I should have posted this sooner but I really have been processing how I was going to relate this to all of you. Above are my pictures from Saturday, April 9th- race packet pick up day. I was really psyched and pretty anxious. It was also a very long and emotional day. I spent it with friends and the community volunteering at a benefit for a my dear friend Melissa Cramer who passed away in April from Mesothelioma. The fundraiser was a great success and she would have been pleased to see how all of her friends, family and community came together. A true celebration of her life.
The hours before bedtime the night before the race were spent by me being up TOTALLY past my bedtime messing around with Itunes trying to download some last minute songs to my Ipod. I got a good sleep and was in a great frame of mind in the morning- just really anxious.
Feeling confident in the car before my drive over to the race.
The Show Your Swell 5k was at Onondaga Lake Parkway starting at the Willow Bay end. It was extremely organized and everyone was really friendly. I definitely saw what people had told me in the past about runners being one big supportive community.
Man, was it hot and muggy, even before 10am! Everyone was already sweating before we even gathered behind the starting line. The adrenaline of the starting shot definitely carries you. I was really good to not set myself up too far in the back or front but it was still really hard not to panic as people pass you. I did really well and kept my pace for the first mile or so. Then it started to be a bit of a struggle. An elderly gentleman picked me to unleash his terrible, horrible, god awful running technique on. He would do as follows: sprint until he got directly beside me, slam on the brakes, walk until he caught his breath, sprint to catch up to me and slam on the brakes. Over and over and over for the duration of the race until about the last 1/2 mile. For a beginner like me, its REALLY easy to throw off my pace so everytime he hit the brakes I faltered. Every time I heard him sprinting up beside me I sped up. Man, how frustrating. By the time the I could see the finish line about a 1/2 mile away I was nearly to tears. At that point I just could not take it anymore and sprinted up away from him so that he was unable to catch up. PLEASE, PLEASE NEVER DO THAT TO ANYONE. Use music, use landmarks, use anything but DO NOT USE FELLOW RUNNERS as your technique to run a race. (If I didn't have such a high from finishing the race I assure you that would have been my last one!) It had me really perturbed and the combination of the heat, humidity and raise in my blood pressure from frustration my HR, at one point, was 195. That's pretty scary. I had to slow my pace way down and concentrate on breathing. When it came down I was able to pick it back up again.
The running community really is a big family. I can't tell you how many people running the race either before the turn or after would shout encouragements or want to give you a high five. It is really a humbling experience. Then there is the finishline. THE FINISHLINE. People are clapping and cheering, photographers are trying to take your picture and I was pretty busy trying not to trip or pass out! It was an amazing experience. I never thought that I would be able to say that I ran around the block, let alone ran a 5k. Now all that I can think about is when I can run my next one. I'm definitely hooked.
Have I mentioned I am so totally into Marvel Superheroes? Hulk as the Mascot of this race? Couldn't have been more of a perfect fit for me.
So I finished 96th out of 168 runners with a PR time of 43:28 and a 14:00 min pace. I was pretty bummed about my time- I know that I could have finished before 40 minutes but I am glad I slowed down to get my heart rate under control. It was still a personal best for me by a few minutes so I will definitely take it. My fears and nightmares of being the last runner were unfounded too.
So what's next? I have a couple of fun 5k runs scheduled for the summer and early fall. In November my intention is to run the Burn Run 10k. I have always volunteered at the Burn Run and longed to be able to run it. So I thought it would be perfect to not only run it but to run the 10l instead of the 5k. So, let the next level of training commence! xoxo- Court
Well-deserved post-race ice cream. Not clean eating approved but I think I earned a cheat day!