I ran my first 5K race this morning. Remember how nervous I felt? Well, guess what -- I had so much fun! I still can hardly believe it. I think that I'll probably participate in some more of these races! I don't know if I have a half-marathon in me, but a 10K is also a distinct possibility. I tend to choose to go on 6-7 mile runs for exercise, so the slower pace seems to suit me a little better.
However, on to today's race recap! The day was chilly and gray, but I bundled up with some thermals and checked in. I got my t-shirt, some other goodies, and my very official-feeling number.
Don't you love the face? By the way, all photos are courtesy of the Best Husband Ever. He biked along the whole course, equipped with a camera and lots of encouragement and double thumbs up. Thanks, hubby! You seriously rock.
After warming up, I hung out for the last few minutes before the start inside Wheat Montana, the bakery that sponsored today's race. Can you tell that I'm super nervous? I had a mp3 player full of peppy tunes like Clocks by Coldplay, Desire by U2, and Stacy's Mom by Fountains of Wayne (I know, I know, it's wrong, but I love this song!), and despite the jitters I felt ready to run.
We all gathered for some quick instructions before the start. As you can see, it wasn't a very large race in terms of numbers of runners. Can you find me? I'm wearing a white headband, a gray sweatshirt, and black pants with a white stripe down the leg.
By the time we grouped for the start, my nerves were mostly gone. I ended up toward the front, in the middle of a bunch of older guys who were running together. One of the men joked that they should probably move back to avoid being flattened. I wondered if there might not be some truth to that . . .
. . . but I need not have worried. I got passed by quite a number of runners straight off the bat as I expected would happen, but I certainly didn't get flattened. As I watch person after person seemingly fly by me, though, I began to think that I must certainly be right at the back of the pack. It wasn't until I turned the first corner that I glanced back and saw that I was doing a decent job of holding my own in the middle-frontish section of the group. I felt that I certainly held a solid middle-of-the-pack position for the entirety of the race, and was closer to the front runners than the rear.
I even passed a bunch of people! It felt good to be doing some of the passing rather than getting passed. In fact, after the start and first leg (I broke the entire race into 6 fairly even pieces in my mind), I don't think I got passed at all! I ran at what felt like a challenging pace without overdoing it. And guess what else? God showed up about halfway through! Strangely enough, it was during the song Stacy's Mom. Weird and inappropriate, right? Maybe. But I first heard this song 5 years ago as a soon-to-be college grad. As I ran, looking at the snow-peaked mountains and feeling strength and ability coursing through me, my heart just sang with praise at how far I've come, at how good God is, and how much He's still doing in my life. He is amazing! He made this already fun race that much sweeter.
So not only did I complete my first 5K race today, but I also finished well. I ran the entire way, pushed myself, and, most importantly, had a fantastic time. I love the intense, gross, nose-dripping expression on my face as I crossed the finish line. Hooah!
I finished in 26:37, and I didn't walk a bit! In fact, I ran much faster than I do during training runs. That's my time at the top of the picture, above and to the left of the blue tag. I didn't win any ribbons, but I feel darn good about my race, and that's the most important thing for me.
And even though I didn't place in terms of time, I did make out like a bandit. In addition to the experience, which was more than worthwhile by itself, I got my t-shirt, a squeezeable stress ball-esque figure, and a key chain light. Plus, I won nifty new running socks in the door prize drawings. I'd say my premiere 5K was a 100% success.