It was 30 degrees and the streets and cars were covered in ice as I was preparing to leave the house. Eric kept telling me not to be nervous, which I was not! I just kept thinking to myself, "what did I get myself into" AND "why did you sign up to run in this kind of weather!"
The 5k was due to start at 10am and since this was my first time attending a race event, I was unsure at what time we should arrive. I had picked up my bib number and chip on Thursday to avoid having to arrive earlier on race day.
We arrived about 45 minutes before the 10K was due to start and walked around until the 5k started in order to attempt to keep warm. Many people were well dressed for the occasion and I am disappointed in myself for not taking a few quick pictures. Several racers sported the reindeer antlers, Santa hats, and several versions of Christmas dress attire, including t-shirts, tights, socks, and tutu's.
Shortly after the 10K started I went to line up and chose to stay mid/back in the crowd (again disappointment for not taking a picture of those in front and behind me). At first I thought all the ones awaiting to start were the 5K runners, but I soon realized this massive group was the runners and walkers (this should be interesting!).
I know it's wrong, but I was actually disappointed that the walkers and runners would be starting together. It has been a long time since I have run with anyone and, being the competitive person I am, I was hoping that by running with strictly runners, I would push myself more and possibly beat my goal of 12 minute miles.
|Start of the 5K, I am next to the guy in the blue sweatshirt.|
The gun goes off and I finally make it to the start line (according to the race results about 3:19 minutes later). With phone in hand, I start my music, put in my earphones, and start my running tracker. Needless to say my earphones decided they were going to develop a short in them and my tracker didn't work the entire run, even though both had worked shortly before the race started. I am off to a good start, weaving in and out of people as we make our way from the start line and onto the main road, once we cross the bridge we head onto a paved trail path and start to get congested. I continue to weave in and out of runners, walkers, and dogs until I come to a group which I can not pass as they are taking up the entire path and I come to a walking pace. UGH! I knew I might have to walk some during this race, especially since I haven't been running outside in the cold and am used to running only on my treadmill, but I was hoping I wouldn't be walking so soon into the race (we hadn't even completed the first mile!)
Finally, I get passed, start running again and make it to the first mile marker, where two girls we yelling "great job" to everyone and calling out the elapsed time...15 minutes! WHAT???? This can't be right! Now I am even more disappointed, but I tell myself that even if this time is correct, it must be from the start of the race and it did take me a few minutes to make it to the start time, and I keep going.
Mile 2 marker seemed to take forever to get to, the crowds got larger and more difficult to maneuver through and to make things more congested, the first group of 5K'ers were making their way back towards us, so again I found myself trapped between people and forced to walk. This continued shortly before we arrived at mile 3, when everyone was finally going the same direction.
Finally, I am on the home stretch. Still a bit disappointed in my run or should I say my walk. But a conversation I overheard shortly before arriving at the 3 mile marker, changed my perspective on this race or what I am not calling an experience. Two gals were jogging at a walking speed and one says to the other, "we are not going out for a PR today, we are not doing this to see how is faster than the other or to see how much we can increase our speed, it just isn't possible due to how the race course and break down of races were set up, we are doing this for fun, to gain experience, to say we completed it, and to give to a good cause! (she stated that the entrance fees would be going to the food bank)" It was then I decided, this race for me would be just what she said, and experience.
My results for the 5K resulted in 43rd out of 92 for my age group and overall 942th out of 1810 participants. I completed the run in 39:21 which was an average of 12:42/mile.
What I learned:
- Don't fully train indoors on a treadmill
- Find someone to run with you or motivate you and to push your (it's so easy to walk instead of run when there is no one to call you out on it)
- Dress appropriately
- When you per-register and pick up your stuff early, don't arrive almost an hour before the race starts, especially if its freezing outside
- To avoid having to weave in and out of walkers, train for the 10k
- Have fun!
- Oh and not to sign up for your first 5K when the weather is freezing or below freezing.