always comes in around 41-42 minutes for me. (Remember I am SLOOOOOW!)
Rick took this photo of me and the girls right before the race began that morning. It was chilly out. About 40 feels like 35 weather. When you’re not running sub-9 minute miles, this temperature is COLD!
I wasn’t sure what I was going to wear. Usually I wear a warmer jacket in this weather but I can also get overheated around mile 2. So I went with my aqua shirt that wasn’t lined for the super cold. It ended up being a great decision and I was comfortable the entire race. But I was freezing just standing there waiting so I wore the big coat.
Sam was in charge of taking pictures and Jess was in charge of taking videos. I guess I forgot to change the batteries in the video camera (just my old camera that also takes videos) so there are no race videos. I’m secretly relieved about that. Lol. But Sam did a wonderful job working my big camera.
She was waiting for me at the top of that first hill. I told her next time to stand IN FRONT of the sign. LOLOL! The photo still came out okay. You can see me in the back in the yellow circle.
I’m not at the point in my running where I can just go “warm-up for a mile” and then run another 3 in a race. Just not quite there yet. I knew I would be using the first mile as my warm-up and I knew I wanted to start out slow.
At this point (the first .25 mile), I was definitely running faster than I normally do but I was feeling okay so I kept going. I probably should have slowed down just a bit. Maybe.
Running my fastest up a big hill right at the start of the race… equals… WALKING!
By around 3/4 of a mile, I knew for sure I was not going to be able to run the entire thing and had to walk. But I didn’t let that get me down. I knew I was pushing my running faster than I ever had so I would just walk when I needed to.
At mile 1, my running tracker told me I was at 12:02 or something ridiculously faster than I ever ran any mile before. lol! Right then I made the decision that I would power walk when I needed to and try to come in under 40. Running the first mile in 12 minutes made that 2nd goal still possible but only if I didn’t let my other two miles slip.
Looking at the photos, I was actually happy to see my foot striking was more mid-foot to fore-foot strike not a heel strike.
But quickly after the race, Dan scolded me and told me “Mommy you don’t run right. You are supposed to run fast and put your legs out in front of you. Like this…” as he sprinted around.
Poor boy… doesn’t quite understand that his Mommy was NEVER FAST and would NEVER BE FAST and will never put her legs out in front and run like the wind. LOL!
Back to the race…
Speaking of back… what’s a good race without a photo like this?!? I know I’ve always wanted a good ass shot. Doesn’t everyone?
Around the 2.6 mile mark, Jessica came out to cheer me on and pace me to the end. It was really great seeing her at this point. I was still pushing hard but I’m not sure I would have gotten the last mile in 12 minutes if she hadn’t been with me.
But quick note… see the guy in the yellow shirt? Remember him from the photo above? Yeah… he WAS behind me… and now he is a good clip ahead of me. I never did catch him again. I should have stayed with him from the beginning and paced myself with him. He seemed to pace himself much better in the first mile than I did and ultimately finished ahead of me.
Jess was trying her hardest to get me to run faster. She kept trying to run ahead of me and look back to see if I was still there. Finally I had to tell her “Jess I can’t run that fast and you need to stay closer to me.”
So that brought on some smiles and giggles… or maybe it was just the sign that said “Speed Limit 30″. More like “Speed Limit Turtle”.
But do you notice something in this photo? See it? No look closer.
Here I’ll help you!
YES! Those are my feet. And yes… they are BOTH off the ground!!! Look ma, no hands!
pain in the ass helper kept plodding me along. “Come on Mom! Just a little farther. Here let me help. I’ll just pull you a little…”
Coming into the final stretch…
Note the guy running behind me…
Yeah that would be him crossing the finish line before me… lol! My sprint died about a quarter mile back.
I was so happy to see the clock under 40! And at the same time, I was sad I had just missed being under 39…
Until the official results were put up…
Umm… can you say CHIP TIMED! D’oh!
#137 Jennifer Reed @ 38:45
I can’t believe I was originally planning on just sneaking out the door that Sunday morning and driving off to run this. I am SO GLAD that my family was there to support me. I am SO HAPPY that Sam was able to capture my race in these photos. Even if I never run another race, I have these wonderful memories.
My family was very proud of me and it felt REALLY GOOD!
I am truly blessed.