My First

I ran in an official timed 5k! It was amazing! {Sorry for the excitement 🙂 } I was so nervous and waited to sign up until just a few days before, but at least didn’t wait until day of when I could easily have just not. I had a pretty bad run (slow) two days before this, so I was worried how I would do. This small 5k is promoted as a fast 5k because it’s flat (yay, no hills). This brings a few who are looking for a new PR. I was impressed with the group. These were real athletes in my small little town. And here I was doing the same thing they were doing. Waiting for the start, I spotted a man with an Ironman tattoo on his calf. Holy Cow! There were also plenty of first-timers just completing a local couch-to-5k program and also lots of children racing. There were lots of families and groups that knew each other. I was with my neighbor, her son (BQ) and her sister visiting from out of town. I got to experience first-hand the camaraderie of runners that I’ve heard so much about from you running bloggers.

river city fourth 5k

I lined up at the very back of the pack. I had my Jeff Galloway app all queued up. The gun went off and I was thinking okay, I guess it’s “time to run” (Jeff Galloway voice). He encouraged me the whole way, telling me when it was “time to walk” and “time to run”. I was encouraged early on when I was able to pass some people and I thought that at least I wouldn’t be last over the finish line. A large part of the race I was with an older man who’s running style resembled shuffling to me. It was kind of comic that I would catch and pass him on my run and he would catch and pass me on my walk. Back and forth we went until at about mile 2 I was able to get ahead and stay ahead of him. The last mile was tough. The sun was hot and my stomach was upset. I really tried to think that in a few minutes it would be over, so now was not the time to slow down, no matter how bad I felt.

I did finish and it felt so good. I couldn’t have been happier. When they started handing out medals, I realized they were giving to 5th place for age groups. Oh, my, goodness!! I looked at the results sheet and sure enough, there were only four of us women in my age group. What?!? That meant that no matter what my time, I was going to get a medal. Okay, maybe I was proud of myself for finishing and even proud my time was better than I was expecting. But it sure was fun to get a medal. All I could think was how lucky I was to be old (haha).

Here’s the data:

River City Fourth 5k
July 4, 2014 8:00a
Method: Galloway run/walk (1 min/1 min ratio)
43:44 Gun time
42:35 Watch time
327/342 Overall
4/4 Age group

One thing I found amazing about this experience was the very young and very old racing. I could not believe it. The youngest age group was 9 & under, with the best times of 25:52 (female) and 24:01 (male). Wow. Of the 17 kids under 10, only two had a time slower (slightly) than mine. The youngest of the whole race was a boy who was 5 with a time of 41:31. I hope these kids stick with the healthy lifestyle and really hope they aren’t being pushed by adults. I remember when my kids were in sports how hard it was for me to differentiate between encouraging and pushing. I guess the best way to encourage is to be an example and when it comes to any kind of sports/fitness I was definitely not an example for my kids. Well, better late than never.

Now, for the very old. The oldest age group represented was 75 & older. For the women there were two 78 year olds with the fastest at 39:41 and the second just behind me at 45:54. I hope I can still run at 78 and I hope I can have a time like that too! Amazing! For the men, there were two 75 year olds with the fastest at 36:35 and the second just behind me at 45:09. It turns out he was the man I ran back and forth with during the middle of the race. In this small race, there were 39 people older than me and most of them with times better than me. This is so inspiring to me. I don’t care what my age is now. I just want to run and hope my health will allow me to for a long time.

This upcoming Saturday I will be doing the local Balloon Fest Morning Launch 5k. It’s the first year for this 5k, so it should be interesting. I’m already getting those knots in my stomach and it’s only Monday. I hope this gets a little easier with experience.

fourofus

Full disclosure: my medal may have been gotten by default of only four of us in my age group, but the other three here earned their medals by their times!