Monday, February 22, 2016

First 5k Recap

This is so long overdue that I almost didn't post about it since it's been four months since this race, but I've had a couple inquiries as to how it here goes:

I did it! I (slowly) ran the entire Purple Stride 5k without stopping to walk - which was my only goal.  AND - with the generosity of friends and family I was able to raise over $700 to fight Pancreatic Cancer. I am so grateful to everyone who donated to my PanCan fundraising. Thank you. I am genuinely overwhelmed thinking about it. When I signed up for this race, I simply chose it because of the Pancreatic Cancer connection, not realizing that it fell the week between Day of the Dead and what would have been my father's 69th birthday. Working towards this race became something bigger than I anticipated and I felt so supported in this goal. Not just because of the fundraising - but every neighbor who cheered me on when they saw me out training, and every time my family made sure I had time to get out there and run, and all the encouragement I've gotten along the way. 

My time was in the same neighborhood as my training runs (41:11 or 13:17 pace) - so slow, but I don't mind. I wasn't really nervous about whether I'd be able to finish since I had done several 5k practice runs in the weeks leading up to the race. Plus, this time I had an adorable purple-clad cheering section that doled out encouragement and high-fives. 

I will say it was a little disheartening in the first 5-10 mins when I was just being passed and passed by an ocean of runners...but once everyone settled into their pace groupings it was rather lovely.  I'm guessing this is avoided at larger races with pace corrals at the starting line, but now I know to start towards the back in the future.

What kept me going was that jb and the kids hopped from one spot to another to be sure to cheer me on throughout the whole race. I spotted them at least once/mile and in the final stretch Zoe joined me to cross the finish line hand in hand.

The weather was great and the autumn leaves were gorgeous. Fairmount Park is always pretty, but it's positively breathtaking in the fall. I thought about my dad a lot as I ran. About how hard it was to run for 30 seconds when I first started. About how amazing it is that I've come so far...but that running still really sucks.

So, yeah, I'm still not one of those people who loves running...but I do love having run. Much like writing. Once it's done, I feel great...but the process of getting it done is usually torture. 

The great thing about the couch 2 5k program is that it emphasizes time vs distance. It doesn't matter how fast or far you just need to make it through 30 seconds of running...then one minute...until you can run 30 minutes straight. That can be challenging when you get to the end of program and are still significantly short on distance, but it really reframes how you think about success.

Slow time is a victory. When I finished I didn't think "Oh man, it took me over 40 minutes to finish a 5k!?!" I thought, "YES! I ran for OVER FORTY MINUTES STRAIGHT!!" 

Despite repeatedly explaining that my only goal was to finish and that I was only competing against myself, the kids disappointed I didn't "win." jb said they let out an audible "Awwwww" when the first runner crossed the finish line and it wasn't me. So, that's adorable.

I've got two upcoming 5ks booked for March and April. My running has been infrequent lately due to illness, cold, ice...and well, life. But I'm doubling down so that I can hopefully beat my time.

Thanks again to everyone for their support and encouragement!

No comments:

Post a Comment