Friday, May 18, 2012
Here it is, the moment of truth. The day of the run arrived. I had put together a run outfit for that day and had it all laid out the night before, taking advice from other running blogs, and I was up super early so that I could get to the course and get my first ever packet. It was early, about 6:30ish and I was nervously excited. We drove downtown, expecting we wouldn't be able to find parking and worried about the horrendous lines I'd read about in other peoples blogs. Only to arrive to the course and see no lines at all for packet pick up...and we were ridiculously early. Sigh...
The race didn't start for another two hours, yeah, awesome. So we hung out at Westlake Center waiting for the race to begin and getting ready ourselves. We put on our race shirts for the race (a no-no that I'll talk about later) and attached our large number of jingle bells so you jingled everytime you moved, and especially ran, cute! We also watched all the what I like to call "real runners" filter in and also watching all the dressed up runners arrive to pick up their packets. It was fun to see how "in to" the race people would or wouldn't get. For some this was a fun run where they could flit around having fun dressed up in costumes and bringing levity to the race. For others, like me, it was a big deal and was very focused on the goal of the race. For others more it was just another race, maybe they would PR maybe they wouldn't but this was no big deal for them.
I watched as the people squeezed into the starting corral, man that's a lot of people in an itty bitty space! It was cold and I mean cold outside (34 degrees) and everyone was itching to get moving. The horn blew and the first color was off! As they left my color start filled in the holes and squeezed into the starting area. Then 5 minutes later the horn blew again, the greens were off! And so was I.
I crossed the start line and it was jam packed with people on the street, though as you proceeded up (yes, hill climb at the beginning, lovely) the street people disbursed and there was more room to run. The feeling was electric and I was so excited I was running! I was passing people and feeling like I was on a good clip. I would say I was 3/4 of a mile when a huge side cramp stopped me in my tracks. Damnit...I was doing so well! I was mad at my body for letting me down in this way, but I walked it off and when the cramp subsided I would run again. But the side cramp came back when I started running, it did this the whole race...and I was pissed! It got to the point I would run for a few minutes, walk for a few minutes, run for a few minutes, walk for a few minutes. WTF!?!?!?
I finally made it to the finish line, YAY! I ran the last 1/4 mile to the finish line, side cramp or no side cramp, I wasn't going to limp over the finish line! I didn't elect to be timed, since it was my first (and only planned) race, I figured there would be no need. However I did look at the time when I crossed the line and it was an hour after the time started. I had finished it! I had run (and walked) a 5K! I was so proud of myself for having gone after what I wanted, trained for it and actually ran it.
I was on such a high and was immediately beginning to think about my next goal. The next goal I had was I wanted to be able to run a 5K completely, never stopping from start to finish. A small, but attainable goal, right? But for now, I was just happy to have done it and was off to get some much deserved carbs, the free Redhook beer pint! Mmmmmm...