Just got back from my first ever 5K race.
Everything went well. I was shocked to find out that I ran it in 28 minutes. I ran faster today then I’ve ever run in my entire life.
Making the race was a bit of an adventure. It was a 8am start so I woke up at 6:30 so I could make it to the train by 7. I decided to wear the race shirt and that was a good decision. When I got to the station the place was packed out with everyone else wearing their race shirt. We got on the train and it was packed out with people wearing their shirts. I ride that thing every day and this was crazier then rush hour. It was a little shocking to see so many people up at 7am on a Saturday.
Once we got to the station downtown we ran into another big group. The line to get to the escalator was HUGE. It was getting bigger by the minute with trains unloading entire cars full of people. It took 15 minutes to get from the station to the starting line. I literally got there at the last second. There were a bunch of us stuck outside the barricades and people were telling us we couldn’t go past them. We ignored them and walked right to the front. It took about 15 seconds from the opening horn for me to get to the starting line.
I wore the bib on my stomach which was not a good idea. I used two safety pins on each side and I didn’t pin it tight enough. I kept hitting it with my hands when I ran. Next time I’m gonna put it on my chest. Saw a lot of people put it on their back so that might be an option next time as well. It was stupid to worry about the bib falling off. My shirt was drenched but it was in no danger even with me constantly hitting it with my hand.
I guess you get a big adrenaline rush when you’re in a big crowd. I started out the gate as fast as I could. Didn’t even think about pacing myself. I spent a lot of time early on dodging and weaving. I was passing people left and right. Occasionally, I would see somebody with the same idea and I would follow them as we zig zagged from side to side. I ended up on both sides of the road many times.
After about 5 minutes the crowd cleared out enough that I was with a big group of people that basically stuck together throughout the rest of the race. That was also the time that I realized that maybe running so fast early on wasn’t such a good idea. I remember looking at my watch at about the 5 minute mark and realizing that I was extremely tired.
I soldiered on, only stopping once long enough to get a cup of water along the way. I was really tired and my legs were killing me but my breathing was good. I heard a lot of people huffing and puffing beside me but I wasn’t one of them.
There were big mile markers at the one and two mile splits with digital clocks beside them. I passed the first mile and saw that I ran it in 9 minutes. I’ve never once ran a 9 minute mile in all my training. The best I ever did was 10 minutes. Most times I run it in 11. I was a little shocked but that motivated me to try to get another 9 minute mile in. I desperately wanted to break the 30 minute mark and I thought I had a chance at that point.
At the second mile marker I saw that I was at the 18 minute mark. I had just run two 9 minute miles! At that point I knew I had 12 minutes to get a mile and some change done. I was positive I could get it done.
I saw the finish line at 26 minutes. It was far away but I saw it and it was huge for me. I forgot about how tired I was and just went for it. I knew that I would be done in four minutes max and that helped a lot. I had a real shot at 27:59 but at the last second some girl in front of me decided to slow down. I slowed down to keep from running her over and ended up crossing at 28:03 or something.
I was thrilled after I finished. It wasn’t some life changing, crying type thing but it was cool. A girl punched my number in some calculator thing, another girl tore the ticket off the bottom of my bib and I was done. I walked down the road smiling. I ran a 5K in 28 minutes! Pre race my goal was sub 35 minutes with 29:59 being the absolute highest I could dream. This was outstanding. Taking into account the fact that it was hotter then all hell with zero breeze I am extremely pleased with myself right now.
You only get one chance to do your first race. Mine couldn’t have gone any better. Here’s to many more.