I did it!
My first 5K was the Robinson Preserve 5K Twilight Run. As we were lining up we were told that this was the highest attended 5K in Sarasota and Manatee counties. Cool!
Let’s start from the beginning. (And I apologize in advance for lack of photos…I meant to take more, but was so wrapped up in everything!) Getting there wasn’t too bad. I expected some traffic since we were driving down during rush hour and we did run into some, but nothing too bad. We had to park in a field, which was around a mile away from the actual preserve. I didn’t mind this though since I needed to warm up anyway.
Getting my bib was easy. There were a few vendors, but I didn’t really walk around. Jon found a spot, I stretched and before I knew it we were being told to line up.
The race was done in three waves. Black was first, red was second and blue was third. I was in the red wave and I tried to be somewhere in the back since I wasn’t sure how fast some people were going to be going. I was a bundle of nerves and excitement all day so at this point I was ready to GO. Finally, the airhorn sounded and we were off!
We started right outside of the preserve, passed by cheering spectators (got to see Jon’s smiling face as I started) and started on the preserve trail. I tried to keep a steady pace in the beginning. I was trying to hold back excitement and not give my all too early.
This was my first time running with a huge group of people. I imagined people bumping into me, stepping on me, etc. but everyone seemed to have a great respect for one another. People moved out of the way when they saw you wanted to pass and it felt great running as a unit.
At the first mile marker there was a volunteer with a stop watch who yelled out 13 something…13 minutes? Really? Since my average pace is 10 minutes I started to worry a bit so I picked up the pace a little. I later realized that I should have taken a few minutes off of what she said since there was a whole wave that started ahead of me.
The first water stop came at the perfect time. I tried not to come to a complete stop and ended up catching up pretty well. The second water stop I had to skip because they had no cups ready. This sucked because I reallyc could have used that second cup to keep me going.
At one turn I thought we were near the end so I started pushing a little harder. Then after another turn I realized we still had a ways to go. Ugh! Finally when I saw the end in sight I gave all I could at the moment and pushed to the finish line.
What a great feeling! I found Jon and then made a beeline for the buffet that was set up. My stomach actually started to growl as I started the race, which was not good. I probably scarfed down the pasta and cesar salad a little too fast, but I needed it!
The preserve itself was very pretty. Of course with all the runners, no animals peaked their heads out, but it was still a neat running course. The only bad thing was that the trails weren’t big enough and it was hard to pass people. But overall, it was a great first race!
I wasn’t sure where to get my results and we wanted to head out of there to get to Cape Coral so I left hoping they’d send an email. Thankfully one popped up in my inbox yesterday.
I was recorded at 31:49, which was much better than I originally thought. I still wish I had made my goal of 30:00, but I knew that it being my first race and all the people that I’d probably fall a bit behind. They also posted photos, but not very many 🙁 And no close ups of runners! I was really hoping for a race pic.
Now I got the bug! I’m looking up upcoming races…probably another 5K and then maybe onto a 10K?
To wrap it up I have to say that this is something that I wasn’t sure my body could do. But it did. I need to get back in my normal fitness routine. While training I was only running 3 days a week…no strength training. So I want to add that back in. I’ve seen and felt a difference in my body and I think adding strength training back in will hopefully get me to the fitness level I want to be in. I am an example though, that if you put your mind to anything you CAN do it. Especially something physical. Running really is a mental, as well as physical, sport. So many times I had inner battles in my head about whether to stop or not and I kept saying no, and telling myself I CAN do this. I used to hate running, but mostly because I didn’t think I was good at it. But I’ve learned it doesn’t matter if you’re good, it doesn’t matter how fast you go or who’s running faster than you…the important thing is that you’re doing it and doing it for you. I am so proud of myself for accomplishing this and can’t wait to keep going.