Hi there! Long time no blog, eh? I think it’s been about 2 weeks now? I have had a crazy two weeks being really busy at work with tons of personal stuff going on as well. It was the kind of time when the laundry piles up, the dust piles up and the clutter piles up everywhere. But last Friday was the last deadline at work and then this weekend we didn’t have much planned at all. So on Friday at 5pm I was breathing a huge sigh of relief.
One of the few things I had planned this weekend was running a race downtown. I was originally training to run the half marathon. Well things don’t always go to plan and over the past month my training went way downhill. I did not feel ready for 13.1 miles of running at ALL. So on Friday night at packet pick-up I downgraded to the 5k. Benzo decided to join me in running the 5k so he signed up that night.
After changing my registration I felt like a big weight was lifted off my shoulders. And I realized, I now had no objective with this 5k. There was no way I was running a fast 5k and I honestly didn’t want to run fast. So I decided to run for fun.
What the heck does that mean? I don’t know if I’ve ever run a race just for fun in my entire life. I’m always racing, trying to run faster and beat the person next to me. At the end I’m always gasping for air and disappointed in my time, wishing I would’ve finished faster.
Not this time though. I told myself I was running for fun and it didn’t matter how fast I finished. I was going to enjoy myself. So on the morning of the race, I got all of my stuff together. I still took GiGi, my Garmin 405, because I like to record all my runs no matter how fast or slow I’m going.
Yeah I’m already in the car and GiGi says 5:58am.
There was a lot of traffic but we made it there and got a good parking space. I had time to hit the bathrooms twice before we had to head to the start.
At the start we ended up somewhere in the middle of all the marathoners, half-marathoners and 5k-ers. Here’s a shot of everyone in front of us:
That black arrow is pointing to the Start banner. We were pretty far back!
And here is a shot of everyone behind us:
That’s a lot of people! I have no idea where it ends.
When the race started I took it slow and easy at first. The first mile is mostly uphill. I jammed out to my music and watched the spectators and the other runners. The race was still so crowded at this point that I was passing people and getting passed a lot. Benzo ran on ahead of me for awhile.
Then the 5k runners turned away from the rest of the runners and the crowd thinned out a lot. We ran back down the hill so the second mile went a lot faster than the first. I started breathing a little harder so I actually slowed down! The third mile was almost flat and I just cruised right to the finish. I caught back up to Benzo and we ended up finishing together.
At the finish I felt so great! I kept thinking, “wow that was so much fun!” I didn’t feel like puking and I wasn’t disappointed in my time. I didn’t feel bad about the girl passing me in the last 50 yards either. Part of me thought “I am never going to run fast again!” But I know that thought won’t last. 🙂
In this race I had a lot of firsts:
1. I ran completely for fun with no goals or objectives
2. I listened to music during the race, which I never usually do
3. I did not warm up
4. I did not cool down
5. I stopped at the water station and walked while I drank my cup of water.
6. I slowed down when I felt I was working too hard
7. My pre-race breakfast was cereal instead of my standard peanut butter toast
8. I wasn’t a bundle of nerves at the starting line
9. I didn’t care who passed me. In fact I didn’t even pay attention to people passing me!
10. I had FUN!
This race really reminded me that running isn’t just about training for the next race. The actual running is what I love, not the racing. Sure it’s great to run a fast time, but it’s also great to just get out there and run without a goal or a training plan in mind. I am going to try to keep that in mind when I’m running this winter.
Have a great rest of the weekend friends!