On January 26th I participated in my first ever 5k. I say "participate" because I'm not sure it would be completely fair to say I "ran" a 5k when the vast majority of the time I was speed walking. However, I am so, so proud of myself for having completed this, and I'm already signed up for a second 5k at the end of March!
The day of the race was far from what I was expecting. It was pouring rain when I woke up several hours before the start time, and it was pretty cold too- the exact opposite of what you would expect when running in Arizona. One of the ladies on our team starting talking about possibly not running due to the awful weather. I began getting a little nervous- what if everybody else on our team backed out? What if I couldn't finish? What if I hurt myself? I put on my best game face and tried to get everyone else pumped up, and we all carpooled over to the race.
By the time the race started the rain was more of a drizzle than a pour. Our team started together, although we didn't all stick together during the race. Michelle F. and I stayed together (although she definitely could have ran ahead without me- she is way faster than I am!). I was happy the race wasn't timed, as I could tell I was going slower than usual to make sure I kept my balance. Plus, I'm a nervous pee-er so I took a bathroom break about 2/3 of the way through the race. (I'm really hoping I won't have to do this at the next race.) It was pretty crowded, especially for the last kilometer or so- it was hard to get around the slow walkers without jumping in the way of the fast runners, and as someone who was sort of mid-paced I found it difficult to figure out where I should be, and occasionally just got stuck behind walkers.
Michelle F. and I did run to the finish line, which was exhilarating. It felt sooo good. To know that I commited to doing something I wasn't sure I could do, that even though I didn't complete it exactly how I wanted (run the whole time) I still finished. Without falling flat on my face.
The one thing I did forget, however, was to set a metting place for my team to meet up with our carpool drivers- my husband and my dad. I had been so focused on getting everyone together to start the race, it didn't occur to me to work out how we would find each other afterwards. I didn't even have my cell phone with me due to the rain. I found David easily enough, but it took us quite some time to find my dad. They both say they were waiting at the finish line but somehow missed us (and we them).
I have another 6 weeks until my next 5k, which is part of the Arizona Distance Classic in Oro Valley. My goal for this one is timing: 45 minutes (or less). My current mile time is around 17 - 18 minutes, so this means doing the race at a 15 minute mile. It'll definitely be a push, but I'm feeling confident!