Saturday, June 26, 2010

The Loop, my first 5k race report!

Holy cow, I'm thrilled! I'm so happy I FINISHED the race, and I beat my PR!! My shins were fine once I warmed up!

I finished with a time of 32:58! I was 80th overall (out of 94) and 9th in my age group. My pace was 10:38, which I'm very, very happy about! My sister came in under her goal at 37:56 and was 84th overall and 12th in our age group. We both had shin pain earlier this week, but we ran the race fine! My shins were a little tight when I started, but they warmed up. Boy am I glad I had advice from so many people! Resting, icing and compression REALLY helped me heal in time for this race! (I'm icing my shins as I type this, too)

So, for anyone who is interested (and for me in the future), here are all the details of my first race:

I slept well last night, actually. I did wake up a few times, but fell back asleep pretty quickly. I even hit the snooze button once when my alarm went off this morning! Though when it went off again, I jumped up out of bed. I had a cup of coffee, then double-checked to make sure I had everything. I realized I couldn't find my headbands! I searched the whole house, but could only find one of them (I wear two for some reason...)

So we drove to Walmart quick to see if I could find another headband (I need a tight one to hold my glasses in place; otherwise, they fall down when I sweat and I get annoyed), and my husband got a coffee at DD. I was so tempted to get something to eat, but I knew that could spell trouble. I stuck to eating my banana, my normal pre-run snack.

We picked up Traci (my sister) and headed to Ringtown. Of course, we couldn't find a parking spot, so we had to park down the road (at the finish line, actually). We picked up our numbers (I got #9! My favorite number is 3, but my second favorite is 3-3's, or 9!) and our pins and everything for timing.

We spotted my Mom there! I was so happy she could come to see us run! She lives about 2 miles from the race course.

They let the walkers start first at 9am, which we thought was a little weird. We weren't sure when we were going to start, so we didn't know when to warm up. Runners were jogging, doing side running moves, stretching and all sorts of things. It turned out, I forgot my camera in the car, so we walked up a big hill to warm up.

We lined up at the starting line (Traci and I toward the back of the crowd), and instead of having a gun or an air horn, one guy just said, "Ready, Set, Go!" which was a little odd, but it worked. It was chip-timed, anyway.

At first, everyone took off ahead of me, even my sister! There were like 4 people running behind us, and I think they were all elderly... Traci told me, "Don't worry, the people ahead of us will slow down," and they did. I passed a few people (which felt pretty exhilarating) and felt great once my shins warmed up a little. The temperature did, too! Wow, it was hot today! I was wearing compression pants I found at a sporting goods store which were designed for warm weather, so my legs felt great, actually. I'd definitely recommend running in them! (They're Underarmour compression pants. I got a Youth large - I'm short - but they make them in women's sizes, too)

I took more walking breaks that I would have liked. My legs weren't tired at all, but my breathing was a little labored today. I think it was a bit humid. The first mile felt fairly easy; the second mile was tougher; and I wasn't totally sure I'd make it through the third mile. But I did! I sprinted across the finish line. My Mom was surprised how fast I was at the end; she didn't even get a picture of me! My husband got a good one, though.

Here are my first race pics!

Traci and I, pre-race. Man it was bright out there!

Racers taking off up the first hill! The finish line is just above this hill, so we have to run it twice!

Me crossing the finish line! I honestly can't remember what I was thinking at that point. I was just sprinting as fast as I could so I could finish under 33 minutes!

Traci, Mom and me. I'm so glad my Mom was there to see us run!

Me and my wonderful husband, who came to the race to support me and to take photos of the event. Thanks!!

It was a small race, with under 100 runners, and I was surprised I placed at #80 considering I thought my time was pretty good for a beginner. I loved staying at the finish line, cheering on everyone else, and it felt awesome when they cheered me on, too! We raced through town, and some people had garden hoses out to cool off runners. It really felt like a community event. One pre-teen boy ran ahead of me and every time he took a walking break and I'd start jogging, if I got near him, he'd start running again. It was like he didn't want me to pass him. I saw him later with a medal for placing in the top three in his age group. I like to think that I inspired him to keep going. EVERYONE, at the race, in my family, on SparkPeople, and my friends, definitely inspired me today.

Thank you!!!

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