"It doesn't matter...how many people have tried it before; it's important to realize that whatever you're doing - it's your first attempt at it."
For as long as I can remember, I told people "I can't run." But in March of 2009, I decided that this was no longer an option. From my first 5K to my second half marathon, I've endured my highest highs and lowest lows as an official Runner. This year I want to embrace running for something beyond times and distances.
Running is so much more than merely getting out there. I want to get out there and love it.
My running pal Drew got to my apartment around 7ish. We watched Friends reruns (while I was trying desperately to ignore the huge flapping birds in my stomach). We headed down to Cathedral Square Park around 8pm to find my family hanging out by the bar Bad Genie. For the next hour, I, again, tried to ignore the massive birds, as well as the blaring music which was supposed to be "motivational" but more so intensely nerve-wracking! Chris arrived a little before start time, and I will admit that it was an incredibly sweet gesture!! I will ALSO admit that it didn't help my nerves too much, as it was the first official Meet the Parents moment yeesh!! Ironic too since the first time Nate met the parents was at Mandsi's first 5K last October! Running brings people together, I'm telling you! Davie, Drew, and I headed into the throng of runners with ten minutes to go. Davie headed to the front and Drew and I discussed weird things like peeing out of your mouth?? I blame nerves.
KAPOW!!!! START TIME!!! I was in the middle front of the 5000 runners, so I waited until I crossed the official start line to start my watch (about 30 seconds after the big clock began). Ok, talk about surreal guys!! Obviously I've been in crowds of people all heading in the same direction, but there's something about the RUNNING in the same direction that made me feel very Cloverfield! Like we were all running from some ginormous monster thrashing about the city! It was truly bizarre and not something I was expecting!
Most people passed me up for most of the time ;) But I definitely didn't want to go too fast. Interestingly enough, I checked out my time at the first mile mark and it was around eight and a half minutes!! So I was definitely going faster than typical which obviously makes sense in a race atmosphere. Midway through the race, since I knew the course, I was like: jeez this is going super fast!! Just flying by! I did feel tired throughout, just because of the quicker pace, but it wasn't debilitating by any means. The final half mile was the point where I was going to "pull out all the stops" and "haul ass"...and despite the fact that it was ALL UPHILL, I really did! I started to pass more people and just gave it my all! I definitely felt a very strong burning sensation in my chest, but in my head I just kept yelling C'MON KATIE, KICK IT INTO HIGH GEAR!!!
Right ahead of me I saw the clock at 28 minutes and as I crossed the finish, I stopped my own watch at 27:53!!! Sounds a lot better than 28:00 which was only seven seconds away ;) I was TOTALLY winded as I put on the breaks, but honestly, within a minute, I was good to go! Like I hadn't run at all! Even my mom commented on it! "I have a fast recovery time" :) I did feel great though, SO excited, as shown in this pic haha! So we hung out for awhile, I did some stretching (glad I did because, this morning, I can vaguely feel what it WOULD'VE been like if I hadn't!!), purchased a beer, and discussed some details. David ran it in 21 minutes or so INSANE!!! Drew had an asthma attack halfway through and actually SAW me pass him by!!! He came in maybe 20-30 seconds after me.
Everyone dispersed and Chris and I chilled with our beers outside Genie for a little while. After taking him home, I eagerly updated my Facebook stuff and hit the sack around 1am ha!!
Overall it was very much an intense and exciting experience to say the least! I don't think I would've done anything differently. I think maybe my favorite part was watching the other runners continue to stream in AFTER I had crossed...NOT to be some big ol' bitch or anything, but it really made me feel like I have something here with this running thing. I'm not amazing or some running prodigy, but if I put my mind to it, I think I can just keep building...whether it be a faster time or a longer race. At the end of the day all that matters is that it was FUN!!! I felt like I was really part of something, but at the same time, it felt very personal. I noticed the runners around me, but it also felt like very much my OWN private race just like my every-day runs.
So onward and upward!!! I'm going to really start to focus on the 8K now and come up with some kind of schedule combining strength training short runs and one slower long run each week.
One final note, as I said on Facebook, I couldn't have done this without my stepdad. I look forward to future days of mutually impressing and motivating one another for as long as we can (barring knees, hips, and other rough spots due to our old age haha!!)
I ran 5 miles!!! I can officially run an 8K! Maybe not amazingly well--the run was VERY inconsistent starting off pretty rough and slow and ending perfect--but I can do it! Man I remember when I first started and 5 miles seemed pretty freaking impossible!! Like when I looked at Stage Two and was just totally bewildered at running straight for one whole hour. Now these 5 miles I did took 51 minutes, but I imagine that on a good day I could potentially run for an hour if I went a little slower. I'll work up to that...it's definitely another goal of mine. In fact, it's times like these that make me wonder if I'd actually be able to do a 15K. Maybe not anytime soon, but within the next year or so? Like the Lakefront Discovery next fall? Well I guess anything can happen if you keep at it. My knee just needs to hold up and actually lately it's been hurting less and/or the recovery time is shorter. So I bet it's a combo of building strength and wearing that knee brace bandage thing (thanks again Davie!!).
So next up, my first 5K on Thursday!!! I'm not nervous now, but I know I probably will be day-of. I'm going to take an easy run tomorrow (yesterday I think I walked like six miles total and my legs, or rather my FEET could use a break today) and then nothing till Thursday. Wish me luckies!!!