Here I am smiling before my first 5K, which I did this morning. Mr. Karen came to watch even thought it meant getting up early on a weekend, which neither of us are very keen to do. We had an hour’s drive to get there, too. I didn’t end up having quite as much time as I’d have like pre-race; I felt a bit rushed trying to find the packet pickup and chip distribution places in the middle of all the people milling about and then getting my layers all arranged and my number pinned on. My two coworkers who were also doing the race found me, so that part worked out well. My nano almost didn’t work out well; it had been happy enough to play in the car on the drive up but when it came time to wake up for the race it was having none of it. I kept pushing and clicking and finally it turned on as we were standing in the crowd at the start line (otherwise I might not be so smiley in the picture over there).
I didn’t intend to do any particular pattern of intervals but just planned to alternate running and walking however I felt like it. I did have an overall time goal; I for sure wanted to finish in less than 45 minutes and would be really happy with 40 minutes. I maybe need a better strategy for next time, as I think I started out too fast in all the excitement–I reached the halfway point in something like 16 minutes. Unlike the other road race I did, for this one they didn’t stop traffic completely on the side streets; even though the drivers were being careful it was still disconcerting to be running along within a few feet of a moving pickup truck for instance. The other difference with this race was the trains; the route crossed tracks a few times, and I had to run across one set of them after the lights had started flashing because I sure didn’t want time waiting for a train to pass added to my results. (Not to worry; the train was still far away.) I ended up finishing in 37:42, which is a 12:09 pace. I’m good with that. It would have been dandy to match my pace from either of the 4Ks I’ve done, but I guess that’s not especially realistic. For an overweight forty-four-year-old doing her first 5K, I did all right.
I saw Mr. Karen with the camera a couple times during the race and even managed a smile and a wave in his direction near the finish. (He told me later that he’d seen two people actually crying as they ran in, which surprised me. If I was finding it so hard that I not only felt like crying but was actually doing it, I believe I would stop and rest. But maybe they thought if they did that they’d never get going again.) Because I’ve monopolized the new camera since we got it, Mr. Karen hasn’t gotten a chance to get familiar with it and he inadvertently took only movies during the race, including some footage of the pavement when he was looking the camera to see why it didn’t sound like it was taking pictures. Fortunately, it turned out to be fairly simple to grab stills of the best parts; see here.
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