I began running in late June and picked a 5K race to compete in as a way to stay motivated and get me out the door on days where I felt like sitting around instead of running. My other motivator was the purchase of the most expensive pair of shoes I have ever owned.
I searched and searched for a race that would fit the time frame suggested by my coach and also worked with my son’s extremely busy football schedule. After days of reading about different races, I found the perfect race and registered.
After months of training, it was the day before the race and I was worrying. I worried that my stomach was going to revolt and that I was going to oversleep. I worried that the course was going to have too many hills and I had not trained for hills. I worried that I would be the very last to cross the finish line or that I would injure myself somehow and not even make it to the finish line. I worried that my shin splints were going to act up and that the water stations would be too far for me. I worried that I would freak out attempting to run in a large and chaotic group of people.
I worried all morning until it was time to pick up my race packet. I worried all the way to the running store. I worried as I opened the door and gave my name.
And then, I stopped worrying. The race director was warm and welcoming and before I knew it, I had my number, timing chip, and shirt. This race was not only going to be my first race, but also the inaugural race for company as well. Somehow, this reassured me in many different ways.
After picking up my race goodies, we drove to the course to give it a look over. There seemed to be some hills, but nothing too intimidating and I felt better knowing a bit of the layout beforehand.
I went home, got everything ready to go, set the alarms and took an ice bath. I had an amazingly refreshing 6 hours of sleep and hopped out of bed at 5am.
We arrived at the course at 6:30am (right on time), and I got two pre-race pees in before the gun. I carried my water, and just ran.
The hills ended up being a bit more than I had anticipated, but I still ended up finishing the race a full 2-minutes faster than my training runs.
Crossing that first finish line filled me with so many different emotions (some of which I am crediting to PMS), and I don’t think I have ever felt so satisfied and proud of myself.
3 months ago, I could not run more than 15 seconds without feeling like I would collapse. Today, I ran for 3.11 miles and finished better than I could have ever imagined while preparing.
I went home and realized that I am addicted. I have decided to participate in an amazing running series put on by the same race company. This series progresses through different race distances and starts with a 5K in October and finishes with a marathon in April. For more information on the Going the Distance race series visit: https://startlineracing.com/Going_the_Distance.html
I am ready to start training for the next race!