I started my running journey officially in June of 2009. So far, I’ve done two 10ks and seven 5ks. Since I’ve been running, there’s never been a race for me where I just wanted to quit. Like, walk off the race route and hightail it to my car.
That all changed on Saturday.
It was my first 5k of the season, the Head Over Teal 5k in memory of Laura Crandall Brown, supporting ovarian cancer research. When I first signed up, I had visions of trying to beat my fastest (using the term loosely, as you know, I’m slow) 5k time of 35:19. Then I heard someone on DailyMile talk about the area the race was in.
“Ran the Preserve today,” he wrote. “All hills. Exhausting.”
I started to get nervous.
I went online to website to check the race route. Now, I don’t know how to read elevation maps, really, but this made me even more uneasy:
The morning of, I got up early and had what’s become my go-to race morning breakfast.
English muffin with natural PB and some sunflower seeds. It gives me fuel but doesn’t sit in my stomach like a rock.
Jonathan drove me over to the race site. It was pretty hilly just getting over there. I picked my packet, which I’d forgotten to get on Thursday, and it has some pretty decent swag.
Including…a mini computer mouse! And next to it, a men’s cologne sample!
I was pleased to see quite a breakfast spread when I got there: apples, bananas, coffee and bagels from Panera Bread. I’d already eaten, but I did snag one after the race was over.
I tried my best to stretch a little before putting my game face on.
I find my bra to be the perfect place to store things…like, say, my chapstick.
The first .75 miles were ok, a slight incline before going steadily down hill. Which was nice…until we had to turn around and go uphill for close to a mile. I halted to a walk. Then I saw someone taking pictures…and another someone that happened to be Jonathan!
I’m so fast, I’m a blur!
I trucked on past, stopped to walk again, then proceeded to pick up my pace when I saw a much-deserved downhill slope. This section wasn’t so bad; the worst was the heat.
Soon after I hit one of the steepest hills. I had to walk. For a few minutes, I contemplated sitting on the curb. Ugh. But I pressed on. I talked to the guy beside me who said this was his first-ever 5k. I felt bad for him.
I got to the summit and started running again. Then I saw the familiar town hall building that I recognized from the starting point. I was so close! I had no clue what my time was, but I knew it couldn’t be good. Then I saw a crowd of people near the makeshift finish line, along with a digital clock. The time? 34 minutes. This can’t be! I thought. Either way, I sprinted like it was my job.
When I stopped my iPod, my NikePlus informed that I’d gone about 2.9 miles. J and I drove the course later and also came up about the same. I think they ended the race a little shorter than the original map (which actually said 3.24 miles). I figured up my pace and I think I was running just under 12 minute/mile and I would’ve finished 3.1 miles in about 36.5 minutes. Considering I walked so much and it was so hot, this wasn’t too far off my normal pace.
I, however, was absolutely sapped of energy. I lay in the grass for a bit while J fetched me a water. We were just about to head out, when a fella gave me another surprise: food inside for runners.
I snagged a barbecue sandwich from Jim N’ Nick’s for us to share. (Also picture are the Panera leftovers.) After we got home, I took a shower and then a nap.
Getting up was hard…I had a headache and my limbs just felt weak. J had to be at the radio station for work fairly early, so I pulled myself together to have lunch with him at Rojo down the street.
I was hungry but not starving, and I wasn’t sure what I wanted. I got the mini portion of nachos with chips, cheese, black beans, salsa, and sour cream. It was just the right amount. On the side, I had a fruit cup.
J ordered the migas from the brunch menu, which consisted of scrambled eggs with tomatoes, onions jalapenos and queso cheese and flour tortillas. It came with bacon and hash browns, and he also got a fruit cup. I had bite of the migas; they were really tasty and juicy with a little spice. (Sorry for no pictures L)
About the fruit cup: It was just grapes and melon (honeydew and cantaloupe). I’ve always said that I just don’t like melons; they always have a funny aftertaste and make me feel icky. These were different. It was the sweetest melon I have ever tasted! Delicious. I don’t know if this is just the peak time for them or if I’ve had bad melon all the other times before, but wow.
I vegged out the rest of the afternoon by watching the VMAs before heading to Craig’s for SEC football (more on that later). What did you do this week? How do you feel about hilly runs? My legs are STILL hurting.