Monday, March 2, 2009

My First 5k Race

Saturday, I ran my first 5k in a competition. It was bitterly cold, and there were 3000+ participants. I am not much of a runner. Generally I do not like to run, preferring to ride a bicycle or walk. But it seemed a 5k would be a good test of fitness and give me a goal at which to aim. Only twice or three times before in my whole life have I run 3 miles without stopping. Usually I cannot wait to quit. Other runners talk about the runner's high, but I have never experienced any such thing.

Anyway, although my training is spotty and my abilities weak, I showed up at 7:30am with thousands of other hopefuls to sign up for and run in the 5k associated with the Cowtown Marathon. I had just enough time to affix my number to the front of my jacket and place the chip tab onto my shoe, as they were already calling the participants to line up at the start. The ambient temperature was about 34°F, but the wind chill was about 26°F. At the starting line I maneuvered myself into the thick of the crowd so as to get protection from the wind. I jumped up and down to stay warm.

After what seemed like a couple of false starts, we were on our way. At first, I could walk as fast as everyone around me was running. Eventually, the group began to spread out a bit and I could run ahead. I was looking for others to get behind, both to protect me from the headwind, and to give me a pace to follow. Unfortunately, one can hardly ever find someone running exactly the same speed.

I was wearing thin socks, liners really, with my shoes and was therefore regretting it early on. But as time wore on, my feet warmed up and were comfortable. My head got a little warm, but I was afraid to take my hat off or adjust it. The wind was cold and I did not want to lose my body heat. Near the end, I unzipped the pit zips in my jacket.

There was only one watering station along the way, around mile 2. That was the only time I slowed to a walk. But I did not stop and as soon as my water was finished, I was running again. I was contemplating whether I should walk, but hoped that we would see the finish line soon. Then I saw it and I knew that I could run all the way. For the last 150 yards, I tried to speed up. After I crossed the finish line, I was hoping for a cup of sports drink, but all I could find was water. (Later, I came across a beer distributor giving out free beer, but since I was driving, I did not imbibe.)

The clock time for my run was 36+ minutes, but my chip time was 34 minutes exactly. It was a pleasing experience. I ran all the way, without fighting a great urge to walk. My 10:54 mile pace was reasonable in my estimation. All in all it was a success. Another good thing is that Sunday I was not sore or cramped in the least. In fact, I felt much better than the other day, when I ran only 2 miles, and my pace was not any different. Although I cannot say that I am addicted to running, I will be thinking about doing this more often.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Congrats on finishing the race! I'll admit, running is probably one of my least favorite aerobic activities.

Also, I really want to say thanks for posting on each Sunday's readings. It's really helpful to have a place to look them up throughout the week. Otherwise, I tend to forget all about them.