Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Sweet Success!

10/9/2010 Semper Fi 5K
Official Time: 35:28 (Ran the WHOLE WAY!!)

Sorry it has taken me so long to write this recap! I've been super busy and mentally preoccupied, but now I'm ready to share my triumph!

After my long run last week, I felt somewhat confident going into this race, but my knee issues concerned me a little. Then I stayed up really late watching an exciting playoff baseball game on Friday night, which probably wasn't the best idea but couldn't be helped. I love baseball more than I love running. :) Anyway, I was not as well rested as I should have been on Saturday morning, and wasn't sure how that would affect my performance.

The physical conditions of the race were perfect. The weather was a comfortable temperature, and the course was super flat. We ran around Hains Point in East Potomac Park (Washington, DC), and the views over the water were simply gorgeous. It was a very small event (being held for the first time), so it had a nice friendly feel to it.

Speaking of "friendly," the best part of this race experience was having a running buddy, my good friend and former roommate, Jack, who agreed to do this even though he was only in town for two nights for a wedding. I really think he is the reason I got through the race! I might have been able to finish on my own, but my time definitely would not have been as good. He was a constant source of encouragement...and distraction! We basically chatted through the whole race, which made the time and the miles just fly by. Right towards the end it got rough and I was too winded to talk anymore, but Jack just kept encouraging me, and he got me to speed up, pass a few people, and finish strong!

I had dreamed of maybe finishing in under 38 minutes, and managed to do it in under 36! When I saw the clock at the end, with the time starting with "35," I was amazed and overjoyed! After hugging and jumping up and down and hootin' and hollerin' in celebration, Jack and I hung around for the awards ceremony. We applauded all the winners, and were impressed/ashamed by their times. A 72-year-old man won his age category with a time about 9 minutes faster than ours. Good for him!!! And WOW, I still have a long way to go to really be in shape, even at 40 years younger.

If you're wondering how my knee held up, it was perfectly fine. It bothered me a tiny bit at the beginning of the race and then I didn't notice it again the rest of the time. In fact, it only just barely hurt a couple more times throughout the entire weekend. I think whatever issue there was has just worked itself out, and I'm grateful. It will be interesting to see if the same pain returns again in the future, though.

I had a few other ordinary aches after dancing the night away at the wedding Saturday night, but stayed active anyway, going apple picking with my family on Sunday. It was a pretty physical weekend, and I love that I'm in good enough shape to do all those things without getting too worn out! I did decide to take an extra rest day from running, just to play it safe. So my next run will be tomorrow, and then another on Friday, and then I'll be attempting 5 miles this Sunday!

Now that I've conquered the 5K, I'm surging forward with my 10K training. My race is in 2.5 weeks, and I'm hoping to be able to run at least 2/3 of it, maybe even a little more. After that, I will continue with 10K training, for another race possibly in December? And I will be on the lookout for another 5K or two. I can't believe I thought racing wasn't for me just because my first experience went so badly. This race was so much fun and I'm totally hooked! I imagine it will always be more fun to have a buddy than to go it alone, but I think I'll even enjoy running by myself now that I'm more comfortable with the whole experience.

By the way, the reason there are no photos with this post is that we have misplaced our camera. I hope we will find it soon, but if not, I will try to get at least one of Jack's photos of the two of us after the race! I've seen the official race photos and there are some good ones of us, but I don't know how to post those or if I'm even allowed to post them. If and when I get some photos, I will be sure to share them.

THANK YOU FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY HEART for your continued support! I have accomplished one significant goal, but it is only the first of many! With you behind me, there is no telling how far I will go! THANKS!!!!

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