I did it! I ran my first 5K!
So, as regular readers (do I have any?) will know, I spent the summer learning to run. Sunday was my first race.
My smaller daughter, whose internet handle is The Owlet, sat me down to discuss things. “Mommy!” she said. “I hope you can win!” There followed a long thoughtful speech (mine) about what “winning” meant in these circumstances - how I really wanted to do it just to prove to myself that I could, and how at the beginning of the summer I couldn’t run at all, and so if I could finish this race, I would have “won.” The little Owl considered this and said: “I hope you beat one person, Mommy! Or two persons! I know you can!”
Race day came. The threatened rain came and went in time for the race - so we had mud, but didn’t get soaked. The girls came out with their signs, which Ninja Princess (the older one) refused to hold, least it dent her cool. (She’s six, but she will be 14 any day now.) I was nervous enough to throw up, but I didn’t. The Owlet found out that a 5K walk started ten minutes after the 5K run and revised her goal for me: “I hope you beat most of the walkers, Mommy! I know you can!”
And I did. I ran the whole 5K.
I was certainly near the back of the running pack, and sometimes felt like the Slowest Zebra, the one the lions would be targetting, but I ran the whole thing.
The race was arranged as two kilometers down the road, then a duck down to the river trail and three kilometers back. Because it had just rained the organizers gave the option of running to the end of the road, off a little spur, and doubling back, or taking the trial. All the competitive runners took the road. There was a discouraging bit where they started passing going the other way - even though we Slow Zebras had not yet passed the two kilometer mark. I tried not to hold that against them. And I tried not to think about high school, where my parents signed me up for cross country, and I used to get lapped: quite the trick when laps are five miles long.
Anyway, I took the trail. (I love trails.) This was a Strategic Error: the trail was hilly and muddy. The hardest part was the big long steep deadly hill in the 4th kilometer. St. John’s Ambulance volunteers were stationed at the top, waiting to cart the mortally winded off the field.
I was certainly winded at the top of Ambulance Ridge, I won’t lie. This run was much harder than my usual route. But I still made it. I completed the race in (don’t laugh) 41:30, which is comfortably under my 45 minute goal. I beat all of the walkers and a handful of the runners, which pleased the Owlet. I also raised $550 for breast cancer research. So go me!
And do I plan to stop? Why would I?! On Saturday I bought a jacket so I can run all winter long.