14 June 2014

Race Day

I was doing the math in the car while I drove home this morning, and it's been six years since I've been running, y'all. Six years! No races, no treadmills, no jogging around the neighborhood... occasionally I've gone for walks, and within the past month we've started going to the gym a couple of times a week, but it's been a long time since I've been in racing shape. So I have no idea what possessed me to sign up for the 5k this morning. 

I even considered not doing it at the last minute; I woke up sore today after using the rowing machine for a half hour and then dislocating my shoulder on Thursday, and surviving an ab workout on Friday. No one would have known, or even cared, if I'd stayed home. But I was looking forward to it, to seeing what I was capable of and being back in a race environment, and I'm so glad that I wound up going.

Little Bear didn't mind being buckled into his stroller until we reached the starting line crowd, but the loud music as they prepared to count down upset him and I spent the last minute or so crouching down next to the stroller with him clinging to my neck and wailing. Thankfully, he calmed down once we started out and got away from the noise. We got a slow start: strollers start at the back of the crowd so other people don't trip over you in the crush leaving the gate, which I understand and have been thankful for in the past as a runner, but it was a little bit frustrating today to be stuck behind all of the people who only wanted to walk slowly. It may have been a while since my last race, but as I discovered this morning, the need to start strong, find the edge of the crowd and work ahead, setting a faster pace for the first stretch, is definitely still there. 

Between the extra weight of the stroller and my total out-of-condition-ness, I knew from the beginning that I'd be walking more than running. I probably did run close to a third of the total distance, though, and it felt surprisingly good to stretch out and feel myself falling into a steady rhythm while I ran. Little Bear chattered about things he saw along the course and about the people he wanted to see (Dada, Gramma, Em). I ran into my best friend growing up whom I haven't seen in years a little ways into the second mile and we walked and ran together the rest of the way; it was so much more enjoyable to be able to talk together in the stretches we walked, and it helped to have someone else to keep pace with both running and walking.

I completely forgot to look at the clock as we finished, but after we got water, exchanged phone numbers, and tried to get Little Bear to eat a slice of watermelon (what kind of kid won't even try watermelon??), the clock was at 55 minutes, so I'm guessing/hoping for something a little under 50. That's a far cry from my high school self's 45-minute 10k runs, but it's an improvement on my 61-minute 4.8k trip to Matt's office a month or so ago.

So I'm happy with my time, and I feel amazing after getting out and running this morning. Sure I'm sore, but it's a good feeling, and that burn when your lungs are demanding more oxygen because you're putting everything into your run? Oh, I've craved that. Little Bear is going to learn to like his stroller this summer, because I'm definitely planning to start running more.

1 comment:

  1. Good for you! I have to admit to jealousy-- I've always wanted to like running but I just hate it. I'd ask for tips but I doubt it would help... :-P