In light of my busy schedule, I decided to go with a throwback post today. This is the post I wrote for my first race last September:
Today’s Plan: 5K Race
Finally, my first race day was here. Outta bed at 6, had my first cup of coffee and a shower. We got there shortly after 7 and registered. The parking highly amused my husband (a onetime fireman) when we were told to park at the fire station. Apparently there is a well trod path between the fire station and the brewery.
The race was in the same town that we boated to yesterday, as it was all a part of Harbor Fest. I work in the town, and yesterday I saw quite a few people I know. I was amazed that today I knew no one except the owner of the brewery when I registered. Apparently, my clients are not runners! And yes, it started and ended at a small craft brewery: much to the enjoyment of my husband. After wandering aimlessly, and making friends in line for the bathrooms, it was finally time. A half marathon was also slated for the day, and they got sent off first. Then, we lined up. Next to me were two outgoing ladies who kept me entertained as we waited for the gun. In front of me was a dad with 2 kids, a girl and a boy. They started in front of me and finished in front of me. Can’t beat youth. But I can beat my best time. My first mile was 9:05, and then entire run was 29:18. The entertaining ladies were behind me on the run out and kept me moving to stay in front. After the turnaround, they caught me and we ran together, encouraging each other. They managed the last hill better than me and finished just ahead of me. It was a fabulous race. Cresting the first hill and seeing the rainbow of tshirts stretched out in front was invigorating. Hitting the turnaround was cause for thanks, and climbing the last hill was, well, painful but over quickly and then the race was finished. I saw the young girl after and asked if she beat her brother. She hadn’t, but she did beat dad.
Things I learned from my first race: I went out too fast, I couldn’t find my pace tempo that I’d been practicing because I was going to fast for it. Not knowing the course ahead of time means uncertainty in pacing: always ask where the turnaround is (not where I had thought) and where the finish line is (it’s not always the starting line!). Runners are a gregarious bunch willing to share experiences and always cheer each other on. I can’t wait to do it again.