Well, I did it! I ran my first race. It was a pretty great experience, and I’m super glad I did it.
As I wrote last week, my Wednesday run was an absolute nightmare. Thankfully, I had two pretty serious morale boosters. On Friday, I went out and did an easy mile and a half run and felt amazing. I definitely felt more confident after having a good run. On Saturday morning, I woke up early to go to yoga and saw this:
Elizabeth dropped these off early in the morning, and they were the BEST surprise ever! I was so excited and touched and it made my morning. I had an amazing yoga class, which totally bolstered my confidence and left for Bri’s house feeling excited and ready.
We met up with Nicole, Amber, Becca and Gretchen for a pre-race dinner. I had whole wheat pasta with meat sauce—I wanted some protein but didn’t want to do white flour the night before a race. It was delicious and the company was lovely. Bri and I headed home and went to bed early.
Early yesterday morning, I woke up, had a cup of coffee, a banana and some peanut butter—it’s my current favorite pre-run food. I got dressed in my pre-run outfit and Bri and I headed to meet up with her friends. When we arrived, I realized I had forgotten both my Garmin and my iPod filled with my carefully-constructed workout playlist. I freaked out. I live and die by my playlist, and I knew that without it, this run would SUCK. Thankfully, one of Bri’s friends loaned me her headphones and I was able to use my iPhone to play a similar playlist. I cannot tell you how grateful I was to have music. I also know I’ll never make the same mistake again.
We got close to the race and took a few pictures:
I wore a pretty standard grey tank/black capri/ but threw on a hoodie from my yoga studio, a Team Sparkle skirt and a sparkly Bani Bands headband (all of which match my shoes—not pictured!). It was fun to have a little extra sparkle for this run—it was the Diva Run after all!
We watched the half marathoners go and the lined up in our corrals. I was INSANELY nervous but when it came time to go, I was super excited. I tried to stay in a good mental place and just go slow and steady. I ran the first 1.5 miles without stopping but then had to take a brief walk break. I picked up the pace again until the last half mile when I got a HORRIBLE stitch in my side. It was pretty bad. I slowed to a walk and walked about a quarter of a mile until the cramp went away.
Right before the finish line, you are given a tiara and a feather boa to wear across the finish line. Once I had my tiara and boa, and saw the finish line, I got ridiculously excited and ran pretty hard. I was SO excited! It was fun to hear the announcer yell my name and to cross over, knowing I’d done my first real race.
I grabbed my bagel and grapes from the “cafe” area, was handed a rose and a shirtless man put my medal on me (hahahaha—no really!) and I sat under a tree and enjoyed my snack. I felt surprisingly good and stretched out a bit.
One of the things I heard over and over again from (well-meaning) people was that this was “just a 5K.” I completely recognize that for some people, for most people even, running 3.1 miles is a short distance and no big deal. For me, this race was so much more than a 5K. It has symbolized a huge change in my life, and in me. On a simple level, it’s that I’ve really, really committed this time to getting healthy. But on a deeper level, for me, this has been about changing my belief about myself and what I’m capable of. I used to say that I would never be a runner because I just wasn’t good at it. I’ve believed that I would never be able to get healthy or make real change in myself. But with every training run or yoga class, and especially in crossing the finish line, I’m proving myself wrong.
Next race: June 3! I’m doing the Kaiser Women’s Fitness Festival 5K in downtown Sacramento. My goal is under 40 minutes. I’m pretty sure that with some extra work this month, I can make it happen—I can’t wait to get back out and run this week.