Friday, January 25, 2013

Running my first race!


My journey into running began when I was in the second trimester of being pregnant. Yes, I know you're not suppose to start anything new while pregnant but my doctor and midwife were okay with it. I was only running a mile at first then worked my way up to 1.5-2 miles. It felt great!! It really took all the aches and pains out of being pregnant. I had tried to run before but would always give up after a week or two of running. I tried doing too much too soon and it wore me out. As I began running while pregnant, I gradually worked my way up. I think that was the key for me. Starting small and building on that. Four weeks after giving birth, I began running again. By the end of the first week I was running four miles without stopping! I decided a race would be a fun thing to do! So I signed up for my first race- a 10K (6.2 miles) on St. Pete Beach. The week leading up to the race I was so anxious about making my time. My goal was to do it in under an hour. I had run the distance about four times, so I knew I could do it, but didn't know if I would make my time. So here is how my race went...

Morning of the Race:

Well Jacob decided he was hungry at 2am and 5am last night. He has been sleeping through the night from 9:30pm-7:30am for a whole week now! But of course the night I could use the sleep the little booger keeps waking up! I still feel pretty well rested! I rolled out of bed at 6:30am and got myself ready. I was feeling pretty anxious and decided I would eat a little oatmeal and half a banana. I thought it was light enough that I would feel fine as I was running. I usually only eat a Kashi fruit and nut bar before I run, but I thought since my race was a good two hours away I would be fine. That was a mistake... (I ended up pretty sick to my stomach after the race but at least it was after the race!) 

We pulled into the Sirata on St. Pete Beach at 8am. We had a good 45 minutes before the race. After killing time by taking photos and stretching, I made my way out onto the street with some of the other runners. Everyone else around me seemed to have a running buddy or someone they knew, so I awkwardly stood there pretending my “date” was in the bathroom. It was awkward since I wasn’t sure what to expect because it was my first race. So I did my best to act like I knew what was going on. A lot of the runners around my had on shirts from previous races- “Women’s Half Marathon; Iron Man; Meatless Runner (I think I saw her eating some grass along the way); ...etc” Some of the runners had on some serious gear for their 10K run, all decked out in name brand gear. My shirt was from Target...but it was a pretty pink color and it matched my shoes- so there! Alright so back to the race...

The weather was perfect, 60 degrees. A little chilly at first but I decided to not wear my jacket which was a good choice. I turned on my music, pulled up my Nike running app, set it for the 10K and waited for the race to begin. I made some small chat with a nice fellow next to me as we waited for the start. That was the last I ever saw him too, he was either super fast or super slow. Before I knew it the people in front of me began to run. I didn’t hear anyone signal to start but I went with the crowd! 

I ran in between some people and made my way to the side of the road. This way others could pass me and I could pass them easily. I paced myself and remembered to not go too fast at the beginning of the run. My throat was really dry as we began and I had to go potty (nerves I think haha). I thought mile one and two would feel like a cake walk and I would push myself to get through miles 3 and 4 then I would be golden for miles 5 and 6. Finally, I hit mile one and my time was 8:21, my fastest mile ever. Oops, so much for pacing myself. So I thought I had slowed down some to pace myself but by mile two my time was 8:45. Okay now to get to mile three, I can do this! And what was before me but a group of angels passing out water! I grabbed a cup and tried to drink it while still running. Bad idea. I was almost choking and decided to slow down a minute to get a sip of water down my throat. One sip successfully down, and off I went. I thanked the Lord for my water and then passed the three mile mark. At the 5K mark my time was 27:37, my fastest 5K to date also. My goal was to get to the 4 mile mark, I knew once I got there the last two miles would be great! Another water stop, so I walked for 20 seconds to drink and then off I went. I felt pretty good, my legs were going in a groove, my breathing was in a rhythm- I was going places! Running to the five mile mark, I started feeling pretty tired. 

To play a mean trick on all of us runners, we had to run past the start line an additional half a mile and turn around and come back through the finish line. (So just when you think you’re done you have another 1.21 miles to go.) It was kinda weird at the five mile mark everyone is there cheering you on like you’ve finished the race. But I tried to soak up the encouragement and use it as motivation. As I was running one way, I kept looking at all the other runners who were running the other way on their way back to the finish line.  Oh how I wanted to be on that side of the road with them! The last mile was a killer. I kept looking and searching for the turn around point but it seemed endless. Would I ever be on my way back to the finish line?!! So I decided to walk for about 30 seconds. My time was good enough that I had a little cushion to walk. I felt better when I saw some macho guy also walking for a few seconds. Okay back to running, and there it was the turn around point!! The hallelujah chorus went off in my head at that moment. Then I kept making little goal marks for myself to get to. I heard the sweetest words from my Nike running app, “You’re almost there, keep it up!” Which means only .21 miles to go! So I pushed myself to pick up the pace. I hit the 10K according to my GPS about .25 of a mile before the actual finish line. My time was 57:44, my fastest 10K to date! A little bit further to go, I can do it! I sprinted towards the finish line to victory! I did it!! A total of 6.44 miles in 59:22!! 

My accomplishments for the day: Ran my fastest mile 8:21, fastest 5K 27:37, fastest 10K 57:44- and barely broke a sweat, thanks to the nice weather

Me with my favorite guys! 

I came in 103 out of 272 women runners! And 6th out of 15 in my age division. Not too bad for my first race!

"My mom is fater than your mom" It was suppose to read "My mom is faster than your mom" but Jacob decided to change that. 
My favorite part was seeing my husband all proud of me at the finish line and being able to kiss my little boy! After the race though I was exhausted!! But Oh what a great day!!