Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Couch to 5K Run #1

As you may or may not know, I have really taken a liking to running and have participated in two 5Ks in the past month. One was in Appleton for Cancer and the other was The Color Run in Chicago and if you haven't signed up for the Milwaukee Color Run that is coming in August, you must. So much fun!

Originally I began the Couch 2 5K plan for The Color Run. I started running way back in January when it was warmer outside. I can't stand running on a treadmill. Unfortunately I had some big moments of procrastination and didn't run the plan according to the schedule and ended up behind. My cousin mentioned to me that on her birthday weekend is a 5K for cancer in Appleton called the Sole Burner that she was thinking of running. I agreed to it and started my training again. Her mother passed away from breast cancer at age 27, so she barely got to know her. We now do breast cancer walks, buy breast cancer insignia'd gifts and donate throughout each year.

By the time of the race on May 12, I was only at week 5 in the program. But I knew that with all of the people running around me, I was going to have a great running time and it was going to be a blast. I knew that running the whole thing wasn't an option, but I was going to just keep my Couch 2 5K on and just do my best.

We woke up early on Saturday morning and I had two pieces of toast to tide me over. Trisha made herself a smoothie and Steve made himself some eggs. We each have our own way to prep for the race and I knew that toast was going to sit best in my stomach. Steve, Trisha's husband was running with us as was his dad. His mom was walking with Trisha's son and Trisha's sister and sister's kids. So we all loaded up and headed to the event, about a mile from my cousin's house, but with the kids and strollers, it was going to be a rough walk. We registered, got our shirts and then had plenty of time to hang out and catch up.

Sole Burner 2012 - Trisha took off the long sleeves before the start.
They finally called the runners to the start line around 8:50 and started giving us directions. The tag on the back of my race number would trigger when I crossed the start line and then when I crossed the finish, thus recording my time. Shortly after, I heard the horn signal the start, but it was like a cattle call. We were walking extremely slowly to get up to the start but eventually we got to see the people take off through the gate and start the run.

Steve and I right before the start - Sole Burner 2012
My nerves were getting the best of me right when we got to the gate, but I took a deep breath and crossed the line with my head up and confident. People were taking off around me on both sides, but I didn't let that get to me or force myself to speed up. I had a hard time regulating my breathing and I am attributing that to my excitement. But within a block or two I found my pace and trudged on. I did take moments to walk but I didn't need nearly as many as when I run on my own. We had cheering crowds along the entire course and on College Ave, it was really funny to see people in chairs with blankets on. It was chilly that morning, but perfect running weather.

College Ave - Sole Burner 2012
My only dislike of the run was that the water station was at the bottom of a very steep hill by the river. Slowing down at the bottom and trying to grab a cup was tough because it was also one of the most narrow spots on the course. And then my shoes slipped a bit and I got extremely cautious of not falling. I finished my water and walked away from the area before picking up my pace again.

The downhill before the water station!
The final stretch was up a really steep hill and a band was performing for us at the top, probably for motivation. From there I could see the finish. I picked up my pace even more and ran across the finish line again with my head up and a huge goofy grin on my face. I glanced at the clock and saw that it read 45+ minutes. I was really discouraged by this number but was quickly relieved when I was told that was the time from the horn going off.

Steep uphill at the Sole Burner 2012

My first 5K was finished officially in 39:54 - very pleased I did it in under 40! It was a wonderful experience and the banana, water and bagel bites hit the spot after to rehydrate me. I hope that it is only up from here with longer spurts of running and less time on the clock. Stay tuned for my next blog about The Color Run.

Steve and I at the finish - Sole Burner 2012

1 comment:

  1. Great job on your first 5K. I have learned to always walk thru water stops. One, I can't drink and run. Two, I am always afraid of slipping on the wet pavement and cups.