You guys. There are no words to express how excited I am that I completed my VERY first 5K this weekend! (ok, there are words!)
Since I’m training for a half marathon this year, I thought it would be a good idea to start signing up for some shorter races just to get an idea of what the race day atmosphere is like. Not to mention, running a race will continue to remind me why I’m doing this in the first place. A about a month ago, I signed me and Dono up to run the Trinity River Levee Run.
On Friday night, we didn’t get to rest or eat as healthy as I would have liked, so before I went to bed I started to get really nervous. I felt unprepared and anxious. I had no idea what to expect which made me that much more anxious.
Saturday morning, our alarms went off at 5:30am. That is way too early. My brain doesn’t function that early in the morning, so I felt like I was scrambling all over the place to eat breakfast, get dressed, pack a bag (we were planning to spend all day in Dallas at an outdoor festival), and just prepare myself. I drank a glass of Spark and ate an english muffin with peanut butter for breakfast. In a few minutes, we were out of the door and headed towards the race.
When we got to the race pavilion, I started to get nervous again. The weather was not that great – it was cold and foggy/misty. We got our numbers on, stretched a bit, and hit up the port-o-potties like everyone else.
We also met up with our friend, Shannon, who was also running the race, so it was fun to have some other friends around to take my mind off my nerves. I just kept having flashbacks of running cross country in high school (2 mile races) and coming in DEAD LAST in every single race. I was terrified to think that this race was longer (3.18 miles) and there would be thousands of people watching.
This start line was pretty intense. I knew I would be a pretty slow runner, so Donovan and I headed towards the back of the line to get out of the way of the professional runners. Luckily, we had to wear little sensors on our shoes, so our time didn’t start/stop until we crossed the start/finish line. I liked this because it took us 2 minutes to cross the start line from the time the gun went off.
The race itself went really well. I told Donovan that I wanted to at least run until the end of the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge (about half a mile) and then would either walk or take it from there. Once we got to the base of the bridge, I was feeling good, so I just kept going. And going. And going. And y’all…I wasn’t even wearing headphones with music! This is a serious first for me. Sure, people were still passing me, and my pace was pretty slow, but I kept telling myself to just keep moving.
About the 1.5 mile mark, I had to stop to walk to a few minutes to take my jacket off because I started to get hot. But – as soon as I got my jacket off and wrapped around my waist, I got to running again. The last half mile of the race I started to get really emotional. I thought back again to my cross country days and how I was not dead last in the race at all. And all the other runners were motivating and inspiring. Some of them would cheer you on along the way if they passed you or just smiled and offered encouraging words. I really liked the camaraderie of all those participating. When I finally crossed the finish line, I felt SO good. My legs were tired – and I could tell they were already getting sore – but I was SO proud of myself. I ran the whole FREAKING race. The whole thing! I’ve never even fun that far in my trainings before!
After the race, we went by the sports therapy tent to get our legs stretched, and then enjoyed the free bananas and water. Since there was an all day festival happening nearby, we decided to stick around and check it all out. While they were calling out awards, we all accessed our results from a QR code they had posted around.
I DIDN’T COME IN LAST! And my placements weren’t completely awful. Overall, I’m proud of myself for not only completing the 5k, but for also trying my best and running the whole way. Now i’m excited to try and run some other races! There is a Color Run coming up in April as well as a 5k through a vineyard in May! Any friends in the DFW area already signed up for a race? Let me know!