This Saturday I ran my first 5k!
In May when some of Lance’s family came down from Utah to stay with us for his brothers graduation I had the pleasure of going on a short run with Lance’s sister. She ran her first half marathon last year and is signed up to run another in July. Well she had originally signed up to run with one of her friends, but her friend could no longer go with her – so she asked me to run it with her. I debated on it for almost a month before I decided that I would join her. Running a half marathon has always been a dream of mine but I have been lacking the motivation to actually sign up and do it (not to mention I lack the motivation to train for it). This was the only way I could get my but in gear and run one!
There was one small detail was still intimidating me – I have never participated in a race before! So my motivation for running this 5k was to get a feel for running an actual race. This 5k wasn’t a very big one, but I didn’t mind. It was put on by the City of Scottsdale recreation department and was the final race of a 5k series. There were about 120 people who ran the race – it was almost 50/50 women to men.
The race was set to start at 8:30 pm so we got there at about 7:30 to sign in – I was nervous so I wanted to be sure I was there early and had enough time. Lance and I walked around the park a little until it was time to start. Once of the race leaders told us that it would be starting in less than 10 min so we moved a little closer to the starting area. All of a sudden a different lady got on the loud speaker and announced the race would start in 30 seconds and to get to the starting line. What?!!?
I said bye to Lance and hussled over to the starting line, frazzled and frantically trying to get my ipod ready (with my super awesome running playlist I made last week). I was only about 1 row back from the start (mistake number 1) then they sounded the horn for the start. Still fumbling with my ipod I started to run..
Since I was so close to the front there were 100+ people running close behind me but no room for me to move over – so I had to keep up with the pack. For about the first 1/4 mile I was going waay faster than my normal pace. Once the crowd cleared I slowed down a little, but was already out of breath. People were passing me left and right – my motivation was gone. At about 1 mile in I questioned my sanity for signing up to run a half marathon (actually 2..more on that later) and that I didn’t think I was made out for racing. I wanted to quit.
As I crossed the halfway point and could see my 1.5 mile time I started to feel a little better. I passed Lance and saw him cheering me on so I was ready to run my second lap!
Mistake number two was to carry a water bottle with me while I ran – it was distracting and a nuisance. prior to the race I couldn’t find any information on weather or not they would have a water station on the trail so I didn’t want to risk it (I drink a ton of water while running) – next time I will ask if the information isn’t readily available.
I’m not going to lie, this course was a challenge for me. I have never ran a course with hills – ever. Arizona is flat as can be, my canal paths don’t have the slightest incline. It was completely exhausting, but I pushed through.
The entire race there was a lady barely in front of me, but I knew I didn’t have the energy to pass her and that she would likely pass me again anyways. Once I came down the final hill and got through the gravel, the finish line was a straight shot – probably 1/8 of a mile ahead. I could see the clock – I was so close I could taste it. Then I decided to sprint the final portion and pass this girl once and for all. It took all I had but I passed her and finished 2 seconds ahead of her. 2 seconds seems small but boy did it feel good.
I finished in 29:28 – about 9:40 per mile. Not bad at all for my first race! I was 5th in my age group/division and 22nd overall (women).
After the race I had some orange slices (the best oranges I’ve ever had! haha) and some Gatorade to cool off, then we headed home. In the end I feel really good about the race, it was a great experience and I am so glad I did one before my marathon in July. Now I know that I need to keep those positive thoughts going and not let myself get discouraged by people passing me and feeling like I am slow – my goal is to finish my half marathon, not to win :)
So that is my 5k recap!