Sunday, July 17, 2011

My First 5K!

That's right, ladies and gents! Today, I completed my very first 5K! I signed up for the Fleet Feet Women's 5K race about a month ago, primarily because my half-marathon training schedule me to do so. And you KNOW whatever that training schedule says, I will FOLLOW!

Needless to say, I was not the ideal 5K'er this morning. It all started with my bad decision to stay out till about 1 AM, despite fully knowing that I had a 6 AM wakeup call this morning. Come 6 AM, my alarm went off, and I... well, just groaned, turned my alarm off, and continued to lay in bed, seriously contemplating just skipping the race.

Sure, I was tired, but I think what was mostly contributing to this lack of motivation was the knowledge that it was going to be one scorcher of a day. To say I'm a wimp in heat is pretty much one of the bigger understatements one can make.

Sigh. After about three minutes, I just forced myself outta bed and focused on getting ready... my brand new race shirt certainly helped matters along, not going to lie! :) Yess!

Since I was having some trouble waking up and/or thinking positive thoughts prior to the race, I unfortunately did not snap a single "before-race" picture. Sad, I know.

I have to say, though. Fleet Feet knows how to make a race FUN!

We started with some pre-race stretching, sponsored by Accelerated Rehab. I'm not going to lie... this pre-race stretching was kind of like a workout in and of itself. Let's just say I was DRIPPING with sweat by the end of it... and I still had the race to run! The 90+ degree weather at like 7:15 AM was certainly NOT helping matters.

Shortly after the pre-race stretching (read: workOUT)... we were all corralled together to get ready for the big race! The theme of the pep talks being given in the last ten minutes? Hydration, hydration, hydration!

But you know me and my feelings about water. I hate to say it, but I decided to kind of turn a deaf ear to all those pieces of advice (being blared from every megaphone available).

But soon enough, off we went! I'm very open about how I'm not a fast runner by any stretch of the imagination. My primary goal with any race is to just FINISH it running. Therefore, I was perfectly content positioning myself around the 10:30 pace section, since I'd been pacing at around a 10/10:30 minute mile during my other runs.

And imagine that. Mile 1 went by just like that! I was feeling just fine and dandy, despite my worries about still being sore from my five mile run (!! I know, right?!) on Friday. I felt like I could go on all day long.

But then Mile 2 hit. And hit HARD. I swear, that sunshine was beaming brighter than ever and the shady parts of the path had gotten to be quite few and far between.

I'm not kidding, I felt like death was coming a'knocking.

Okay, maybe I just felt like the heat and beaming sunshine was significantly slowing me down, but whatever. You get the idea. I ended up feeling better about halfway through Mile 2, primarily because I was just thinking "Alright, the faster you pick up the pace, the sooner you'll be done with this DAMN RACE".

Talk about real healthy, positively reinforcing, completely non-abusive thoughts. Oh well. I tried.

Just as I was mentally reconsidering why I'd EVER touted the glories of "sunshiney goodness" (GOD, that sun is INSANE today), sweet Jesus, would you look at that?

I did it! I did it! I finished the race, running! Huzzah!!

Sigh. Don't I look so genuinely happy and refreshed... and not totally ready to keel over from heat stroke? HA. In my DEFENSE, this picture was taken like RIGHT after I finished, when I was still trying to figure out whether my body was going to let me live or die by this point.

It was kind of funny because I hadn't taken advantage of any of the hydration stations Fleet Feet had set up (God bless Fleet Feet- they SO know how to take care of their runners), despite all that hydration encouragement to which I'd turned my deaf ear (hey! I told you at the beginning I wasn't the ideal 5K'er this morning!). However, I ended up snagging a bottle of water that was being handed out at the finish line.

But I got quickly distracted because...

Weeee! There were those Gatorade people, handing out little cupfuls of Gatorade deliciousness. Before I even THOUGHT about opening up that bottle of water, I JETTED on over to the Gatorade guy, snagged a cup of Gatorade deliciousness and pretty much took it like one would take a shot of vodka. I guess I was thirstier than I thought. Whoops.

But man! Talk about a parTAY after the race finish! There were all KINDS of goodies and tents set up for individuals to peruse at leisure. Of course, I first made myself at home at the Luna tent... free samples? Hello.

Next, I decided to get my knee all checked out (it's been pretty swollen the past few days) with a free injury screening at the Accelerated Rehab tent.

After getting myself armed with a sports doctor referral, I decided to make myself right at home at the Moji tent. Before this race, I hadn't really known what Moji was, but BOY, am I glad that I found this tent. Moji is like this special type of icepack which, quite frankly, is heaven. ESPECIALLY in the 90+ degree weather. You basically can get icepacks strapped to you, and it's SO much more flexible than a standard icepack. Anyway, you KNOW it took me no time at all to get myself all nicely situated and start icing my knee.

Very ladylike, I know.

I ended up staying for a little bit longer, checking out the New Balance fashion show, partaking in some post-race stretching, and staying for part of the awards show (umm! The fastest runner had like a 5:53 PACE?!?!? WTF?!). What can I say? Once the race was actually over, I was totally all ABOUT it! Haha.

All in all, a success! Granted, my time was slower than I would have hoped, but I was happy to have just finished this darn thing, given this ridiculous heat wave nonsense.

And the best part? I totally have my day's workout all over and done with by about 10 AM! FAN-tastic! Now I can finally focus on the REAL priorities for today... celebrating National Ice Cream Day! Yessss!

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