Wow. Long time no post! I hope my awesome readers haven't left me! Sorry. June in general is very busy for me, not only is it the start of the summer season (I work for a fire department at a summer tourist town), but I also have 3 birthdays in my immediate family (stepmom, dad and myself!). In general it's also busy because it's the first full month of nice weather and everyone wants to do cook-outs and get togethers. So in general, it's busy.
I also forgot
I was hoping for good weather on Sunday. I am the type of person who could justify anything so it raining on the day of my 5k would be enough for me to say "eff it" and go back to bed. I begged on twitter for any suggestions about running in bad weather... you could hear crickets, it was so quiet. I woke up Sunday morning to the sounds of rain. It was pouring and from the looks of the radar it wasn't going to let up. So I was killing time and checking up on my facebook and twitter; anything that would distract me from the rain and running. Finally it was 8:30am and it was time to make a decision. I got in the car and went. It was raining harder the closer I got to the town of the race. It was about a 40 minute drive. By the time I found a spot to park (in Newmarket) the rain had for the most part, stopped. So I went to check in and get my number thing, t-shirt and the monitoring band for the time. Since I was already dressed and I had some time to kill, I walked back to my car to ditch the t-shirt and my windbreaker. The skies had cleared up and I was going to run without the windbreaker.
I then emptied my bladder, since I didn't know what to expect and the lines were fairly short at the moment, I still had about 20 minutes to go. After peeing, I stretched for a bit (everyone else was doing it, seemed like the cool thing to do) other people were jumping in place or even running around, crazy folks! I swear! I did see someone running barefoot, it made me think of Jess from Half Of Jess.
With about 5 minutes to go, they asked us to "line up". It wasn't so much of a line, but more of a blob or a mob. They said over the loud speaker that the fastest people should be up front and the slower people and walkers should be in the back, so I made my way to the rear. I had NO clue what to expect. I met some very nice people who were running/walking it as well as some walking it as part of the Weight Watchers Walk-It day challenge. I thought that was really cool given the fact that I was participating in that challenge as well.
With about 3 minutes to go, my friend texted me, he didn't know if he was going to make it in time, but he did! Unfortunately, we weren't able to meet up until after I finished, but he hung around and waited for me, that was SO cool. What a great friend he is. And he's single too ladies... if any of you are in NH hit me up, he's great.
So as I was finishing a text to my friend, the race started, took about 30 seconds for me to start moving, the blob was that dense. But I started off at a run, nothing killer or anything but a nice jog. People were passing me left and right. I could see why the race people wanted to limit the number of entries, the roads were pretty small in Newmarket. We started off right up a hill then it leveled out and then up another hill. That was probably the worst part. I ran up the first part, walked the level part than ran up and then down the next hill. Then I walked a good portion. I felt what I think was shin splints, the front of my lower legs were painful, all along the long bone. The way the course was laid out, there were several instances were it doubled back on itself, so many times I got to see the front runners running their race.
I had my iPhone/iPod set to random and I just ran/walked my race. One thing I noticed quickly is everyone had someone else participating with them. There was one foursome of married couples and the wives were faster than the husbands, so they took off to the front and the husbands were back with me. So even though they didn't run together, they still ran together (if that makes any sense). I did see two people that were familiar to me, one I went to college with and the other I went through my EMT Basic class with.
2 miles in, they had a hydration station of water. It was welcomed. The weather right after a rain storm is usually muggy, so the air was a little bit denser than I was used to. Also I realized that my town, where I've been training is a lot flatter compared to other towns (like Newmarket were the race was).
I told myself that no matter what, I was running past the finish line. My only goal of the day was to finish
If you would have asked me in October when I started this journey that in June I'd pay money to run/walk in a race, I would have laughed at you... I can't believe how far I've come.
Since it was the Smuttynose 5k there was obviously beer to be had after wards, so my friend and I walked back over to the registration area, I did notice that someone threw up after the finish line. I was glad I wasn't hurting like that. Over at the registration area, there was a long line at the beer tent, and to be honest, it was noon and I didn't feel like drinking beer or eating pizza. So I just sipped my water and caught up on life with my friend.
It was really an awesome experience. And, I didn't come in last place, I was told there was about 1100 people participating and I came in 902! And I've established my benchmark and something to improve upon. I finished in 48:15.2. My pace was 15:34 which considering I was running/walking isn't all too bad. I've done a 13 minute mile on the elliptical but running outside on pavement was completely different. As far as times, I didn't have any goals or expectations, but honestly I was happy.
(click on image for full view)
Stark contrast to the guy who finished first, with a time of 15:07! That was crazy! He ran the whole thing in less than my pace! Obviously, he's been doing this a lot longer than I.
While I was waiting for the times to be posted a woman came up to me, it was one of the people on the sidelines while I was crossing the finish line, she didn't introduce herself, she asked me if was my first race and I said yes
Now yes, I was probably the heaviest person there, but I did it. Anyone can do it.
I was really happy with the whole experience. I got a great workout. I tried something new. I had some time to myself to think. I kept talking to myself and pumping myself up to run to the next telephone pole or to pass the next person, it was great. I thought about how straight my back should be and how my feet were impacting the ground, I thought about if I would feel anything tomorrow. It's true what they say, running is a mental sport.
The next day, I was back to work, and walking around, I noticed that my hips hurt, both front and back. and both hips. Today, it's just a dull pain in the ass... and that pain is all the years I've wasted by carrying around this extra weight and not living my life to the fullest.
And as promised here is my after race pic.