*disclaimer: This is a very long post all about running...no hurt feelings if you don't want to read it.*
Today I ran my second 5k and it was awesome. Not awesome in the sense that I felt great, but awesome in the sense that I really pushed myself. My first 5k was about a month ago, and my time for that race was 38:37 (which I was excited about because I met my goal of sub 40 minutes). Going into today's race I didn't have high expectations--I was thinking about a 45 minute finish. My goal for this race wasn't very high because I have run this course many, many times, and there is this monstrous hill at the end...yeah, let's run up a hill when I have absolutely no energy left.
Anyways...race day. My mom was nice enough to get to the race at 7:00AM with me and hold all of my stuff. Around 7:30ish all of the ladies met in front of the courthouse to hear about the course and other little announcements. I was feeling really good about the group I was racing with because it was all women and you could tell everyone was happy to be there. We finally took off and the crowd spread out very quickly. Of course, that made me feel like I was being super slow, but I just tried to pace myself and enjoy running downhill. About 30 seconds into the race I felt the beginnings of a stitch in my side--an issue I dealt with majorly this week. On Wednesday it was so bad that I had to stop running, but today I tried to push through and it worked. No more stitch in my side, yay! 10:26 into the race we passed the 1 mile marker...an awesome first mile for me!
Going into mile 2 I was starting to feel pretty fatigued. As a new runner, the feat of running one mile without stopping is huge, so the fact that I hadn't stopped to walk is pretty big. In talking some with Mr. Biz, I've come to realize the power of positive thinking. If my brain is in a bad place, thinking thoughts like, "Oh man, I'm in pain...I'm breathing so hard...can I walk yet?" then I'm likely to stop. Instead, I made sure to (literally) think, "I am a runner. I can do this." After I hit the turn around (about 1.5 miles) and threw a cup of water at my face, that was my mantra: I'm a runner. So far throughout the race I'd been pacing myself with a lady who was running a bit ahead of me; I decided that I'm like a running parasite, just thriving off of others' energy. :] We hit mile 2 at 21:15.
Now here's the thing: I have never run two miles together in my life. Needless to say, after my first ever "no walking" two miles, I was beat. I knew at this point that I had to start doing a run/walk pattern if I was going to be able to finish strong. I wanted to not have to walk at all during the sprint to the finish. So during my last mile I took about three little walking breaks. I guess I was getting really in the zone, but it was awesome to think about how my body was feeling and then translate that into wise choices (i.e. walk a little bit of this flat area so I can run up the hill). Towards the end there were more volunteers along the way, and their encouragement was awesome. I had one turn left, a steep hill, and then the finish would be in sight. I took one more walking break, switched to a "pump it up" song (today it was "Dance Again" by JLo feat. Pitbull), and then kicked that race in the tail. I hit mile three at 34:02, and then finished the last tenth of a mile to finish with a sub 35 minute time.
Edit: I just read the official times and I clocked in at 34:49:8!
As I ran across the finish line I saw Mr. Biz waiting there for me...we have a couple crazy pictures that show me running towards the finish and pointing at the clock so that he would realize just how insane my race time was.
Post-race called for a smoothie from our absolute favorite place: Planet Smoothie. Biz and I go there so much that they know our orders...I'm pretty sure I'm up to 30 visits since about March. Oh yeah...it's that good. After a smoothie, a little "My Fair Wedding" with my man David Tutera, and icing my shins during Tangled, I'm feeling pretty good. I'm still so happy about my time. During some parts of the race I was really hurting, but I am so proud that I didn't give up and managed a new PR. I might not be a super fast runner, but I'm going out there and I'm doing it. I'm working hard and sticking with it. So I'm happy. :]