Saturday, February 7, 2009
My 1st 5K... EVER!
I did it!!
I ran my first ever 5K!!!
This day was so huge for me. Look how far I've come!! If you would have told me a year and a half ago that I'd be running a 5K, I would have told you that you were out of your ever lovin mind! But here I am. I actually did it!! I still can't believe I did it.
I ran the whole way. Never stopped once to walk. I placed 142nd in my age division and 1076th over all. There were over 1800 runners. My time was 45:01 and my pace was 14:29. Now that I'm a competitive runner, I know its important to know your pace. :) (listen to me ... lol)
We had to line up at the start line according to our pace. I had no idea even what that meant. But I figured it out that it was how fast I could run a mile. I figured I'd be around 15 minutes. When I got there, they had a 6 minute mile pace marker, a 7 minute and an 8 minute. I figured I was WAY out of my league when I saw that. But it ended up that they were still setting up the markers and soon they added 9 and "10 minute and up" markers. Then I was the "walkers" marker and figured I was okay. Now I knew they wouldn't start putting out the cones if it took me too long to finish. :)
I actually teared up a little and got a big lump in my throat as I crossed the start line. I was so proud of myself for being there and doing this. Then I took a big swallow and said "Cara, stop that! You're not gonna let these runners see you cry." Then I took a deep breath and started down the track/road.
I did great. I was so extremely nervous, though. I was afraid I'd over do it and then have to stop and catch my breath or maybe even drop out. I did get a little ahead of myself during the first half mile. I started breathing so heavy. I kept looking at my heart rate monitor but for some reason it was stuck on 118. I wonder if there's something wrong with it. For the first maybe three-quarters of a mile it kept saying 118. Then finally I looked down and it said 174. That was more like it. I knew my heart was racing! So I took a deep breath and slowed my pace down some.
After the half way point, I started panicking thinking I wasn't going to be able to finish. I wasn't getting tired or anything, but I was just scared that I would have to stop. I don't know why I do this to myself. But I kept remembering Audrey from my WW meeting saying "slow and steady wins the race". So I kept saying that over and over to myself.
I kept passing walkers. Never passed a runner. But a few walkers did pass me. My pace is slow as you can tell (14-minute mile). It was a little intimidating but I just moved over and let the walkers go past me. I felt so proud, though, when I could pass the walkers. I'd see them running and then walking and then running again. And these were girls that were much younger than me and looked to be in much better shape that I was. But they were huffing and puffing. I just kept pushing on.
Then after the 2 mile marker, I started feeling in my muscles the effects of the panic and it started wearing me down. I reached deep inside me and then said "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me". That verse took on a whole new meaning today. The word "strength" was literally just what it meant. I needed strength to finish. So I kept saying it over and over.
I'd never been to this neighborhood before so I had no idea when the finish line was coming up. And that last mile seemed so long. I finally started seeing some of the runners who finished before me walking back towards us on the sidewalks so I knew I must be getting close. Then I finally saw the 3 mile marker and new the finish line was coming up soon so I kicked it up a notch and started running real hard and fast for the last 1/10th of a mile.
I was so excited to see the finish line. I was looking for my daughter who was waiting for me at the finish line. I wanted her to take pictures of me crossing the finish line but I couldn't find her anywhere. As I crossed the finish line I started crying again. I spotted her about 5 feet after I crossed the line. Whew! I did it! Then I swallowed the tears again. I ran to her and gave her a big hug and was so happy. Nothing could touch me then.
Wow, I still can't believe I did it.
Here are some memories:
This was me just before the race started (above). Can you tell I was excited!! :D
Here's a glimps of how many women were there this morning. I couldn't see the end of the line.
This was me just after the race. Walking on cloud 9!
This was another one of me just after I crossed the finish line and spotted my daughter.
What a day!!!
at 8:08 PM