I've got so much to say today. I apologize for the long post, but this was my very first 5K!
My husband and I decided to celebrate Valentine's Day in Nashville this year. We were able to pick up our race day packets on Friday and still had plenty of time to shop and eat a nice dinner together.
It's rare that we get the whole day to ourselves.
We went to the Hot Chocolate Expo and we were kinda in awe. Ryan couldn't believe how many people were there. We picked up our race packets with our new Hot Chocolate jackets. Vendors were set up to sell all things running and chocolate related!
Ryan got me these ear warmers for the run the next day...
We ended up going to Bass Pro and I ran into someone I knew with Tracker Boats. I wasn't in there two minutes before someone walks up that knows me through selling boats. Small world, right???
You can tell Ryan and I are changing together. We bought each other new Nike's for Valentine's Day this year! Move over roses and chocolate....Running gear is our way to show love!
Saturday morning, we had to be at the starting line at 6:00 am. The night before the forecast called for snow and cold temperatures. I checked the temperature when we got out of the car and it was cold, y'all!
I have never in my life felt the need to run in the cold. I was starting to worry. The last time I had run was at the end of the summer. The fastest I could run a 5K was around 47 minutes. When I signed up for the Hot Chocolate 5K I was ambitious and set a pace time of 13 minutes a mile. I figured I could easily do that, right?? When I got out of the warm car and felt body parts going numb, I got a little worried. I completely started second guessing myself.
- What if I have to walk the majority of the time?
- What if I come in last?
- What if I slip on a patch of ice and hurt myself?
- What if I really underestimated my time?
- What in the world was I thinking? Running in 23-24 degree weather???
- What if I hold my husband back?
- What if I can't do three whole miles?
- What if people realize I'm not really a runner???
We were grouped into the "D" corral and under the sign it said "No Walkers". I kinda panicked. Here I am....I haven't run in months....The last time I ran a whole mile straight was in high school. I'm almost thirty years old....what in the world do I think I'm doing here in this "D" section? I look behind me and there were plenty of other corrals. I didn't think I needed to be so close to the beginning of this run.
I think my husband was picking up on my anxiety. He just told me we'd take it at my pace (which he was totally thinking I'd be kinda crappy at it too). I started looking at the people around me. Most of these people looked like "real runners". They had all the gear and the serious looking running clothes. I was just plain intimidated. I kept looking around while we waited for the start of the run.
I saw a couple possibly in their seventies. The man was in blue jeans. I thought, "If he can do it, I think I can do it too." My eyes then landed on a very tall man just a little in front of me. He had on a shirt that said, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."
All of a sudden, I had this calm feeling wash over me. Things kinda clicked. I knew that it was absolutely okay if I came in last. At least I was out there doing it. I knew it was okay if my husband walked the majority of the time with me, he loves and supports me through it all. I just knew that no matter how it turned out, I still gave it my all and tried my best.
I stopped worrying. I decided even though I was freezing and completely unprepared to run, I was going to have fun and be thankful for the ability to do this. I am grateful that I am eighty pounds lighter and that I have the opportunity to push my body physically.
By the time my section started running, I was pumped. I had created a playlist of Zumba songs before the run. I kept telling myself, "If I can do Zumba for two hours surely I can run for 45 minutes. I've got this."
We passed the one mile mark.....and I realized I was running, y'all! No walking on the first mile! Never saw that coming....
We got to the halfway mark before I had to walk for a few seconds. Ryan looked over at me in pure amazement. He figured we'd be walking the majority of the time! One of my favorite Zumba songs started and I was pumped. I hammered it out through the second mile mark and realized that we were actually passing people.
I started looking around at the running bibs and noticed that we were passing a few "C" corrals. I looked down at my Nike app and realized we were making pretty good time. I started to get pretty excited! I finally felt like I was going to make it to the finish line halfway gracefully.
Most of the time I felt pure joy. I was actually running and it felt great! I so enjoyed running beside my husband and feeling energized by the music that I felt comfort from. I had Zumba song after Zumba song playing and I kept thinking, "If I can shake my booty and bounce around through this, I can surely run it."
I walked a little again and realized we were a quarter of a mile from the finish line! I started running with the determination that I was absolutely not walking to the finish. My legs were feeling tired, but I pushed through. When I checked my Nike app I saw....
My fastest 5K time ever! Even when I was running during the summer, I never got close to that!
Once I caught my breath, I had this huge adrenaline rush after seeing my time! My husband admitted that he never imagined I'd run it that quickly. It makes my pace time 11:16.
We were given Hot Chocolate finisher mugs to celebrate! We got an amazing cup of hot chocolate, chocolate dipping sauce, a banana, Rice Krispie treat, a marshmallow, sugar wafers, and pretzels. It was soooo good!
Ryan bought me my first running sticker for my car. I was so very happy to finally earn one. Now I think I'm ready for another one....
I am thrilled to have been one of the Hot Chocolate Blogging Ambassadors. It finally gave me the push I needed to conquer my fear of my first 5K. I can finally say that I can see the beauty in it. I can understand exactly why people run and love it so much. Ryan and I are ready to tackle more now!