9 weeks of training and I actually did it.
I ran my first 5K.
And I'm here to tell you it was the worst and one of the most amazing experiences of my life at the very same time.
The weather leading up to the race last week was STIFLING...it was in the 90s and SO humid, we were completely dreading the run. The only good thing was that the race started at 8:00am and it wasn't going to get any cooler than that so we sucked it up.
My buddy, Roslyn and I got to Registration early and since it was our first time, it was great to not feel rushed about picking up our packets and goodies. We had my veteran running friend Missy there to guide us along the way. She even brought bug spray - so smart, that girl! We bug sprayed ourselves and drank a little bit of water and warmed up.
|Pre Race Photo Op - We're all still pretty...|
We made sure to hit up the potty room right before the race and as we were walking back, our families and friends got there and it made me so happy to see their faces that I started to cry a little bit. They even made a great sign for us - that meant so much!
|Cutest Cheerleaders EVER - right???!|
So, I live in a part of the country that is very hilly...and I mean, you can't go 20 yards without there being some sort of hill. But that's okay because my training is on hills, so I was alright. However, at about mile 1 my heart rate was so high and I was so hot from said hills that I literally had to stop running and walk a little bit. My heart rate monitor said my heart rate was at 189. That is high. Like way high...my usual high HR is about 178...that's when I know I need to slow my pace down. Well, there was no slowing this pace down. So I had to do exactly what I didn't want to do and that I swore I would NOT do: I had to walk. I cannot tell you the disappointment that I felt at that moment. Everything that I had envisioned for this race went out the window. I was defeated...I realized that I was last...I wanted to cry...and I was M. A. D. You cannot imagine the thoughts that ran through my head. I was mean.
When I could, I began running again and as I came around the turn for the first lap, my dear, sweet husband was waiting for me with water and a cool towel. I just jogged up to him as he ran along side of me and I said, "I'm last...and I had to walk." He said "Who cares, you are doing great, you keep going." So I did...I kept going, and I ran for most of the way but by the time I got to the 2nd lap, I still could not get my heart rate down...I was dying...And at that moment, I honest to goodness thought about quitting. You don't know me, but I am competitive...I am not a quitter...but I wanted to walk to my car and drive away. I started to cry thinking about how far I still had to go...and then I saw my husband again and he knew exactly what it had taken me to get to this point and he just said it again..."Keep going, Jenn...You got this." So, I did...I kept going and as I rounded the last bend, my buddy Roslyn (who had finished and was waiting for me), and another co-worker came to finish with me. I finished at 44:46.
I ran across the finish line and apparently the words that I uttered were: "I'm never fu$#%ing doing that again." I say apparently because I truly and honestly do not remember saying that, but about 10 witnesses have confirmed.
|Last Runner In :)|
But here's the "amazing" part about it. I am so stinking proud of myself. I ran a FREAKING 5K...and no I didn't run the whole thing, but I estimated that I walked for about 5 minutes total...that's nothing! And afterwards, my friends and I all just spent hours talking about how much it sucked...how hard it was for all of us (even experienced runners!)...how each one of us was feeling at any given moment during the race...what we felt like when we got to certain points in the race...and I loved every single moment of that bonding experience.
|We did it! And look, I'm smiling....|
Even though it sucked...even though it was hard...I cannot wait to do it again. Next time, I'm gonna own that bitch.
I'm a runner ya'll.