I did it, finally ran my first 5K. My running journey started a little over a year ago as a good habit to replace my bad habit of smoking with. I quickly became hooked on the way running made me feel and have done so ever since. A few months back I finally signed up for the Diva’s Half Marathon and 5K Series and ran the 5K portion. I started out training to gain a better 5k time, when I started actually training and paying attention, I was somewhere between 38-40 minutes, running a 12 1/2 minute mile or so and in a few months I progressed to finishing a little faster.
When I entered the registration I was confident that I could finish the race in 37 minutes so when the forms asked me my goal that’s what I put thinking and HOPING I could finish in time. About 2-3 weeks before my race, my training took a back burner as I had family come visit and a surprise unexpected but welcome visitor as well for almost 2 weeks. I got lazy in my training and before I knew it, it was race eek and I had lost endurance and speed. I ran only 2 times in the two-week period leading up to the race, totally anxious that I was going to tank my goal and walk away disappointed.
To top that all off, the day before race day and the morning of, I had some serious issues in my family that caused me stress and even more anxiety poured on top of my pre-race jitters. We left and arrived at the hotel near SF airport the night before only for me to find out that my delicious, brand new bottle of Kombucha that I picked up for the trip had somehow leaked all over my racing clothes in the bag and the book I brought with me to read that night. With racing clothes that smelled like vinegar now, more worry jumped on top of me like a heavy backpack. I ended up rinsing out my racing clothes in the sink of the embassy suites that night and hanging them up – hoping they would dry up by the time the morning came.
Then, as I thought things couldn’t get worse, I got my PERIOD! literally the night before the race. Oh great.
So, Morning arrived. By now, I was anxious, sleep deprived (I think I was able to get a total of 3 hours of sleep the night before), and a little grouchy.
Tension rose as I saw just how many women actually show up for this race, there were 2200 of us JUST in the 5k portion. I was thankful that my goal time was enough to qualify me for Wave 1, which meant I left with the first group f runners because we were the fastest. But at this point I just wanted to get the race over and go home and sulk in misery. Finally the starting horn blew, and off we went. I’m so grateful for a friend who was running with me. We stuck together through the entire race, when I got tired and slowed she slowed and when she slowed so did I. It was such a blessing to have her there with me, just her mere presence was enough motivation for me to keep going when I felt like quitting. I started burning out in mile 3 and I think it was more of a mental burn out than physical. my mind was tired from the worrying. Within the last 1/4 mile of the race I wanted to STOP, but she didn’t let me, I kept going and finally made it through BEATING my goal by 2 minutes. I finished at 34:56, this was 2 minutes and 4 seconds faster than I had set my goal for! All of the tension lifted as a half-naked fire fighter handed me my medal.
and there you have it, my first running experience, I swear the devil was on my back the whole time. But I persevered. I pushed through anyway, even when I wanted to throw in the towel and go home. Even when I wanted to stay in that hotel room and cry until the race was over, I didn’t, I got through it and we went to eat breakfast after.