It wasn't too long ago that I told you I had started running in my post run forrest run. Well my 5k race day has come and gone and I am still feeling pretty darn proud about the whole event. One of my best friends and I signed up for a 5k race - neither of us had ever ran before - and we had an absolute blast.
I really had no idea what to expect. It turned out to be a wonderful event, full of very supportive people, and overall it was a great experience. I was a bit nervous about the race and how I would make out. I had done all my training inside on a treadmill and was afraid of the pavement - would it be harder than on a treadmill? Would I be intimidated by all the runners? What if I place last? All of those fears went away the minute the race started and my feet started moving. It was just me and the road, and of course some great music blasting in my ears to keep me motivated. I hardly even noticed the 200+ people running along with me.
Running outside was definitely harder than running on the treadmill. Towards the end of the race I really felt like giving up and just walking the rest of it. But then a very nice woman, an experienced runner, spoke to me and told me I was doing a great job. I told her this was my first ever race and she exclaimed "you've already won then - you can do it, just run beside me". Her push and motivation really helped me to push myself harder and to finish strong. I owe her a huge thank you. That moment was my favourite part of the entire race.
I ended up placing near the end (but not last overall or last in my age bracket!) but it doesn't matter to me one bit where I placed. I ran a 5k race. Something I never ever thought I would ever do. And I enjoyed it. Imagine that! My time wasn't even that bad really, there is lots of room for improvement, but I will improve and will definitely run a 5k race again.
I have a few pointers to anyone considering running in their first ever race. Do not, I repeat do not, try any new gear on race day. I made the mistake of using a new ipod arm band for the first time during the race and ended up with a nasty rub burn on my arm.
I could feel it burning during my run but I knew I didn't want to waste the time to stop and deal with it. It has been a few weeks since the race and I still have the marks.
Another tip to a newbie would be to think about the impact to your knees. I had done my training inside on a treadmill because the bugs are very bad where I live, and I prefer to sweat in private (no need of the neighbours seeing me running like a crazy woman!). Running the 5k race outside on the pavement after training solely on a treadmill really messed up my left knee. I am now starting physio to help fix the problem. I am hoping after a few sessions of physio I'll be back to running and working on improving my 5k time.
Overall, running a 5k was a great experience. I made a few mistakes as a newbie, my time wasn't the greatest, but that's okay with me. I race a 5k race. I can cross it off my bucket list. Who knows what is next? Maybe 10 years from now I will be blogging about my first marathon. Maybe. This experience has taught me that anything is possible.