Ow, momma! I just finished my first 5K and feel freakin' psyched! I had to get up at the ass crack of dawn after a fitful sleep, but as soon as I toed the starting line (not exactly...I took a friend's advice to drop back to help pace myself, then pass the heaving, galumphing suckers later on) in the freezing cold, I was totally excited. And I was faster than I thought! Worst case, I imagined I'd finish in 30 min. My goal was to finish in 28 or under. Happily, I'm slightly faster than I thought.
I don't own a watch, never time myself, seldom do sprints, and often stop to wrangle Rex from the Rio Grande during my training runs (which were once just for fun and, really, still are). So, when I finished in 27 min (almost even...27:12, I think? Final results aren't posted yet, but I saw it on the clock), I was freakin' psyched! I didn't run fast--imagine if I had! I don't usually run continually bc I'm always having to stop--for Rex, for traffic, to tie my shoe, to change the tune on my iPod (which I raced w/o), bc I want to...I have myriad excuses. So, I wasn't sure how I'd feel without the brief walking break. (Granted, when I do run, I usually go much farther than 5k; usually 6-8 miles.) I have asthma, and sometimes, feel like I really need a walking break to catch my breath. I didn't want to bust out full-speed and have to walk to the finish like a tired, old fatty. But I wasn't short of breath, tired, or sore. Not at all. I took it pretty slow, actually, and stayed at the back of the front pack. I wish I'd sprinted the 1.5 back to the finish line, but...next time. I could have done it!
I've always been more about my brain than my body, and never very competitive about sports. But I do relish an honest challenge, especially when it means competing with myself...pushing myself beyond what I believe is my limit. (This is why I love the yoga. So hardcore, no competition, except with my own mind. Om, baby. Om.)
I find it pretty incredible that I ran a race at all...for fun. Wasn't I the kid who would sneak behind the bleachers during gym class to smoke Marlboros with my best friend? The girl who used her inhaler to get through the dreaded gym class mile? The asthmatic chick who subsisted on smokes and martinis, and hang-over cures for seven years? So kick-ass. The only part of me that's still pretty rough is my lungs (though I wasn't wheezing or hacking, as were many of my peers...who I left in my imaginary dust).
I liked the 5K because its runners ran the gamut...literally. They ranged from gangly kids (one of whom looked just like me, and finished at almost the same time) to super-ripped, bionic studs with calf muscles like mallets. (I passed my favorite hottie in the third mile.) I knew I wouldn't be up there with the pro-guys, but that I'd at least do better than the chubby moms who whined that they hadn't trained in three weeks, if at all. That gave me a surge of confidence, and helped me to take the whole thing less seriously. Nevertheless, wicked fun times! Bring it on, again! (I should also say that my kid sister is like our own little Kenyan. She ran her first 5k earlier this fall and, w/ virtually no training, finished in 22 minutes. I'll have what she's having.)
Results (I'm a division winner. Pretty cool!): http://runraceresults.com/ResultsFrame.asp?Ev=RCLS2007&Rc=5&tp=W