Yesterday I ran my first 5k race and am still in a bit of a daze I think!
On Friday night I was really tired so went to bed early in the hope of getting at least a little sleep. Managed to sleep til 2.45am then just dozed til 6am when I decided enough was enough and got up. Had my usual pre-run breakfast, sliced banana and yoghurt and caffeine fix, and distracted myself by watching tv for a while. Once I started getting ready though the nerves really kicked in.
Hubby drove me down an hour before the start time so I could get my bearings, then he went to collect DD and my mum. It was at that point I felt lonely. Everyone seemed to have somebody with them and they were laughing and having fun and I didn't want to be on my own. After a while I met up with some people I know and felt a little better. They asked if I wanted to do the course with them, but they were all walking and even though I know I'd have had fun with them I had to try to achieve my goal. Then I saw hubby, DD, my mum and even my step-dad so that cheered me up a bit more.
When the time came to line up at the start I fell in with the joggers and tried to get to one side. Once the horn went to start the race I knew there was no turning back lol. I was conscious of thinking I had to keep a steady pace and I felt to be running really slowly, but when I looked at Bob (my nickname for my Garmin) for the first time I was actually doing a 6.54k pace when my usual pace is 7.30. I did think about slowing down, but decided just to try to push myself and see how I managed. It wasn't til I'd run the first 1k that I realised I didn't have my ipod on lol. I frantically struggled to get my earphones in and switch it on as I ran, but for once I didn't seem to need the music to motivate me, I was running on pure adrenaline I think.
At one point the sun was really hot and I could feel myself tiring but I just pushed on and soon the clouds appeared again and the breeze gave me a bit of relief.
One other difficulty I had was due to the fact that this race had runners, joggers and walkers. The announcers at the beginning had asked anyone walking or taking a walk break to move to the left to let others pass them, but people didn't seem to be taking any notice so I had to weave in and out to pass people a lot.
It wasn't until I reached the last 1/2k that I realised I was so close to the end and decided to go for it and speed up. As I was running along the home straight I had my day made by seeing my gym instructor on the sidelines waving and cheering me on! I know she was probably there to cheer others friends on, but the fact that she saw me running so well right at the end and cheered me on made it really special for me. It made it all seem a bit more real for me because it's through going to the gym and her encouragement that I've got to this point.
When I crossed the finish line I stopped Bob, went to get my medal, goody bag and water and headed to the meeting point. As I'd crossed the finish line the race clock had said 32.10 from the horn going off, but I was even happier when I looked at Bob to see I'd done it in 31.49 from when I'd crossed the start line. However it turned out that the course had only been 4.51k which made me feel as if I hadn't really done the job I'd set out to do. But I felt like I could have run a lot further, not just another 1/2k, so I did some quick calculations and based on my average pace worked out that my time would have been 35.15 for 5k which still smashed my 40min goal!
Hubby and family then appeared with a bottle of pink sparkly wine to toast my success, and then it was time to head back to the car.
When we got home I plugged Bob in who was happy to report that my average page was 7.03 which confirmed the 35.15 5k. Not surprising my heart rate during the race was higher than normal, but who cares lol. I did it!
Overall this was a great experience. I was disappointed that the atmosphere wasn't as good as I'd hoped, but that was maybe due to me feeling so nervous and a bit lonely, and I wish it had of been a full 5k. But the main thing is I ran my first race, achieved my goal of running the whole way and smashed my goal of an under 40min finish!!!
And I think this race officially made me a runner because if the physio hadn't told me on Thursday that I shouldn't increase my running distance past the 6k I'm doing regularly til we get this tendonitis sorted, I'd have come straight home and found a 10k to sign up for, I'm hooked!