Monday, July 26, 2010

The 5K

As most of you know, I had been contemplating whether or not I was going to do the 5K run this year at our small town in southern Utah.  I have been nervous and stressed about it for the last 3 months.  It's one thing to run on my own outside or at the gym, but to actually be racing with other people REALLY scared me.

I have never ever been one to run anywhere.  I've told you all before that I grew up hating running and I never thought it would change.  But this last year it did, and I wanted to test this new body and see just what it could do!

If I was going to do it, I was going to run the whole way, no walking!  That was my one condition if I was going to do it, and I would not give in no matter what.  But my problem was, I wasn't sure if I believed in myself enough to keep that promise.  I had been really tired the last few weeks and couldn't even run a mile the week before I was so tired... so 5K (3.11 miles) without walking... well, I felt totally unsure of myself.

But, the night before the race, I knew I was going to give it a go.  Just do it! Right?

Ben and I woke up at 5:30 am, got dressed, and had my mom give us a ride down to the park to register.  I was literally shaking I was so nervous.  My dear husband held my hand and told me I would do fine and not to give up.  He just KNEW I could do it!

I have to admit I felt a little weird signing up for a race with people who do it every year.  With people who knew me when I was a lot bigger.  I got a few thumbs up and words of encouragement, which made me feel a bit better, but at the same time afraid that I would let people down... and let myself down.

At 6:30 am, they had all 150 or so of us line up on the start line, instructed us on the course, and then honked the horn to start.

Off we went.

I saw Ben for a second, and pretty much ate his dust as he took off through the crowd... show off.

But I didn't let it bother me... not at all... in my mind I was really thinking:  I hope Ben kicks some serious trash today!  That's my man!!

I started out steady, putting my earbuds in and turned on some music, and kept my breathing in sync with my steps (this keeps me from getting side cramps).  I went into my own world, blocked everyone out, and just ran.  It got hard pretty quick, and got a little tempted to walk a little with some of the people who sprinted really fast at first and then stopped to walk.  But I told myself, the first mile is the hardest because you are warming up your body... just keep going, Cat!  Slow and steady wins the race!

About a mile and a half into the race, we hit the dirt road.  Now, when I found out that about a half a mile of the race was on a dirt road, I got a little nervous.  I had never run on that sort of ground, and I didn't know what to expect.  It was actually a little hard because I tensed up my body as to not slip on some of the rocks. I was so focused on my steps and keeping pace that I didn't notice that my mom was on the side cheering and snapping pictures.
Click on picture to see larger view and read my little captions!
I was finally starting to really warm up during the dirt road, and by the end of it, I was pretty sure I could make the last mile and a quarter.

There were a few turds in the race that took pleasure in playing the "Tortoise and the Hare" with me -- which was REALLY rude and annoying.  They started off with a fast sprint, and then when they got ahead of most of us, they walked.  For some reason, there were about 10 of them that took it as a personal insult when I passed them.  So they would take off on a sprint and go about 20 yards and then stop and walk again until I once again caught up.  The whole race was like this and it really bothered me that they kept looking back at me... I mean, why me?  Why should they care?  What?  Don't want to be bested by the chunky girl?  Were they put out because I didn't stop to walk when they had to?

I don't know...

A couple of them did it to me at the finish.  But there was a couple that tried to catch up to me in the end and I put on a little speed and it through them off... I finished before they did.  No, that wasn't an evil laugh you just heard!

There I am getting ready to cross the finish line.  I was really happy, I had a little cheering section:  Ben waiting for me and mom taking the pictures.  (You can even see the two "Hares" behind me trying to catch up).

I ran my first official 5K in a little over 37 minutes.  I came in 56th place over all out of around 150, and placed 2nd in my heat (compared with the other women racing in my age division) And I didn't give up!  I didn't walk once!  Woo Hoo!  Not bad for someone who looked like this EXACTLY to the day one year before:
I bet you are wondering how my Ben did?
Ben did awesome on his first race!  He came in 7th overall and 2nd in his division.  He ran the 5K in an amazing 23 minutes!  That's my man!
But if you ask me what made it the best... it was running the race together and never giving up!
(Enjoy these pictures of me with no makeup, because you aren't going to see it again!)
If you want it bad enough, ANYTHING is possible!



Lydia said...

Congrates Cat!!! Finishing a fitness goal feels great. Good for you girl.

Britt said...

I am so proud of you Cat!!! That was excellent time too!!

Alicia said...

Cat, that is so AWESOME, AMAZING, FANTASTIC, and any other word you can think of. I love race stories. And I love races. I don't ever win, and I'm not very fast, but it's the mindset it puts you in, the atmosphere, and the completion of something you've worked so hard at. Everyone out there has had a first race. You will remember it forever. Now you can start setting goals to do another 5K, 10K, and even a half. I was in your shoes. I went from overweight running hater to half marathoner. YOU GO GIRL! Thanks for inspiring us all!

Heidi said...

Wohooo!!! I am so proud of you. Way to go girl!!

The Wifey said...

Cat that is so awesome! Congrats on finishing your first 5k!

Tobi said...

Super Cat! Really fantastic. You are working so hard. I love seeing your progress!

The Mom said...

Congratulations! That is awesome!

Anonymous said...

Take it from a long time racer--those annoying "Tortoise and Hare" runners are a compliment! They need help setting a pace for themselves and you are solid and steady enough for them to follow! Speaks to your ability to "keep on truckin"... (Glad you beat them in the end, though! =))

Cammy said...

I just want you to know that you are an inspiration to me. I will be running a 5K in 3 weeks. I haven't run a 5K in probably 15 years. My goal, like yours, is to run the whole thing. I am a little nervous about it because it is on a very hilly course. I have been contemplating picking another race at a later date but thanks to your post I am going to just go for it. Thanks for your inspiration, and way to go!!!

Single Mama NYC said...

You. Rock! Yes, you! You ROCK! In so many different ways, I can't even count 'em all. SO glad you did this for yourself. You needed to be reminded that you are an amazing woman! Xoxo!!!

Shan B. said...

Hey Cat!! Way to go girl!!! I've been in plenty of 5k's & have yet to jog the whole thing. You beat my best time by 4 minutes. One day I will be able to do it in 30 minutes!!! It's were keeping pace for the tortoise & hare runners. I'm so proud of you!! Keep it up girl!!!