Well, we did it - Cori and I finished the 5K! Yesterday morning, I woke up at 6:15, not able to sleep anymore...I was feeling a bit nervous. Normally, I just wake up and go running...so waiting around until 8 o'clock, felt like forever. I was also expecting rain, but I awoke to sunny skies, which is always nice, but not when you are running. What more could I do then put on some earrings, find a hat to compliment my outfit, and get going? Might as well look good...at least at the start of the race.
On the way there, we saw people in their race shirts walking everywhere, like ants coming out of the woodwork. When we got to the school where the race started, it was mobbed - over 1,500 people were registered. People were doing warm up runs - clearly these were the "elite" runners. This whole scene was a bit of a shock to my system. We have been running at 5:45 am and barely see anyone on the race route. Now, the entire road was closed down and there were thousands of people around. I got a little more nervous at this point.
We met up with Steph, our trainer, and waited for our other running partner Meena. Unfortunately, she never showed up so the three of us headed over to the starting line. The air was buzzing with excitement! If felt like just a few minutes before we were off! On the way out of the school, there was Tim, Jack, Mimi, and Cori's family...all cheering us on. It felt great! One minute in and this wasn't too bad.
When we rounded the corner, it was an unbelievable sight. The road, for as far as we could see, was filled with people. You couldn't even see the pavement. It was a bit hard to get used to...trying to run around people and find a space for yourself. The first mile wasn't too bad because I was so caught up in the excitement and there was so much to look at. Then we got to "heart break hill". We have been running up it without stopping for a few weeks but this was definitely challenging. People in front of you would just start walking. So, not only was I dodging people left and right, but it was so tempting to stop because others were. But, we kept at it!
I think it was at this point when I realized how darn hot it was. We have been running in the early morning and more often than not, we were tempted to keep our sweatshirts on so this was a challenge. The reality of it smacked us in the face when we saw a runner passed out on the side of the road and an ambulance speeding toward her. Eek! I did not want to end up like that.
With one mile to go, we were back at the school. Our families were there cheering us on once again, and I have to say, it was a real boost for me at that point. I didn't have a lick of spit left in my mouth and I was sweating like crazy. But we were in the home stretch..there was no stopping us now!
Then all of a sudden, we could see the finish line! I was so busy trying to beat Cori that I didn't even see our families standing there. Apparently Cori's husband, Scott, was right at the finish line taking the all important finish line photo so there was no disputing who won but I didn't even see him. Turns out, she beat me..but only by a hair. DARN IT! Although I have to admit, at that point it really didn't matter because I felt like I was going to pass out I was so hot.
On our way to the results board, we ran into our other running partner, Meena, who had in fact finished as well. It felt good to have the whole group together and revel in our collective accomplishment! But what felt even better, was when we saw our results. Cori finished 34:27 and I was 34:28. We ran an 11 minute mile. 8 weeks ago I couldn't even run for 2 minutes. Can you believe it?!
We ran into a friend of Cori's who suggested we run another 5K this coming Wednesday night since we were trained and ready to go. She said they even feed you burgers and beer afterwards. Hhhmm...running for beer...sounds like a plan to me. We quickly said yes. Not only did I just finish a 5K, I actually enjoyed running, and now here I was signing up for another race. Pretty unbelievable.
I must say a HUGE thank you to our trainer Stephanie. She not only got us to finish the race, but she had us looking forward to getting together and running. Now, that is amazing. THANKS, STEPH!!
And I have to thank Cori for motivating me to take the class in the first place. She was right...I always felt great after running, even though it was hard to get out there so early. Cori, thank you for running with me, thank you for picking me up when I didn't want to go running, thank you for not stopping when I felt like walking, and thank you for keeping me laughing the whole time. And thank you for the positive introduction to running. Fine...I'll say it...I actually like running. I will miss catching up with you every other day, chatting about this and that, while watching the sun come up. I feel like we are breaking up - Say it ain't so!
We went out to dinner last night and celebrated with our hubbies. And then today we decided we should spend a little more time reveling in our accomplishment and take off tomorrow...and Tuesday...and skip the 5K on Wednesday. But we did decide to go running Wednesday morning on a new route. We are going to shoot for one more 5K this year...but probably in the fall.
Moral of this story: Keep trying new things. You never know where they will lead!