But instead of just running a few months out of the year in order to make sure I pass my yearly physical fitness test for the Air Force, I decided I really wanted to run some races. So, I started with a 5K.
Note: The weekend I ran my first 5K, I had friends that ran 1) a marathon, 2) two half marathons and a 5K, and 3) a 10K, so if you are one of those people, feel free to stop reading or laugh at my piddly little 5K. But for those of you are intrigued at what I did, read on!
I decided to use Hal Higdon's training plan for the novice 5K runner. I've run 5K and much longer (I have a vague memory of a horrible half marathon in Berlin many years ago), but never 5K as a race. Since that makes me a 5K novice racer, I started with his novice program. I printed it out and began running in accordance with it, tracking my times each time.
During the program, you can see that you run between 1.5 and 3 miles, and you often run the same distance. My goal was simple: The first time I run a distance, I just run at a good pace, whatever feels good to me. The next time I run that distance, I have to beat the time I ran it in the last time I ran it. That was my only personal goal in this. You might be able to tell from my filled out plan that I made my goal every day but one day, where I ran 2 miles slower than I had the last time I had ran it. To be fair, that was a 3-mile day, but I wasn't feeling great, and decided to make it a 2-mile day on my last lap, but couldn't speed up enough to break my previous 2-mile time.
You can also see there were a few days that I just didn't run. One week I wasn't feeling good, the week after that, Avery was in the hospital the night before and neither of us got decent sleep for a week. I can only run during lunch or if I take off of work early, because I don't have anyone to watch the kids if I want to get up early and run or run in the evening. That week of the ER trip, I used my lunch hour to sleep, I won't lie.
So, race day. At the start of my 8-week training program, I randomly picked a nearby 5K 8 weeks out, which turned out to support a fund in memory of a guy that died when hit by a drunk driver a few years ago. Good people, good cause. It was a bit chilly, so I wore shorts, an Army t-shirt, a lightweight long sleeve over that, and my hat to keep my silly hair from flying all over the place and to keep any rain/mist from annoying me.
|#1001 reporting for racing!|
I opted not to listen to music, which I regret. I've ran this whole training program with tunes and for some reason decided not to do it this time. But, the adrenaline got me going. I ran the first mile in 8:19, which is pretty fast, and the second mile (slightly uphill) in 8:48. There wasn't a three-mile sign, so I don't know what I ran that in, but I finished the whole race in 26:37. This was under the 27:00 mark that I was shooting for, so I was very happy.
When the official results came out, I was 49th out of 154 runners, and 12 out of 49 for my age group. (NOTE: The girl ahead of me in my age group had the exact same time, so maybe there was a tiebreaker I am unaware of).
I had a really good time, and the great thing about the race is that it didn't wipe me for the rest of the day and didn't exhaust me into saying "If I say I'm going to do another one of these, punch me in my face," which may or may not have been said after Berlin to my then-new-boyfriend, Jon.
I've already signed up to do another one next month, and it's in just 6 weeks. I'm going to stick to the same training plan (but start on week three since I only have six weeks until the race) and hopefully keep improving. My goal is just to run faster than 26:37 this time, and I'm sure I can do it!