June 4, 2013

My First 5K

Well, I did it.

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...
My nerves at that point were completely rattled.  The race was put on by the company I work for which meant that I knew a lot of the runners as well as the spectators.  I wasn't expecting that I'd feel so anxious about that, but I definitely was.  

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???!
The race folks called us to the start line and my heart began to beat really, really fast.  I remember looking down and seeing that it was at about 136...then they blew the starting horn and we were off.  I had my music going, and my handy RunKeeper running...I knew I could do this.  I began running and was doing okay, except that my nerves were still completely out of whack...I kept trying to calm myself down but it was not working.  I was excited because my friends were doing so great, I could see them ahead of me and I was so proud!  This was a first for us!  Then, at about the 1/2 mile mark, my new handy dandy arm band holding my iPhone began to hit the start button which triggered the music to stop and start and the Siri beeps to begin...I swear to GAWD it did that the whole rest of the race...

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 :)
Anyway, that's the description of the "worst" part about it.  I've had time to think about things and go over what went wrong and what I did not anticipate was that my nerves would get the best of me.  I'm so upset with myself about that.  I had run almost 4 miles so many times without needing to stop and walk and I never imagined that I wouldn't be able to do it at the race.  That was the most disappointing part about it...

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....
Anddd...I can't wait to do it again.

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.


  1. Great job! I'm still working on 5 min straight running! You are amazing! Such an accomplishment.


  2. I did a 5K last year and it was HOT and HILLY and I was so slow and I walked (here's a hint--I ALWAYS walk cause I ain't gonna kill myself, ya know?). When I finished all my fast friends were waiting for my at the finish line cheering me on. I think I may have uttered that same sentiment--except I meant it about that race. And it made me laugh out loud when I read it here. So proud of you!! You did great and hello...on grass? That's got to be a total different beast of a run. You keep it up cause YOU ROCK!!

  3. I am so stinkin proud of you!! I got a little emotional for you reading this! I am so glad you finished and I cannot wait to hear about your next one!! You've got this lady, and you freakin did do it!!

  4. Jenn!!!! I'm so proud of you!!! One 5K in the books and many more to come!!

  5. Jenn, I am so incredibly proud of you! Yeah... you walked some, so what? You still ran a bunch of it. And hey, you finished even though you felt like quitting some of the time. You are an inspiration, girl!

  6. Woo-hoo! Way to go!! So happy for you - looking forward to see how your next race goes! ;)

  7. This is AWESOME!!! My first 5K was in similar weather--88 degrees and humid at 8 AM. You did awesome for 90 degrees AND hills!!! WOW!!!

    After 11 5Ks, I still think "why did I sign up for this?" at least once within the first half a mile every single time.

    Can't wait to see more race posts from you! :)

  8. Such an awesome job! Words can't express how proud I am of you and how far you've come!! Now on to the Blood and Guts run...WHOOP WHOOP!!