You all heard that I walked a 5k with a friend two weeks ago, and I’m sure you know that I was in another 5k this weekend (because I have a big mouth and told the world), but I thought I’d give you some details on the race.
I woke up late Saturday morning after ignoring my three alarms, and felt like I had a small elephant sitting on my chest. My allergies have been pretty bad the last week or so, but this was the first day it has affected my breathing. The only thing that got me out of bed was reminding myself that my house was at the half-way point of the race, so I could stop if I was dying.
I got up, dressed, had a Clif Bar for breakfast, took my vitamins, fixed my hair, and was ready to go when PJ headed out to work. He dropped me off at the church (AKA the start and finish line), collected my t-shirt, and I was on my own. (I was a little sad to have bib #1771 instead of #1776 because I’m a big ole nerd.) I could tell by looking that most of the people there were serious runners. I didn’t let it get to me though because this was my first attempt at running a 5k, alone, and without music. Also, I still couldn’t really breathe.
I had already decided I would walk the first half mile or so as a warm-up, so when the starting gun went off, I started walking. This is where I admit that I have super short stumpy legs. My walking pace is ssslllooooooooowwwww. At the half mile mark, I started jogging (also slow). My lungs still felt like they were trying to collapse. When I was close to home, I called my mom and had her bring a water bottle out to me. My first walk break was two blocks uphill from there. I slowly jogged the next 3/4 mile or so, barely keeping ahead of a lady walking and pushing a stroller. From then on, each time I walked, she passed me, and each time I ran, I passed her. The last leg of the race was uphill (of course), so I walked the first part, said a prayer (a combination of “running this race with endurance” and “please don’t let me die”…), and made the last surge (ha!) up the hill, up the driveway, and across the finish line.
I settled on a nice shady place in the grass to stretch, where I then had a very awkward moment with the stroller lady (one of those “Thank God I will probably never see this person again” moments). It seemed as good a time as any to walk home after that.
My time was 45 minutes. It wasn’t my fastest, but it’s a good starting point as far as races go. I survived. I finished running. I beat the lady walking with the stroller. Barely. I didn’t even care that I was the last of the runners. I was just glad to not be last.