Monday, June 7, 2010

victory? sort-of.

welp, i did it. Yesterday, June 6, 2010 was the day i completed by first 3.1 mile race. and boy, am i glad it's over! I went into last week with very minimal training. I still had slight neck pain from the rib, but i wanted to keep up with my cardio before race day. In preparation for Sunday, I kept to a low-key weekend. Friday night after work I took a slight jog/long walk at the gym, then enjoyed a scrumptious sushi dinner - courtesy of my wonderful boyfriend :) - and watched the movie, An Education (which is a fabulous movie, so go out and rent it). After a solid 8 hours of sleep, I packed a bag and headed to Herndon, where I picked up my running packet. I'm not going to lie...I was slightly intimidated. The gymnasium was filled with young, fit, running-looking people and the sign up sheet had over 500 people on it. I thought to myself - "Oh, what have you gotten yourself into". After 5 minutes of trying to figure out where I needed to be, I walked up to the desk and was handed #92! That made it real. and i didn't think i was ready. I thought that my injury would prevent me from completing the race at all. The rest of my day was enjoyed by my family who came all the way to see me race. We walked around outside then devoured 2lbs of shrimp scampi and 1 loaf of bread (gotta love being italian!) At around 10pm I was knocked out and arose at 6:30am for race day.

I woke up feeling excited and thinking this would be a walk-in-the-park (no pun intended). I scarfed down 2 pieces of wheat bread with peanut butter, and lots of water. Tyler dropped me off in front of the starting line where i met my parents and they wished me 'good luck'. Looking around at all the racers, i was a bit shocked. From the intimidation of the previous day, i was left feeling somewhat relieved. There was a huge mix of people - ranging from 5 year old children (the youngest one to run was 4 years old!) to 70 year old athletes. I was somewhat put to ease at how diverse the group was. Not everyone was 30, buff, and a marathon runner!

The airhorn blew strictly at 7:45am. I started my iPod and was off to a good pace (so i thought). Everyone took off to a sprint about .2 miles in, which even led to a young girl getting trampled on. Looking back, I wish I would have paced myself better for the first mile. Because it felt like 3 miles had passed once i hit the 1 mile mark. I didn't feel tired, i could just tell my breathing was getting shorter and tighter. The humidity had kicked in. For the most part the race was in the shade until around mile 2.25, we hit direct sunlight and small hills. At that point people around me started slowing down and walking and I felt my neck starting to tighten. Going into this race I told myself that as long as i finished, i would be satisfied. I didn't want to push myself and injure myself even more. So without wanting to take a chance on my neck, i slowed down to a power walk and realized i was probably walking as fast as i had been running, so i was still on track! I kept this heavy walk for about a 1/2 mile and around mile 2.85 i knew the end was near and had to start back up. I switched my iPod to some heavy jay-z (which always get's me pumped) and strolled right into the finish line to my boyfriend and parents cheering for me.

I finished 439th (HA!) out of 670 with a time of 36 minutes and 49 seconds. I am a little bummed that my time wasn't better but that doesn't matter to me. What matters is that I set out for a goal at the beginning of this year and i completed it. There's another 5k race this September that I'm thinking about signing up for. that gives me 3 months to continue my training with hopefully no injuries. If i do decide to compete, i would like to better my time by 4 minutes :)

We shall see....


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