Monday, March 19, 2012
My experience of running my first 5K race.
Race bib and timing chip. I thought it was cool that they had our first name on there. I wasn't expecting that.
The day before the race was a tense day for me. I honestly was not nervous leading up to this day, but that soon changed. The race was taking place at 8 a.m. in the morning. I live about an hour away, so I had to leave early to get there. I went to sleep around 10:30 that night. That's when the anticipation of the event honestly began to affect me. I tossed and turned an hour just thinking how things were going to go. I fell asleep for a couple of hours, and soon found myself awake again. After 30 minutes or so, I dozed back off. My alarm went off at 5 a.m., and I knew the time had come. Me, my mom, and sister got on the road around 5:45 a.m. Upon arriving I noticed there was a lot of traffic. It was clear to me that this was a major event, and I was happy to know that I was a part of it. This is when the nervousness that I felt earlier began to fade away.
Me before the race took place.
I parked around 7:30 a.m. This gave me 30 minutes to prepare mentally for the race. Around 10 minutes to 8 a.m., the announcer called for all participants of the 5K to come onto the course. I stepped out on the course amazed at how many people were doing it. Those of you who have followed my post know that I was aiming to do the race in 30 minutes or under. This was another thought going through my mind as I waited for the start. With a minute left to go, the countdown to the start began. At exactly 8 a.m., we were off and running. I felt a great sense of joy and happiness running with hundreds of people who were all headed in the same direction as me. Sure we all had different reasons for being there, but we all had the same goal in mind, which was to finish.
On the first mile I started out passing people and getting passed up by some as well. There were people of all ages, body types, and fitness levels there. I had my mp3 player on with a variety of different songs to keep me motivated during the race. By the time I reached the 1 mile marker, I noticed the volunteers at the first water point. I quickly grabbed a cup of Gatorade while I was running. Here is a tip for those you planning to run in a race. Slow down while drinking out of the cup, otherwise most of it will end up on your face or shirt like it did mines. Things were going great, but by the time I reached the 2 mile marker I began to fatigue. I really got away from my game plan going into the race. The goal was to push it on the second mile or third mile, but the adrenaline of being there got to me. I pushed too hard on the first mile and wore myself out. However, I continued to soldier along.
With about half of a mile to go, it was obvious to me that I was beginning to slow down. I noticed people that I had previously passed catching up to me, and some were beginning to go past me. I grabbed another cup of water at the final water stop and continued to run along. As we all began to come towards the finish line, there was a female volunteer standing at the last turn on the overpass who really inspired me. She was encouraging us all and gave us all high fives as we passed her. I began towards the finish line and got excited when I saw the crowd there cheering us on. No matter how tired I was, I was determined to finish up strong. That's when I saw my mom and sister cheering me on. I reached down for what strength that was left in my legs and I finished the race. I was very fatigued, but felt a great sense of accomplishment.
Photos I took after I finished of the start/finish line.
After I finished, a volunteer cut off my timing chip from my shoe. I went and got myself a banana and some water, and then went to find my mom and sister. I stayed around a bit to cheer on others finishing up the race. A few minutes later I went to the screen to see my time. To my great delight, I had reached the goal I set for myself. My chip time for the race was 29:43, which meant that I finished in under 30 minutes. I finished 163 overall, and 15th among the 30-34 age group. I was very happy and satisfied with my performance. After leaving the event, me and my family went to IHOP to enjoy a well deserved breakfast.
I really enjoyed running in my first 5K race. It was definitely an experience that I will keep close to my heart. The volunteers were great, and the people who set-up the event were excellent as well. I want to thank everyone at the Gusher Marathon, Half-Marathon, and 5K for allowing me to be a part of it. They are truly wonderful and encouraging people. I will definitely be participating next year if everything goes well. My personal goal is to run in the half-marathon next year, so we will see how that goes. As for the immediate future, I want to do another 5K race, and then run in a 10K in November of this year. That gives me a few months to train for and get ready for that also. Running in my first 5K race was the best way to start out my birthday weekend. It was also the greatest birthday gift that I could have given myself. I want to thank everyone who gave me encouraging words. They definitely did not fall on deaf ears. I also want to thank the "Couch to 5K" running program. I wouldn't have had the confidence to do the race without it. I can't say thank you enough to you all.
Well that's it for this time folks. I will continue to keep you all update on my future running endeavors. I hope you enjoy the few pictures that I posted on this post as well. I'll be back again soon writing, so stay tuned. Till then peace, love, and blessings to all.