So, here’s the story of the race that I was afraid of…the one that came after an entire year of not racing or even running. Yep. That’s right. I didn’t really run for an entire year. I finished my second half marathon last September and just stopped. I have no reason why…I just did. Anyway, my friend (and the best coworker!) asked me if I wanted to run a local 5K that she had done the previous year. She had a great time I decided, “Absolutely! I love 5Ks and I’ll have time to get out and prepare!”
Well, I didn’t prepare. I don’t know where time went. I was busy. I was sick. I had other plans. So, race day came and I was going out blindly…no training, no practicing. I wasn’t even sure what my mile time had decreased to since my last race . I didn’t want to know. I was scared and anxious but also excited. I knew it was only a 5K and that it wasn’t a big deal…however, everything to me is a big deal and my competitiveness doesn’t allow me to just sit back and not try to do my absolute best (and trying to PR!).
The race was called the Mustache Dash 5K and was in honor of a man named Ron, who had passed away a few years ago from a heart attack. This is the second year that his daughter organized the race and all proceeds benefited the American Heart Association. The run took place at 5pm (which was a perfect time) and I had a busy day before it even started! I had taught a Jazzercise class that morning and, after that, had spent the day with my mom at a local fall festival. After the festival, I picked up Jess (my friend who was running with me) and we headed to the park where the race was taking place.
On a side note…we ordered some pretty awesome shirts for our ‘Mustache Dash’.
On the way there, I realized I forgot my arm band and headphones. Great. I wasn’t even going to be able to run with music. Now, in addition to being nervous because of my lack of practice, I was nervous because I had to run without my phone. I like to have my music going and I like to know how I’m doing on my mile splits as I’m running. I feel like all of that keeps me on pace!
We lined up at the starting line and there I was…with my body and the clothes I had on it. I must say, I did actually feel free to not have anything else wrapped or tied to me…or worry about starting my music and race pace clock on time. All I had to do was run. And, that’s what I did.
I just ran. Each mile was marked but I didn’t know my pace at each one nor did I know how far I had to go to the next one. I didn’t have music…but I did have the sound of my feet on the pavement and my rhythm of my breathing. I had the sounds of the lake and woods that we were running through. And, I loved every second of it. I ran until I could see the red lights of the race clock ahead at the finish line. Previous to this, my PR for a 5K was 26:06. As I approached the clock, I saw it just turn to 26:00. I pulled everything out at that point and sprinted down to the finish. I couldn’t believe that I was going to beat 27:00!!
My final time was 26:34. I finished 29th out of 133 runners and finished first in my age group. I was shocked.
…and I fell in love with running all over again. I felt awesome when I finished and I felt awesome that I did the race with just me…no music, no watch, no time…nothing but me and my thoughts. It was great and I think I’m no longer afraid to go out and just enjoy the run and my surroundings!
Mustache Dash Success!!
Something to share: Do you always run with music or do you like to get out and experience your surroundings? Tell me about the last time you felt like you had the best run!!