I signed up to run a 5K today with my best friend, her oldest son and my husband. We just decided to do it a week ago. I really had no expectations for the race other than to have a fun time since I had to work last night and the two nights previous. The day was spectacular for running. It was small race and quite laid back.
My BFFs older kids and her husband watched our little ones near the finish line as we made our way to the starting line. We started 15 minutes after the half marathoners so it was great to be able to cheer them on. I became instantly nostalgic as I thought about my own recent half marathon experience.
At 12:15 we were off and running through the center of the small town. The first hill came about a half a mile in. It was a steady incline for probably a little more than a quarter of a mile. I ran it at a slow pace as I focused on my breathing. I felt just slightly off which I chalked up to working all night and eating yogurt for breakfast. Usually I eat toast with peanut butter and a banana. That combination really works for me. However, we were out of bread. Actually we are out of just about everything. It’s been a busy week.
But I digress…Hill #2 was a doozy for me. I ran it slowly again and this time had my breathing better under control. I picked up speed on the decline but I honestly could have cared less about my time. I had no clue where I was at and I just focused on the warm sun beating down on me in contrast to the cool air brushing my hands and arms as I took in the experience.
I saw the mile 2 marker and suddenly felt a little pep in my step. And then I saw the 3rd hill, not funny! I took it in stride and made my way back to Main Street and the finish line. As I came closer to the time clock I was stunned to see 29:30. Tears stung my eyes as I sprinted to the finish saying over and over, “Oh my goodness I’m going to finish in less than 30.” I’m not sure what my official time was but I never saw the clock hit 30:00. I can’t believe how amazing these races make me feel. I cried a little after crossing the finish line because honestly I’m really proud of myself. I set a goal to improve my time and I achieved it earlier than I had intended to. It is so rewarding to see the training pay off.
My husband finished 9th overall in the 5K. He is unbelievable. He has never run a race before. He doesn’t even run regularly. He was an avid soccer player in his younger years but only plays occasional indoor soccer during the winter now and kicks the ball around with Carlos. The first thing he said to me when I saw him after the race was, “Sign me up for that race you’re doing in December.” I’m so proud of him.
On December 5 I will run another 5K. This time it will be me, Orlando, my BFF and at least two of her kids. My mom and my aunt might do the fun walk at the same event. I have already gotten so much more out of running than I ever imagined, but to have my closest friend, her family and my family participate because they truly want to is such a joy.