Sunday, September 30, 2012

Twenty-Seven Minutes and Nineteen Seconds

Last week, I ran my first 5K.  In 27 minutes and 19 seconds.  That's what eight weeks of training all came down to.  It's my personal best time running 5 kilometers, or 3.1 miles.  That's a 9 minute mile average.  I'm pretty proud of myself.

Proof that I ran eight minutes faster than my previous time!

It was a comedy of errors getting to the race, however.  We arrived in Chicago Friday night to watch Baylor beat Louisiana-Monroe at a downtown pub.  We don't go to Chicago too terribly often, so we wanted to spend time hanging out with our friends.  We had a good time and stayed out way later than we intended to.  Danielle, my running partner, and I only drank water, of course, but we definitely did not get enough sleep.  Sleeping on a love seat with the upstairs neighbors rearranging furniture or tap dancing or playing toss the refrigerator did not help me rest well.  We got up in time to catch the train to Grant Park, but construction on the red line made it take about an hour as opposed to the expected 45 minutes.  When we got off at the stop we were instructed, we still had several blocks to walk, it started raining, and we saw people running, but we couldn't find the start line.

We ended up being about 15 minutes late, so I fired up my run tracker app so I could make sure we ran the correct distance and keep our time, and we jumped in around the 2nd mile mark.  To be entirely honest, I was pretty disappointed that I wasn't going to get the full experience of lining up at the start line and knowing what place I would have gotten in the race.  But I had trained, I had raised money, I had traveled to Chicago, and I wasn't going to just go back to bed (as nice as that would have been on that cold, rainy morning).  I ran the last 1.1 mile of the race, crossed the finish line, went to the end of the block, and started the same route over again. 

The sun finally came out to make for a lovely day in Chicago.

I ran, pushing myself, past the other participants, mostly memorial walkers at this point.  It was clear and sunny at this point, and I checked my run tracker to see how far I had left to go.  My adrenaline was still pumping, and I sprinted the last .2 miles to achieve my fastest time yet.  I did it, and I was so relieved.  Since I was essentially making my own track, I walked to cool down till I got close to the finish line.  Robert was there waiting for me, cheering me on, so I decided to run the last few yards to finish strong.  He jumped in and ran alongside me as if to say, "You did it!  You reached your goal, and I am here supporting you, proud of you, loving you!"  It was great.

My loving husband was so awesome the day of the race!

Danielle ran her best time yet for 1 mile, and since we were late to the race and she hadn't had much time to train, she decided to take that victory and call it a day.  Fair enough.  She got out of bed, traveled across town, ran a mile and raised $150 for breast cancer research.  That's way more than what a lot of people do on a Saturday morning.  Go Danielle!

Obstacles weren't going to stop us!

There was a whole festival going on in addition to the race.  There was lots of food, music, free goodies from sponsors like carpet cleaner, chap stick and scarves.  Kinda random, but ok.  We walked all over the park down to Buckingham Fountain and back.  We could see Lake Michigan, the city's skyline and all of the beautiful landscaping.  It's an absolutely gorgeous part of Chicago, especially on a cool, sunny, autumn day.

Raising awareness for breast cancer

Sic 'em from Chicago!

Celebratory lattes!

Pink lattes in honor of Race for the Cure (raspberry white mocha... mmm...)

Oh yeah, and I raised $189 for Susan G. Komen!  Pretty great, right?  I thought so!  Thanks to my mom, dad, family and friends who donated.  Love you and appreciate you all!! :)  I'm so happy to have made a little bit of a difference for the future.  And I can now cross "run a 5K" off of my Baby Bucket List!

So that was my first 5K experience.  I learned a lot and am looking forward to my next race and maybe even going for a 10K!  Don't worry, I'll share some of the tips and tricks I learned that helped me as a new runner.  I took this week off as a reward, but I plan on hitting the pavement again maybe tonight or tomorrow. Gotta get that number down.  Is 26:18 possible?  Never say never!

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