My first 5K was today! Boy, was it an experience! I was sooooo nervous going into it. First because I dind't really prepare for it until this week. I procrastinated! After my vacation, I indulged in several days more recovering from my vacation, LOL! So this week, I crammed as much running as I can into one week. My last runs were 3.5 miles this Wednesday and 4.5 miles this Thursday. Big mistake! I was so sore even today going into my 5K.
To add to injury, Aunt Flo came yesterday. Driving to the race, I got cramps so bad I had to pull over a parking lot. I almost turned around and headed back home. But I knew that I would regret it if I did that. So I waited a bit and went on my way once I felt better.
Furthermore, it is FREEZING today and I am not used to running in the cold! 40F with 10mph wind. Thankfully, it was sunny. I tried to warm up without tiring myself too much by walking around, stretching, making bathroom trips, etc. There were some people there wearing just t-shirt and shorts and I don't know how the hell they do it! Also, our race started in a high school so there were some people taking advantage of the track and running there even before the race started. I was just amazed with that since the thought of running 3.1 miles is daunting enough for me.
I found my friend who was also running the race and who happens to lives in the area. She started telling me about this one road that we were going to run in that consists of this one long hill that they call "The Wall". She said some bikers avoid it because it was so hard to climb. That immediately made me more nervous that I already was!
So finally we lined up in the starting line. Once the starting gun went off, it seems like this big group of runners just took off. I started out slow and it felt like I was going to be left behind. But eventually I got into the groove. Honestly, I didn't even notice the hill. I guess running at constant 1% incline on the treadmill helped me a bit. That and running in my development which has short but high inclines. What got to me were the trails. We went into this park and ran in this trail which was really windy, uneven, and wet because of the rain from yesterday. I honestly thought I was going to twist my ankle. The trail seemed to go FOREVER. Finally we were out of the trail and this one volunteer was yelling "One more mile!". At this point, exhaustion was getting to me. And to find that I still ahd one mile to go totally deflated me. I slowed down to a walk for about 20 seconds and after a couple of people passed me, I got pissed with myself and started to run again. Well, it turned out that we had like less than half a mile left after getting out of the park! We went down a block and once we made a turn, you could clearly see the end/start point. Needless to say, I wish I didn't hear that volunteer yelling "One more mile!" coz that got to me mentally.
I ended up finishing well: 30:18
I wish I finished less than 30 minutes, but I'll still take it!
We stayed behind for some food and the awards. Get this, I got 3rd in my age group and got a medal! WOOOOHOOO!!!! Unfortunately, they kind of screwed up that part. As they were announcing the winners in my age group for females, they went from 30:02 for second place, then skipped me and awarded the girl that finished 35:something for third. My friend and I had to go to the organizers afterwards and get it corrected. They had a bunch of extra medals and just gave me one and apologized for the mistake. I doubt they're going to "officially" correct it since they can't take back the 3rd place award. Oh well! I know my time and that's all that matters. My friend also took 3rd place in her age category so we were both happy.
The first overall winner was a guy who finished around 15 minutes! Holy crap! That means he was running 5 minute miles! That's freaking unbelievable! The overall winner for the ladies finished about 19 minutes. That's also freaking unbelievable! I can't imagine running that fast!
Overall, I'm glad I did it. I started to question myself during my run on what the hell I was thinking in doing it, but at the end of it all, it was a ton of fun. Will I do this again? Heck yeah!