Last weekend I ran my second 5K at the Crawlin’ Crab Craft Brew Fest in Hampton,VA. I never thought I would say I ran my first 5K . . . let alone my second! It’s been a full week since the race so I wanted to share a recap with you.
Before I dive into the details of race day, there were a few things that were different from my first 5K.
1. Last time, my friend Danielle and I were extremely dedicated to training using the Couch to 5K program, 3 days a week for 8 weeks. This time around I still did Couch 2 5K but I wasn’t consistent week over week with my training.
2. Last time we did all of our training outside which really does help for the actual race. This time I did 90% of my training on the treadmill. Train outside as much as possible!
3. Danielle was the perfect running partner because we were at the same running level when we started . . .as in we weren’t runners! Since we had the same goals it made it a dream to train together. This time I ran with my husband who can definitely outrun me but stayed at my pace during the race.
4. I’m about 20 lbs heavier than I was during the Surfin’ Santa 5K in December 2012. That is proof that you don’t have to be skinny or an athlete to accomplish your fitness goals!
The Night Before a 5K
The night before we headed over to the Expo to pick up our bib numbers and other goodies. I remember my nerves were all over the place! So much so that I was ready to run that night just to get all my energy out! After we picked up our numbers, I was starving so we had dinner before heading home. Do NOT eat a cheeseburger the night before a run! I knew better but I waited too long to eat dinner so I didn’t care about healthy choices or portion control!
I didn’t sleep much that night. Anytime I have to wake up super early for an event or a flight, I’m up every hour checking the clock. I have this irrational fear of sleeping through my alarms.
The Morning of a 5K
The morning of the race I was pumped up and ready to go! About 5 minutes before the start time I realized that I was STARVING! It is definitely recommended that you eat something before running any type of race. I’m not one of those people that ever skips breakfast but I can’t eat at 5 in the morning or when my stomach is a bundle of nerves. I did make myself a smoothie but I couldn’t finish much of it.
Crossing the Starting Line
Every time my feet hit the pavement you would think that this running thing gets easier. Well, it doesn’t. About a half mile into it, I wanted to quit. No really. I wanted to die. I wanted to give up. I felt the tears welling up in my eyes. I heard that little devil on my shoulder telling me “Just quit. You can’t do this anyways. You didn’t train hard enough. You’re too fat to run. You’ll finish last anyways. You don’t deserve to be here with these people.”
My husband must have read my mind because it was at that moment he looked over at me and said, “You got this. Keep going. You can do it. You never quit anything you start. Focus on your breathing.”
So I did. I ran the fastest I’d ever run from the starting line all the way to the water station at mile 1.5. I soon realized I went out of the gate too hard. I didn’t take my own advice about ignoring everyone passing me. I felt intimated. I was terrified I would be last because of my inconsistent training.
I didn’t want to walk but my body felt numb. I couldn’t feel my feet. I felt dizzy. My mouth felt like it was full of cotton balls. I had goose bumps all over my body even though I was covered in sweat.
I gave into the pain and walked from the water station at 1.5 until we reached the 2 mile marker. Once I caught my breath, I was ready to finish strong!
Crossing the Finish Line!
We ran from the 2nd mile marker all the way to the finish line. It was the longest, hardest mile of my life! Just when I thought the finish line was in sight, we still had more ground to cover. I remember hearing both of our names as we came across the finish line and I could feel the tears coming back in my eyes. This time they were tears of success. Once they handed me that medal it made all of the pain worth it.
Finishing a run like this is such an overwhelming sense of accomplishment that I could never put into words. The funny thing is my official time was 49 minutes and 15 seconds. My first 5K was 49 minutes and 12 seconds. How crazy is that?! My husband reminded me that I DID get better because I trained less than I did before, walked part of it and still finished at the same time. If I would have ran the whole thing I definitely would have improved my time. However, this wasn’t about time for me or competing with anyone. It’s about achieving a goal that I NEVER thought I could achieve. It’s about pushing my body to do things I was always told I couldn’t do. It’s about giving hope to every kid out there that’s been bullied about their weight. That is why I run.
Once I pulled myself together, I felt great and was ready to enjoy the after race party! They fed us a big bread bowl of crab soup which was amazing! We also got 2 free beers which were pretty much a waste as my husband and I hate beer. Rum is another story. They really should have a race for rum or margaritas instead of beer!
A Third 5K???
As much as I love to hate running, I’ll probably end up training for my third 5K. Now that I know I’m capable of doing it, I want to actually work on my time. There’s something really exciting about race day and seeing all these people who don’t even know you cheer you on!
It won’t be anytime this year but perhaps in 2015 . . .