My first ever race was a complete success! Success being defined as: no one died, we beat our “goal time” (which was a very arbitrary 35 minutes), and we had a crazy amount of fun. Running with your boyfriend really makes the miles click by!
Why, oh, why, must they start the race at 7:30am? It’s not like we live in a hot place where we have to run in the middle of the night to prevent heat stroke?! Nevertheless, I was out of bed after about 5 hours of sleep and making coffee for me and Mr. BestThings, who was still snoozing away. I’d prepared all our gear the night before so I didn’t have to worry about it; bibs pinned on (after googling how tos, and 15 attempts at getting them flat and centered), chips attached to shoes, and bags packed.
Having read every single one of Caitlin’s (over at Healthy Tipping Point) race recaps I knew not to change up your eating routine right before a race. I ate a peanut butter and banana sandwich on whole wheat with coffee and water even though I felt like I had no appetite. And we were off!
We arrived at the starting area, dropped our bags at the bag drop booth, and started wandering around to see what was up!
It was cold and almost rainy, and I spent a lot of time debating whether I should wear my lulu zip up or not. I did decide to wear it, took it off after the first kilometre and then ran the rest of the race with it tied around my waist. Lesson learned. Wear one less layer than you think you need.
Mr. Best Things was pumped as usual. He’s great when it comes to waking up early and getting things done! He’s my favourite travel buddy for that reason. Always happy, even if it’s 5 am.
Then the pee drama started. I knew I’d have to go close to the race, so I did. Then ten minutes passed and I had to go again. And while I was in line, the announcer started lining up the 5K runners. *bad timing* So I used the porta potties as fast as I could and sprinted across the grass, found Mr. Best Things, scooted into line, and the race started about two minutes after that. Geez Kayla, always with the pee drama.
And then we were off! It took at least a minute maybe two to cross the start line because we’d lined up way too far back. I’m glad we were too far back rather than too far forward because we got to pass a lot of people, instead of getting passed for the first 10 minutes of the race and feeling crappy. We were off like a herd of turtles at first! So slow!
Then we headed down about a half km hill, which is not my favourite to start out on. It’s hard on the knees. The course was a straight out and back. Half a km down the hill, two out, two back, and you guessed it, that same massive hill right at the end. It was a tough mental course because you knew that hill was coming the whole race.
One of my goals was to just keep running, which I’d never done before. This was the longest time I’d ever run without stopping. The kms clicked by, the turn around happened, and I hit the wall. Around 20 minutes in, I got so tired! Mr. Best Things was the best. Just kept me going. Telling me how great I was doing, how little we had left to go, but I knew that hill was coming! And I was losing steam. I drank water at all the stations (all two of them), and I was so enjoying the volunteers with their signs and their words of encouragement! That was the best part. I felt like a runner that day.
I just kept pushing and before I knew it, we were coming up to the hill. My pace slowed a lot here, but I didn’t stop running. People were cheering, I was running, I could see the finish line. My heart rate was the highest I’ve ever felt, and I just kept going! We crested the hill and I gunned it to the finish.
Official Chip Time:
32.31 minutes for both of us!
I finished 17/38 in my age division and Mr. Best Things finished 11/17 in his! We did so well! I am so proud of us! We crushed our 35 minutes goal, we ran the whole race, and we still had fun. Although I couldn’t really talk or celebrate all this until ten minutes after the finish and I’d walked my heart rate back down. I pushed myself further than I knew I could!
All in all, a wonderful experience. It was motivating and inspiring and it totally helped me catch the running bug! And now I’m hooked! I want to run longer distances now! And I want to train more solidly in the future. The short distance made sure we did okay, but if I’d trained like I did for a half marathon, it would be a whole different story.