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Healthy Heart Race 5K

Leaving the finish line in my dust
Leaving the finish line in my dust

This Sunday, I participated in my first 5K with some coworkers. It was the first baby step in what promises to be a long journey towards taking better care of my body…a really long journey. Although some things didn’t go as planned and it wasn’t the race I would have hoped for, all things considered, I’m glad to have this tiny accomplishment under my belt.

The race day and the course were really good ones for a first race. The weather on Sunday morning wasn’t too warm (to begin with, by the end it was pretty warm) and it was slightly overcast. I didn’t eat anything before the race (probably a bad idea, but I didn’t wake up early enough to eat a little before hand). I also forgot my headphones (again, just like my last “training run.” The only two times I’ve run without music). The course itself was an out and back course run mostly on paved trail (the rest was a small piece of road and some sidewalk). I wish the trail were a little wider to accommodate so many people, but other than that, it was a good course.

I started in the wrong “wave.” I was towards the front with my coworkers. Some of them were walkers and some of them were runners. I guessed that since it was a mixed race (1 mile, 5k, and 10k) that we were going to be more or less grouped by which race we were doing; this was not the case. Everyone started together at the same time. So I ended up starting too fast and almost being trampled after the first few turns.

I had a bit of cramping, but it didn’t last very long. My hip pain did not go away, however. I tweaked it a couple of days before the race and it just never felt right. My hips have always been tight, but I haven’t had a hip pain like this since college (a long, odd story I forgot about until just now involving a co-rec yoga class). I had to run, walk and hobble a bit for the out part of the course.

Shortly after the turn around (and almost falling throwing away a cup–which further tweaked the SAME hip), I was ready to run again, but Mr. Perfect was not. He was getting out a toothache/trip to the dentist, and running caused it to hurt worse. He encouraged me to run on without him to try and make my time (which I knew was probably a by gone dream already). I did run walk intervals for the rest of the rest and felt really proud of the pushing through in the second half. I had a good conversation with God as I listened to my footfalls and breathing. I finished strong. I was happy with the effort.

I didn’t get a great time, and I was way past my goal time, but there were some good milestones. I didn’t make 15 minute miles, but I was considerably under 17 minute miles. I was the last one to finish in my age group by a lot, but I hadn’t really trained seriously for it. It wouldn’t be fair for me to beat people who had trained for this. My breathing was not a problem at any point during this race, and my ankles were problem free. The other runners were very encouraging to each other and  giving each other a heads up on what was coming.

According to one of my runner friends, my race photo (taken by my coworker’s fiancé) was taken at a great angle and looked better than most race pictures. There were, of course, some fail pictures (such as the one of me sucking a donut hole off a toothpick  while double fisting water  and Gatorade post race–classy!).

I can’t say that I love running (even though my race tee and medal both say (I Heart Running), but I did enjoy the experience. The race atmosphere was really celebratory and fun. I think I will keep running as a part of my “Getting Serious About Fitness” routine. As for a 5k, I can say I’ve been there, done that, and have the T-shirt to prove it (and the medal).

What did you do this weekend?

Erica

P.S. I have the new banner in for the site! I am trying to wait for this whole domain transfer, etc. to happen, but I may put it up today, just to see how it looks (even though it will look completely different on the revamped site). I am looking through all of the different file types sent to find the best one. I will have a post up soon on my awesome graphic designer. I have been holding off on posts to finish getting some things done on the site, but since it is taking forever, I will stop depriving you. 😀