I completed my first 5K race on September 10, 2011. I raced with my co-worker and we finished in 36 minutes – not bad for my first try! It was rainy, but not very cold. There were so many people, it took awhile to even get to the starting line.
I didn’t have any problem finishing, in fact, I had a little energy left to sprint at the end once we were close to the finish line. It was a fun experience, and I was immediately thinking about signing up for another race.
I registered for a 5 mile race at the Maple Highlands Trail on October 2nd. At first, I thought it was a 5K, but after I paid the fee, I realized it’s almost 2 miles farther. I was a bit nervous about that at first, but my DM friends were very encouraging and now I feel ready.
My training runs this past week went well. Now that I have increased my distance, I have had to do some runs that are outside the neighborhood, since going around the loop multiple times is getting incredibly boring. I ran around town on Friday after work, which was great because it was less familiar. This route also had more hills, and it felt pretty good to complete the run without being exhausted.
Sunday I went out to Big Creek Park and ran about ½ of the way on trails, ½ on pavement. I went for a total of 5.1 miles and had a fast pace for me (about 11:30 or so per mile). The trails were fun! I started off with the Hemlock Trail that is beautiful, but includes a set of stairs right near the beginning. I ended up doing most of the shorter trails in the park, then I headed out to the road. I decided partway through the run to tackle the big hill on Robinson Road, the hill that really was tough back when I was just starting to run for 2 miles at once. I did it pretty well – I felt good about the pace I was able to keep up going up the hill. It was still a bit of a challenge, but it didn’t feel impossible like it did last time. I had one brief walk break and finished it pretty strong. If I run there again, I need to look at the trail map first to figure out the best way to get to the bridle trails, so that I can get my distance in without needing to worry about which trail I am switching to.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s not always sunshine and rainbows – sometimes it feels like I won’t be able to get a run finished, but then I get past the mental block and do it and then it feels amazing. I totally get how people love running and racing. Too bad I didn’t discover this sooner, but at least I’m doing it now!
I’m looking forward to my race in two weeks!