Yesterday I ran my first official 5k and I thought I would share a little bit about the experience. It was an early start, the alarm went off at 5:45 am jolting me out of a peaceful sleep, but I had to be at the race site for the 7 am registration (according to the website 1,000 people would be in line and you have to be registered by the 8am race start time). We arrived at sharply 7am and to our amazed eyes, there were just a few people mingling around setting up tents. Everyone must be at registration I thought. We walked over to registration and found that there was no line there either, so in less than 30 seconds I had everything I needed for the race and it was 7:02 am. Glad we got up so early.
(Before the race)
Finally 8:00 rolled around and everyone crowded into the starting block (I should mention, we were each given this thing you attach to your shoe which starts and finishes your time when you cross the line, this comes into play later) and the announcer counted down 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 GO! And we were off like a herd of cattle being chased by a farmer with a stick. I wove my way through the runners until things started clearing up. Upon reaching the first turn I thought I was near the front of the pack until I rounded the turn and realized a huge group was already making the next turn way ahead of me!
Just after I reached the half-way point and I was passed by a guy running the 5k in a dog suit, just after that I was passed by a woman pushing a baby in a stroller and I have to admit that was almost enough to make me quit. I pushed on though. I passed the 2 mile marker and fatigue really started to kick in. Every step was an effort and even though I hadn’t eaten any breakfast I started to feel like I was going to vomit. Maybe I should just stop and take a quick breather or maybe I should walk a little bit, I thought. But my 2 goals entering the race were to finish in under 30 minutes and to not stop running the whole way, so I pressed on.
Finally, I rounded the final turn and the man keeping time called out 28:45 so I mustered up all the energy I could and sprinted for the finish line crossing it at 29:13 (the winner ran it in just over 17 minutes)! Yay! Before I could go pass out though, they had to cut that timer thing off my foot. The guy doing that tried to make small talk so I just told him, cut it off so I can go throw up!
I staggered over to the grass and knelt down over a big rock feeling sick when a guy came down and sat down nearby and started talking to me, so I sucked it up, acted tough, and carried on a normal conversation (and never did throw up!).
After I caught my breath and cooled down, Jenny and I went and ate a big breakfast to celebrate! I had met my goals and survived the 5k, next up, the LA marathon!