Friday, May 31, 2013

I Did it!

I DID IT!!!!  On Memorial Day morning I completed my first official 5K with a time of 36:18!  What a crazy, eventful, and exciting day it was! 

I trained well in the weeks leading up to the event, and had my pace and time down into a good range.  I could easily walk the 3.1 miles in 44-45 minutes, and had done it with a mix of running and walking in about 39 minutes, so I was confident that I could finish with a decent time.  Honestly, I just wanted to finish, and not be the last person over the finish line!  I’ve spent so much of my life being last when it came to any kind physical event, competition, or game, that I really hoped to simply come in somewhere in the middle. 

When the race started, I felt great and headed out at a quick pace (for me anyway).  Thankfully, I remembered to hit “start” on my mapping app as I crossed the starting line.  This became very important later in the day!  As my app announced my distance through my earbuds every half mile, I knew something was drastically wrong when I passed the 3-mile mark and the finish line was no where in sight.  Now, the joke in our family has always been that I am totally, and completely, shall we say, “directionally challenged”.  Having a GPS system on my phone has saved me more times than I care to remember.  Well, before the race started, I looked over the course map as one of the volunteers was going over the 5K and 10K routes that were set up for the day.  I felt great as we started, and when my husband was at the halfway point taking pictures, our camera documented that I was just a couple of minutes behind one of our friends who was also running the race.  The back half of the course, however, proved a bit more challenging for me!

Apparently, in order to get the entire 3.1 mile distance into the course, there was a small detour through a parking lot that the 5K runners had to take towards the end of the course.  Well, it happened to be very close in location to another section of the course, and the volunteers directed me into this area at the wrong point, and then wouldn’t let me out without circling around the cones set-up a couple of times.  Then, once I finally made it out, volunteers made me go back through it again at the end (which is when I should have made just one half-loop through it). 

Once everything was said and done, I covered a total of 4.5 miles, instead of 3.1!  Initially, I was pretty frustrated about it.  After all, this was my first official 5K, and it took me 51minutes to actually cross the finish line for my 4.5 miles.  But the more I thought about it later on, the more I realized what a blessing in disguise it actually was.  You see, I never again have to be afraid of being able to complete a 5K.  After everything I went through a couple of years ago in a 5K walk that I couldn’t finish, I have to admit that I was a bit nervous about this run.  Even though I had covered the distance many times over in training, being surrounded by other runners in a race environment was scary.  Knowing that I ran above and beyond the 5K distance has stripped away the fears associated with it, and next time will be even better because of the confidence boost this has given me!

Once the race was completely over, I was able to speak with the people at the timing results table, and they were able to take my running app and verify the altered course that I ran, along with the split times for each mile I covered to figure out my average speed and they calculated my total time for the 5K distance at 36:18. 

I guess you could say that, had I just ran 3.1 miles, I would have been an overcomer, but running 4.5 miles made me more than a conqueror! 

Several of the folks from our church pastoral team ran this race together, and we had shirts that said, “RUN YOUR RACE”, which references the scripture that states, “…let us run with endurance the race that is set before us” (Hebrews 12:1 NKJV).  Truer words could not have been spoken for me that day!


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(Just a reminder/disclosure…I am not a medical professional or certified trainer, so anything I write in this blog is not intended to be taken as advice, guidance, or recommendations.  It is simply a journal of my own personal experiences.  Thanks!)