Sunday, March 10, 2013

First 5K of the Year

So yesterday morning was my first 5K of the year. It was at Blair Oaks and was a fundraiser for the Booster Club. I signed up on my own and didn't really have a running "buddy". At first I was bummed  that no one else I knew closely had signed up for it and that I would be going alone. However, I've figured out that I run better alone at my own pace. If I run with someone else or try to go at their pace, I find myself either lagging too much or pushing too hard and don't get my best time and/or distance in. I do like the environment of a race, though. It's great to have other people pushing themselves and panting right along with me, each at everyone's own pace. I also like a good challenge. :) That's why I wouldn't let that lady beat me right at the end. As she was catching up to me and speeding up, I decided to kick it in gear as well. I didn't look back to see who it was (I ended up not even knowing her), but decided I didn't want to let her get around me right at the end.

The race: 
I've started writing the results, date, etc. on the back of the medal so I remember the specifics of my accomplishments. I'm hoping there are more of these headed my way in the future. :) 

It was raining on my way to the race and spitting around while we were all checking in and waiting for the race to start. Luckily the rain stopped before we started running and held off most of the rest of the day (until later in the evening). It was around 41 degrees, which turned out to be a pretty good temperature to run at. I do better when it's a little cooler outside, although not when it's at or below freezing. Before the race I made sure I had several drinks of my bottle of water and went to the bathroom, and stood around and visited with a few people I ended up knowing there, including a few students. Finally, it was time for us to line up to race. They requested the runners to come to the front, and I found myself pretty far up toward the starting line. I scooted back a little seeing some people around who looked like some pretty intense runners with some pretty muscular legs. After telling us about a few rules and explaining the course, the announcer shouted out "Ready", "Set", "Go". And we were off. I found that there was a pretty big group who took out pretty fast and at first I tried to stay fairly close, but then decided to just regulate myself to my own pace. The course started out on the track, but then headed out around the campus. There was one big hill that we got out of the way toward the beginning and surprisingly it didn't get me down too bad at all. The rest of the course had a few small inclines, but no huge hills. A few times throughout the race I found people passing me, but there were many times I actually passed other people including on one fairly small but long incline toward the end. People all around me had gave up running for part of the race, walked awhile, and then took off running again. There was no way I was going to let myself stop running. If I'm training to try to run 13.1 miles straight through, I for sure needed to be able to run 3.1 miles without stopping. The last half a mile was back down the hill we started out going up and then one more lap around the track before getting to the finish line. I liked that people could watch you finish your last lap all the way to the ending. It pushed me into running a little bit faster and as mentioned kept me ahead of just one more person when I wouldn't let the lady pass me right at the end. As I neared the finish and could see the clock ticking I realized that the timer did indeed say 20-something minutes. I for sure wanted to finish in under 30 minutes, but I didn't realize that it only said 26 minutes. I was stoked! I heard them shout out my time as I crossed the line 26:34. They took my tag off my number and I walked one more lap around the track. It wasn't until I heard my watch beep at me a little further past the finish line that I realized the ending was right at 3 miles instead of 3.1, but at worst case scenario, my finishing time would have been a minute longer to get in that .1 of a mile and I still would have been excited for a 27:34 if that's what it would have been. After the race, I hung around for the medal ceremony and was pretty tickled when they got to announcing the 20-29 age division and my name was called out for the first place medal (one other lady in this age division finished before me, but she got the first overall female finisher award). I looked today at the website and they have the results posted. I was #31 finisher overall out of 118 finishers. I was also the 10th lady to finish. This helped me to realize that I really am a strong runner. I often doubt myself, but as I saw myself passing people who looked to be pretty fit and they were huffing and puffing just as much if not more than I was, I realized that my hard work really is paying off. I don't care if I'm the #1 finisher overall or anything like that. I just like to see that my time is improving more and more each time. This was a great self-esteem booster for my half-marathon training. My goal for the half is to finish in under 2 and a half hours, but the closer to 2 hours I can get, the better. I can now easily do 3 miles in under 30 minutes, so I'm on pace for definitely meeting my goal. Now I've got to work on getting more long runs in. So glad the time changed last night! Tough day to lose an hour today, but at least we'll have daylight longer in the evenings now.

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