Saturday, May 18, 2013

Race Recap - Cellcom 5K

I had my first 5K of the season today - and needless to say, I was quite unprepared for it. My "training" has been spotty at best. I'm a good 15-20 pounds heavier than I was at this time last year. Yesterday was my son's school field trip (I was a chaperone) and I ended up with a vicious headache that had me laid up most of the afternoon/evening. I hydrated pretty well but needless to say, I didn't go into it with high expectations.

I packed a bag of goodies to bring with me the night before. Got up at 5:00 this morning, showered and dressed, ate a quick bowl of oatmeal and got on the road. I live about an hour from Green Bay so I left the house around 6:30. My friend Catherine met me at Lambeau field and we picked up our race packets. The shirts we got were red, I was pretty happy about that because I don't own a lot of red stuff. However, I signed up for this race a good 10 pounds ago so I was skeptical about the size medium I got - but it doesn't look too bad. They must run big.

Here we are in the Lambeau Field atrium after picking up our race packets. I don't like taking pictures of myself in running gear because I think I look yuck with my hair in a ponytail, and it's hard to look cute when I'm standing next to someone as pretty as Catherine.

 We had a bit of time to kill so we walked around and did some people watching - I love checking out other peoples' running shoes! Catherine talked me through some stretches (that I was really terrible at). The weather was pretty cold but I ditched my Under Armour jacket before the race and I'm glad I did. The congestion of people in the race gave off enough body heat to stay really warm! Saw quite a few people I knew - there were 3,754 people in the race.

Catherine can run like 7-8 minute miles so I told her she did NOT need to run with me, but she is the nicest person in the world and she insisted. She wanted to motivate me. We lined up farther back because I knew I was going to be slow. The gun went off and we started moving. Once we crossed the start line I started to run, slow and steady. I shocked myself by running the entire first mile without stopping! I don't think I've ever done that before. At that point I wanted to check my time but realized I never started any of the running apps on my phone... durr. Mile 2 was definitely harder, I walked a good part of it. My legs/body felt fine but I had trouble catching my breath... my lungs just don't have the endurance yet. Catherine kept encouraging me to run and I kept swearing at her haha. There was a LOT of people around and we had to do a lot of bobbing and weaving which I think wore me out even more. I skipped the first water station but hit the second and was surprised to find out it was Gatorade... never drank the stuff before! It was okay (lemon-lime flavored).

After the second water station I started running again - we could see the finish at this point but had to take our run through Lambeau field first. We ran through the tunnels which was pretty cool, but there wasn't a lot of room for the runners to spread out. It was crazy hot and muggy in there and I have a tendency to pass out in those conditions so I power walked. When we came through the tunnel and hit the field I started to run again - we made a loop around the field and I wanted to make sure I ran that whole time. Then it was back through the tunnels.

 Here is a super creepy picture of me trying to take a photo of myself while running. Yikes. But you can see that we're running around Lambeau field and that's pretty flippin' cool.

Once we got out of the tunnels I started running again.... up a small incline and then the finish was in sight. We got close enough to see the clock and I saw 39:?? (and some seconds) on there and that was when I realized "holy crap, I can finish this in under 40". That was my dream goal, to finish under 40. I know that's crazy slow but I'm not in shape so it was a lot for me.

I saw that clock and I just started to run FULL OUT. I'm sure all the spectators were laughing because I looked insane but damn it I wanted to cross before 40! Catherine later said that I shocked her and she was impressed (she was probably just being nice, but she made me feel great anyway). I crossed under 40 and was SO happy.

It took me ages to catch my breath after my "sprint" but it was such a great feeling. I've participated in other 5Ks before but one was untimed (the Color run) and one I did with my mom and we walked it (Firetower Run, in 45:23) - this was the first time I really tried. It was awesome. Catherine and I checked out the health and fitness expo afterwards and then parted ways.

I headed home to take Brady to his cousin's birthday party but first hopped online to check the results. That's when I discovered that I finished even faster than I thought! Even though the gun time was 39:42 I started in the back of the pack and didn't run until I crossed the starting line.... so my chip time was 36:37. That averaged out to 11:48/mile. YAY! So I did even better than I had hoped for!

Again, I realize this is crazy slow to some people but I was ecstatic. I wasn't last, and I wasn't even close to last! In my age group of women 30-34, I was 91 out of 218. Out of all women, I was 999 out of 2,298. Overall I was 1,952 out of 3,754. I'm very satisfied with this because I KNOW that if I keep working at it I can continue to improve, which is so exciting to think about. I'm hoping to use this to help motivate me to sticking with it, since I tend to struggle a lot with staying consistent.

I told Pete he totally needs to get me that Forerunner 10 as a gift - I would have loved to see how fast my first mile was (the one where I ran without stopping once). With the race and all the walking we did I hit my 10,000 step goal by 9:20 a.m.... so that was awesome too. Yep, today was a good day.

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