Ok - in a word.. GREAT.
I went through a lot of 'negative' talk that morning... There were a million reasons not to go. The little princess (LP) was being uncooperative. DH had a bad headache. I wasn't even sure if this was a smart idea to start with... So, I logged on to SP and looked at the comments on my previous blog. I knew that they'd be filled with "You can do it" positive speech that would get me out the door. (That's the reason I wrote the first blog. I knew you guys would be there for me when I started to doubt myself.)
So, I got in the car and drove to the 5K site. You could see this was my first run... No hat.. No gloves... Just my long sleeved t-shirt, running pants and sneekers... oh yeah... My MP3 player (I'll let you know more about that later)... I was FREEZING. There was a small wood fire so I stood by that... I saw a few friends that I had no idea would be there and one that I couldn't find... FInally Emily found me... DH came and brought LP. He took the picture of us below (Emily's mom - sorry I forgot her first name, Emily and Me (left to right) - and Little Princess (LP) is next to me.
Emily and her mom begin the race by running. I walked. Partially because I knew the course started with a hill (small one going down and then a pretty steep one going up). I figured after that incline I'd begin my intervals. Just to let you know... Since I started out walking, I was LAST... Yes, Last out of the starting gate. But I was ok with that. Too many people worry about being last... Well, someone has to be last. So, I started off last. I walked next to the lady who was the oldest registered runner. Later we ran a little together. My first mile was in 13+ minutes. I turned down the street toward the park were we were to run the track, and I saw people LEAVING THE PARK.. WOW... They were so far ahead of me... No! No negative talk... I am not racing them. This is for my benefit! Ok... Here we go... a decline in the road. Turn into the park and someone on the way out (obviously way ahead of me), smiled and said, "You're doing a great job." That was awesome! That made me feel like a runner.
Ok, around the track we go... Half way around, my MP3 player falls out of the holder so I did have to stop and back track to pick it up (good thing about being towards the back, you are not in a crowd that would step on your MP3 player). BTW - the MP3 story...
Short detour on the story. I put my MP3 ear buds in and only one side worked - I kinda knew that so it was ok. Then, about 2 songs later, the other ear bud stopped working. So I turned it off. Technically, the only thing the earbuds did for me that day was keep the wind out of my ears...
Back to the 5K... Mile 2 - about 27 minutes... I'm pretty excited. Time for the water table. IT WAS COLD. I love water... But it was cold. So I couldn't drink it fast, then I couldn't throw the cup on the ground because it wasn't near the others and I didn't want to litter (ok, you can laugh...) I caught up with a lady pushing a stroller. This was her first 5k also. She said, "And where did I get the brilliant idea to bring a 40 pound child?!!" We ran together for a little while. (BTW - I handed my cup off to a race volunteer who was guiding the way). Turns out that I knew her from a local flooring store I've bought carpet from... Such is the life in a small town... So the next hill was steep - but all down hill.... That was great. Back to the original park where we started and ... I end up next to the same guy I started the race with - I thought that was pretty cool - both of us started last - but we weren't finishing last.) Once around the pond (not a very smooth trail either I might add) and I finished... 43.29. Now, I realize that this may not be any kind of record... But, my goal was 45 minutes and I beat that... I was elated! And I know that in my heart and mind I said, "It won't matter if I'm last. Someone has to be last. So what if it is me..." But I was really grateful deep down that I wasn't last. Just a little accomplishment I was excited over. Then, I saw DH and LP... He hugged me and said, "I'm really proud of you for this." THAT really made my day - considering I thought that he thought I was crazy for doing it to start with.
So for those of you 'waiting until you are ready'... You are ready now. You will NOT be in first, second or even third place for your first 5K. So, you don't have to be fast. You don't have to race anyone... It has to be for you (and the good cause you are donating you entry fee for). This is an accomplishment for you. Can you run the whole thing? I knew I couldn't. I can't RUN a full 5K on the treadmill... I knew I couldn't do it outside. But, I knew I could FINISH. That was the goal. I gave myself what I thought would be a reasonable time to finish and I did.
Here is what I learned that may be of help to you:
1. Treadmill running is different than terrain running. I knew this, but I can run a lot longer on the treadmill than I can outside. I had to get over that real quick. 12 minutes straight on the treadmill (flat, comfy) is not going to happen on the road - especially when the air is cold in your lungs... But THAT IS OK.
2. Bring a hat/ear muffs and gloves. You can leave these with a friend who is not running. Oh yeah.. And a couple of tissues that you can stuff up your sleeve in the chilly weather. That was a REAL need yesterday. You have to be able to breathe when you run and the cold air made my NOSE run...
3. An MP3 player is not that important during the race. It would have been nice. But not important. You will find people to chat with and scenery to see along the way.
4. STRETCH AFTERWARDS! I know this... I do it after every work out... But with the excitement and adrenlin, I forgot. I have some shin aches today.
It was great. I'm looking forward to my next 5K, which I think will be in May. I'll run a little more on the treadmill... when the weather gets nice, I'll hit the trails outside too. I need to set a time goal. Since I planned on 45 and did a little over 43, maybe I'll set my goal for 42 minutes and see what I can do....
Thanks for reading this LONG BLOG. And thanks to all my SparkBuddies for the encouragment!