I ran my first 5K on Saturday in support of a friend of ours fighting childhood nephrotic syndrome. The goal was to raise awareness and funds to help find a cure. I haven't run in 18 years, and I barely trained for this race. I'm embarrassed to admit that, since I had a solid month to do so, but it just didn't happen for me. Come 9:30 every evening I had a million excuses NOT to hit the pavement.
I suffer migraines and sciatica pain, so my running plans are quickly derailed on any given day when either of those strikes. Ollie won't go in the stroller for me, despite my repeated efforts to jog with him. My Sweets works super late, and I can't run until he's home. I strained a tendon in my left foot and couldn't run for a week. Then I went on vacation and (purposely?) left my running sneaks home. See? Legit reasons ... yet all excuses not to get out there.
I ended up cramming last minute, and come race day I regretted not committing myself more. I don't like to do things halfway. If there's one thing I've learned over the last month it's that an "active lifestyle" (hiking, biking, chasing a toddler through the village) does not a training schedule make. Running long distances is quite a different beast.
And I should KNOW this. I ran competitively all through junior high and high school. I was captain of the Varsity track team for three years. But my events were 100m hurdles, 200m sprint, 400m hurdles and relay, high jump, and 600m dash... never anything close to a 4,800m even in my hey-est of days. Real distance runners barely blink at 3.1 miles, but for me it was a challenge.
So I ran hard and fast the first three quarters of the race. I felt fantastic!! Rocking out to Adele and others. Passing everyone. But once I got into the third mile I hit a wall. My breathing was out of control. My music wasn't doing it for me anymore. I was flippin' exhausted trying to make it up the second incline. I had no idea how close or far I was.
My pace slowed and one-by-one runners started to pass me on both sides. They had conserved in order to sprint to the finish. I started out fierce but was now running on empty. By the time I hit the red track (last 1/4 mile) I wasn't sure I could go on. If it weren't for my kiddos up in the stands...
Overall results: I was 144th out of 636 runners and the 54th female out of 431. In practice (those few nights I made it out) I was pacing a 7-minute mile. On race day it was a 9-something-minute mile because I struggled so much at the end. Ah well. I didn't finish STRONG but I ran and I finished.
The whole adventure was over in less than 30 minutes. We did what we went to do and that felt great. The rest of the day we cheered on our friends racing the 10k (who were totally amazing!!) and relaxed poolside. Call me crazy, but I'm thinking about actually training over the summer for an 8k that runs through our village every September. Bleu wants to run it with me :)