As tryout week winds down and my hockey mom nerves unravel, I can feel the tension leaving my shoulders and my stomach. Friday night we had our last tryouts for the fall season. Regardless of the outcome of tryouts, the ultimate decision is equally stressful. I skipped the Monkey to get home earlier with the Mayor, so I could attempt to get to bed early in preparation for the Firefighter Eric Patrie 5k on Saturday morning.
I’m not a morning person, so when I have a race or early hockey game, I usually set several different alarms to ensure I’m out of the house in time to get to the event. I prefer to get to the race about an hour early, so I can warm up, eat a little something, hit the bathroom and get acclimated for the race. Saturday morning was not that morning.
I had set my Fitbit alarm, which usually works all of the time. It doesn’t, however, work when you forget to put it back on after you shower. I also set the alarm on my phone, but apparently it was for pm and not am. Instead I awoke to my hubby saying aren’t you supposed to be somewhere by now? It was 6:05 am and the answer of course was yes!
I ran out of bed, woke up Jake and gave him a ten minute warning. We rushed to get ready and head towards Delray, so we wouldn’t miss the start. I grabbed almonds in a rush and popped few on the way along with a GU gel. We made it in time to park and head to the starting line before the scheduled start, but it felt rushed and our muscles (much like the weather by Florida standards) were cold.
I had hoped to log a PR, but I was tired, cold and under the weather. Honestly, I didn’t feel like running at all and was really craving the comfort of my bed and down comforter. Nevertheless, Jake and I along with our KU running crew, including Evie the sweetest dog, made our way to the starting line. It was a gun to chip race, so Jake and I stayed near the front of the start corral to avoid the inevitable starting line traffic jam.
As I ran the first mile, which felt like five, I fought through the desire to quit, the desire to walk, the desire to go back to bed and tried to maintain a decent pace. It was a tough mile and slower than I wanted, but not horrible over all. I grabbed some water continuing on to mile two. Maybe it was me, maybe it was the weather or maybe it was the route, but mile two seemed to last forever. I tried to maintain my pace as best I could and saw only a little degradation in pace between mile one and two.
Mile three beat me up. The unusually cool and dry air dried out my throat and tightened up my lungs. I had to stop to use my inhaler and was feeling the pain. At this point, I had a choice to continue to walk and get comfortable or to run the remainder and try to hit my goal. I chose to run. It hurt, it wasn’t pretty and in the end I missed a PR by tenths of seconds, but I did it. I fought through the fatigue and pain to do my best.
Initially I was disappointed by my time (28.33) , but I think I was being too harsh on myself. Two and half years ago, I ran my first 5k at a time of 34 minutes. I started training in earnest last fall and whittled my time down to a PR of 28:32. It’s not earth shattering fast, but it represents a lot of hard work and a lot of forward progress. I didn’t feel 100% physically Saturday morning, but I didn’t let it stop me from giving 100% in the race and that was Saturday morning’s victory.
Meanwhile, Jake finished 6 minutes ahead of me, but was also disappointed by his time. It was slower than his PR of 21 minutes, but he still placed in the top 3 of his age group. This was a very fast and competitive race, so I was happy to see how well he fared against the competition. Even with the trophy, he was still disappointed with his result.
Even though my time wasn’t where I wanted to be, I love the feeling of finishing a race. I love the excitement of the start and the excitement of the finish. I love seeing a first time 5k runner come through the finish line. There is no better feeling finishing something you didn’t think you were capable of finishing and theirs is nothing better than seeing that sense of pride on a runner’s face as they finish their first 5k. Joe – your KU crew was proud to see you cross the finish line and do great your first time out. Can’t wait to see what you do in your second 5k!
Neither of Jake nor I, hit a time we were thrilled with Saturday, but we had a great time with good friends supporting a great cause. For Jake and I, its back to training and working towards better results and greater distances.
If you’d like to know more about this event, here’s the website.