Running because SHE can
I won't give you a long drawn out intro to this post -- I asked my wife Christina to write about her Runner's World Festival experience where she ran her first 5k. Without delay, here you go:
For eight years I have stood on the sidelines, cheering on my husband David in more races than I can count. I have gotten up before the sun and dressed in layers.
I have held signs, swung clappers and rung cow bells. I have seen the sheer exhaustion, and triumph, in every runner’s face.
I have watched anxiously for David’s face to appear among the crowd, and at one marathon even backtracked from the finish to see how I could help him after I got a text that he was going to start walking.
This year, after eight years of being a spectator, I decided to take on the challenge of a 5k.
I’ve always hated running. Gym was always my least favorite class in school. Exercise was never discussed in our household growing up.
It’s not that as kids my brothers and I weren’t active, we just didn’t make it a point to “exercise.” I’ve never had a problem with my weight, either, so physical activity never appealed to me.
David brought some exercise into my life. I joined him when he lifted weights (thinking I could tone my arms in time to wear a strapless gown at our wedding), and we did a lot of walking in our neighborhood and hiking in the mountains.
I actually ran a race in 2007, the July 4th Academy Mile in Lynchburg, Va., but since I felt like I was going to die at the end I don’t really think it counts.
I still really didn’t start running until David signed me up (with my permission) for the Runner's World 5k on Oct. 20.
I recorded my first run on July 24 and at the time was only using a stop watch.
Once I switched to using MapMyRun on my iPhone in mid-August and could see how far I was running, I was much more motivated and enjoyed trying to beat my previous runs.
Yes, I said “enjoyed.” It didn’t take long to actually look forward to going out at 7 a.m. for a run, whether it was to prepare for the 5k or just to have time to myself to get the day started.
The week before my race was the first time I did 3 miles. I ran/walked 3.02 miles in 36:11, and I was very pleased.
I figured that with the momentum of the crowd at the race, I would have no problem with a 12-minute-mile pace.
Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case. I didn’t wear a watch or take my iPhone, so I had no idea how I was doing.
Plus, I found out after the race that the clock at mile 2 was off by quite a bit, so I was under the illusion that I was running a decent pace.
I finished in 40:01. Although I was disappointed, I keep reminding myself that I DID finish, and actually came in ahead of about 100 people.
I know I could have pushed myself more, but, as my chiropractor pointed out, I now have a PR – one that I have already decided I am going to beat.