Monday, September 24, 2012

My First 5K Run! - race recap

Be warned: This post is long! :)

So this past Sunday was the big day. The race I'd been training for all summer. The first race to ever enter my train of thoughts.

My Everest.

The 5K Army Run.

Daddy Lego and I woke up at 5:30am after a measly four hours of sleep (we were at a beautiful wedding on Saturday, came home to Daughter Lego with a fever of 102.8 and got to bed way later than we had planned!), had a light breakfast of scrambled eggs and coffee (my stomach was a mass of nerves. I know I should have eaten more -especially carbs- but I just couldn't do it!), and headed out the door to catch our bus.

Maaaaaan was it ever cold!! My husband was seriously concerned about nipple chafing!
Hey there, Cindy! haha
We arrived at City Hall with just enough time to visit the bestie (who ran her first 5K too, in 33 minutes!! Holy crappers!!), and find our corral to take in the opening ceremonies, and to stretch. My husband was racing in Cindy's place and was assigned to start in the purple corral, which was the faster group ahead of my red corral, but I stayed with him in the purple group because we really wanted to do this together! I wasn't racing to win or to set a PR - I just wanted to finish still standing and under an hour, so it didn't overly matter to me to be running with the "faster" group (and before the race police say anything - I didn't slow down any racers and I kept pace with them!).

We were quite a ways from the starting line as there were three corrals ahead of us .. But when the cannon was fired to start the race, I started crying. So many emotions were pouring through me. Six months ago, a 5K race was something I'd hear others doing, and I'd joke that I would NEVER be caught running for fun .. And now look at me. I'm running because I LOVE it. I'm an ambassador for #SweatPink and #GirlsGoneSporty and part of this amazing community of runners, athletes and people who are as passionate as I am about healthy eating and active living. And I was about to run my first 5K race.
Got my game face on!! lol
The excitement of the 18 000 runners around me was such a rush - and the people cheering from the sidelines were equally as excited! It was so cool!
Some of the racers from the purple corral. Look at all those people!
It all became real when our group got moving. We started walking to the starting line - I almost started jogging right away, but then I reminded myself to keep my energy for when we actually hit the start and our chip time began counting! So I used that time to grip anxiously onto Daddy Lego's hand and dry my tears.

And then we crossed the line and started to jog. Daddy Lego's goal was to get me to a ten-minute running mark. So we set off on a slow but steady jog. I didn't let the excitement push me to run faster - I knew my limits (and my asthma) well enough to know to take my time! (plus, I uhhh .. Didn't really run for a week and a half except for sprints and ummmm never got past week four of my training program ..)

So we ran. And it was so cool to be running in this group of people. It was awesome to be a part of something so big.

There was one small hill to go up, and it was actually okay for me because I'm now used to running small inclines. Hill number two was more steep and is what started to cramp my lower calves, behind my ankles and up. But I took my time and pushed through and before I knew it, I was headed down hill and breezing past other runners.

We kept on going and I felt great! The down town scene was the perfect backdrop for my run. My asthma wasn't bothering me and I wasn't struggling for breath at all! What I was struggling with was the pain in my calves. I pushed myself as hard as I could go and with my husband pushing alongside of me, I made it to 20 minutes of non-stop running!! That in itself was a PR for me! My mantra: Sweat Pink. Team Lego. Sweat Pink. Team Lego.

I had to take a quick walking-break around 2.5K .. My calves were not feeling right and I knew they needed a rest. So we walked for five minutes and then kept right on going! We grabbed a few sips of water at the water station set on the 3K mark (awesome volunteers!! They kept getting splashed by racers throwing down their cups and just laughed about it!).

My emotions started to swell up on me at the 4K mark for two reasons. One: I just RAN about 3.5K and Two: we caught up with some of the veterans and injured soldiers who started at the beginning of the race (15 minutes before the race began).

Wow. What absolute motivation. Those troops were so unbelievably inspiring. All that they went through overseas, amputations and injuries and more - and here they were, running or wheeling or walking. Holy cow. I quickly forgot the pain in my calves and kept running with a big fat smile on my face and tears in my eyes.

My asthma then decided it was tired of behaving. The cold air is what really did my lungs in - all my training runs were done in the extreme heat and humidity so this cold air wasn't doing so well for my chest. Thankfully, I was running with my inhaler in hand and was able to soothe my asthma over long enough to push to the finishing line.

There it was! The finish line!! The last few minutes of my run flew by and my husband raced ahead to get a picture of me crossing the line.
Coming up to the finish!
WOW!!! What a feeling!!!!
I DID IT!!!! (I finished at 55:20 race time, but my chip time was 45.50!)
And what do you know. I was crying again. And having a mild asthma attack.

I rested for a few minutes, breathed slow and steady, took a hit of my inhaler, and was okay. The troops were handing out our dog tag medals and I almost hugged the troop who gave me mine - I was SO happy and proud of my first race and so in awe of this troop who fights for our peace!
Hard to tell - But I'm totally crying here.
Daddy Lego and I made our way to the refreshments tent and picked up some water and a box of yummy after-race treats. As much as we wanted to stick around for the awards ceremony, we knew we needed to head home to care for our baby girl (it was so hard to leave her that morning, knowing she was under the weather!).

We started to head out and then heard the cannon go off for the half-marathon race, and I just HAD to watch. I wanted to cheer on my Sweat Pink sisters, whom I knew were running the race. Those athletes were frickin amazing. Even though I was pooped from my 5K, I felt motivated all over again to start running!! One day I know I'll be running that half-marathon!

I wasn't able to get my dog-tag stamped with my race time, but I scanned my bib on the way home and found out I finished in 45.50! I was thrilled with that!! That's a whole 15 minutes ahead of my goal!! I'm going to write that on a sticker and attach it behind my dog tag - that way, years down the road when I'm running 25-minute 5Ks, I'll be able to look back and be proud of my beginning.

That dog tag medal will be the first of many I plan to collect. I want to race and run as much as possible.
A feat of strength for Mama Lego! Proudly sporting my dog tag!!
This race was so well organized - thank you to all the volunteers who helped everything run so smoothly, and to all the organizers for making this race happen! And overall - thank you to the soldiers.

So my first race was an emotional one. And it was absolutely incredible. I know I'll never forget it! :)


  1. I'm so proud of you! You did SO well, and I know you're just going to get better and better! :) :) :)

    1. Darrrrrrn tootin! Hehehe
      But thank you so much :)

  2. I am so proud of you!!! I am so glad you were able to run with your husband what a great moment to share with you husband! You rock! Your waist looks so tiny and you look wonderful in your pictures :)

    1. I can't even describe how cool it was to have him there!
      And thank you!! (tiny waist?! Me?!) you just made my day ;)

  3. This is such a great post, Laura! Congrats again :)