Happy Thanksgiving to all of my fellow Canadians – and Happy Columbus Day to my American buddies. I hope you are all having a relaxing day off!
Yesterday I did something I haven’t done in at least two years.
And not only did I run…I ran in a race.
just ignore that random head in the way…
No, I wasn’t so crazy to run a full or half marathon without training for it that would be straight up stupid and dangerous. I did however wake up this past Thursday completely out of the blue wanting to run the 5K or 10K race. I kept my wits about me knowing I hadn’t run in a long time and signed up for the 5K.
Many people seem wrongly assume that because someone is in good shape and has a fairly high aerobic capacity, that automatically means they can run. That is like saying because someone is good at basketball they will automatically be good at volleyball. Sure both are sports, but they are completely different when it comes mechanics and muscle use and the same goes for running vs. other aerobic activities.
Anyway, I figured that if worse came to worse and I found I couldn’t run the whole race I could walk it, so I wasn’t concerned about not finishing.
When yesterday morning came I was ready to go
but notice my hat – that is not a running hat. The brim is way too tiny. Saturday night when I was getting my stuff ready I went looking for my favourite running hat, to no avail. I found my second favourite hat but when I turned it over…the inside was mouldy! EWWWWWWWWW. I told you it’d been a long time since I ran! Anyway, I ended up wearing this hat since it was going to be sunny and my running sunglasses are long gone so I needed something to keep the sun out of my eyes.
Classic shoe/timing chip shot
We lined up, I got my ipod ready, and we were off.
I had planned to do the “run 9 min walk 1 min” plan, but found after the first 9 minutes that I didn’t feel like I needed to stop so I kept going. I did stop and walk at the 2.5km mark at the water station. I wanted that water and since it was in a paper cup I knew if I tried running with it I’d just end up with it all over myself and not in my mouth (I’ve mastered running and drinking from a bottle, but not from a cup!).
It was on the second half of the run that I met up with my pacing buddy red hoodie. I had tried a number of other people earlier in the race, but they all either slowed their pace down too much or started walking so I had to pass them. But red hoodie always seemed to be right there with me. We passed each other a few times but were always within 5 feet of one another, so in the last 2km when the runners were really thinning out, red hoodie and I stuck together until nearly the very end.
Afterwards he actually found me and thanked me and said that he was paced off of me, and then later on I saw him again for a second with one of his friends and he was like, “That’s her there!” so clearly it meant a lot to him which made me happy. Not only did I finish but I helped good old red hoodie finish too.
When I finished I only had a somewhat decent idea of my time. The clock was set up for the 10K run that had started 8 or 9 minutes ahead of the 5k, and I only had a general idea of what time I started. Going into the race though I hadn’t run in a long time I still had a goal
I really wanted to come in under the 30 minute mark.
I knew I was close. We had started around 9:08 or 9:09, my watch said 9:39 when I finished. I had 38 minutes worth of songs on my iPod and when I finished there were still 2 songs left. I was close but I had to wait for the results to be posted before I would know for sure. That’s when I started thinking maybe I shouldn’t have taken that short break to get my water. If I missed my goal by a few seconds I was going to be seriously annoyed with myself.
And then they announced that the results were posted.
Clock time: 29:57 Adjusted Chip TIme: 29:33
Hell yeah. I kicked that’s race’s ass.
I was 16th in my division, and came in 137th out of the 329 runners. Not too shabby for a girl whose last run was in Seaworld running in flip-flops looking for manatees!
My awesome hardware:
Post run stretch!
BTW – My legs are really wondering what that running business was all about, and needless to say despite all my stretching that are quite annoyed with me right now.
And we really couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful day for the races
On my way home I stopped and took a shot of the million dollar view…
I really had forgotten how much I enjoy races. When I started running years ago I ran a few 5k’s and loved them, but thought I needed to start running longer races, and got annoyed because I couldn’t keep up with the longer runs with my teaching schedule and eventually gave it up altogether. The race yesterday made me want to do more. I think next year I will do some races, but I’m going to stick to races that are 10k and under, races I can do while only getting in one or two runs/week instead of all the constant training.
I enjoy the challenge, and the excitement, and the opportunity to do something different. Plus I enjoy collecting race bibs – and medals. 😉
So today on Thanksgiving while I am crazy grateful for my husband, family, cats, home, heath (and the health of my family), job and everything else that makes life great – I am thankful that I was able to do what I did yesterday. That I could just get up and run a race without wondering if I could make it. That I am strong and healthy and can do these things. I saw people yesterday who were clearly struggling with the 5k, people who were throwing up at the finish line because they had pushed themselves so hard, and to know I was able to complete it fairly easily even with my health problems makes me even more grateful than I already am.