Hi Friends! Happy Tuesday!
I wanted to recap the 5K that I ran this past Saturday. I meant to get the recap up yesterday afternoon, but work got a little crazy (which isn’t surprising) and no blog work got done during the day. Oh well. Such is life. I actually consider myself lucky enough to have job that allows me to get some blog work done on occasion…even though yesterday was not one of those occasions.
Anyway. About that race.
Tuesday night, my friend, Bridget, told me about the race and asked me if I wanted to run it with her. I said ‘yes’ with no hesitation and was really excited about it! I hadn’t run a race since my Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving morning and have been meaning to sign up for one. We made plans to meet early Saturday morning and just head up together and register there. I started the day with two slices of peanut butter toast and left to meet Bridget.
The 5K was run by the Indiana University of Pennsylvania Fitness Center with all proceeds going toward breast cancer research. To me, doing races for great causes is a no-brainer! I’m always glad to help and to donate!
We arrived and after we registered, we had about half an hour to kill before race time. We just hung around, stretched, and chatted with a couple of other people we knew. Our friend, Jess, was also there for the 5K and she and Bridget decided that they were going to walk it instead of run. Jess was running her first half marathon in Pittsburgh the next day and wanted to take it easy. I don’t blame her. They made one last announcement to grab water and fruit if we needed it because there were plenty of hills on the course.
Hills? Greeeeat. Just what I was hoping for.
Bridget and Jess chuckled and wished me luck on my run and we were off! The course started flat and then abruptly went downhill. Every time I run downhill, I always tell myself that surely we are going to make some kind of loop and that there is no way that they are going to make us run back up the same hill. I’m always wrong. They always make us run back up. I tried to keep my pace fast as I ran down, knowing that I would inevitably be running slower as I made my way back up the hill. I made my u-turn at the bottom and started my ascent.
There are many things I don’t know about life…but there is one thing that I know for certain…
Running up hill is the worst.thing.ever.
I kept it steady and just kept pushing myself. I tried to zone out, just listen to my music, and think about anything else other than the burning in my lungs. As I approached the top, I saw that the course veered off to the right and we were turning onto a trail. I was so excited to get off of the hill I was climbing. I sprinted onto the trail and we were headed downhill again. I felt total relief as I coasted to the bottom. We then ran on a straight part of the trail and I felt like I was delivered a crushing blow when I saw the runners at the head of the line heading back toward me. That only meant one thing.
There was a u-turn ahead and I had to run up the hill that I just came down. Are you serious!?
These hills were not just little inclines or slight grades. They were steep and windy. They were tough. I tried to push the dread out of my mind and pushed myself to make up time on the flat parts. I sped through my turn and gained speed to make my way back up. I just put my head down, concentrated on something else, and kept my pace. I passed several people who had stopped to walk, but I refused. I just kept going. Right as I neared the top, I tried to change the song on my iPod and accidentally ended my workout. Really!? Crap!! I fumbled around with my iPod to get my workout started again, but because my iPod was on my arm, I couldn’t see the screen and just gave up.
I was frustrated, but when I looked up, I noticed that I had made it to the top of the hill!
Thank you, iPod, for providing the perfect distraction for my hill climb!
I had one more flat section of road that took me right to the finish line. I really pushed myself and was almost at a sprint when I crossed! I felt absolutely amazing when I finished! I could not believe that I made it through those hills! It was tough, super challenging, and one of the worst courses I have ever run, but I did it!
As I waited for the results to go up and Bridget and Jess to get done with the walk, I tried to snap some inconspicuous pics of myself. Get ready. Creeper alert.
As they posted the age group finishers, I saw that I came in second in group with a time of 25:29! I was absolutely amazed! A PR!? I could not believe it! Before Saturday, my best time was 26:03, and I thought I flew during that race!
I was totally surprised by my finish….and I was happy to say that Saturday, all in the same day, I experienced the best and worst race of my life.
Have you ever surprised yourself with the success of a workout?