Sunday, July 4, 2010

July 3 Firecracker 5K Race

Joel, Susie and I used to run in high school. Joel is a much more talented runner in my opinion, he's a natural athlete, especially for running; he has the body shape and of course LONG legs since he's 6'4", almost a foot and 1/2 taller than me. Joel ran on the cross country team at Overton HS also. I ran with Susie for her to get in shape for soccer and for me to fit into my band uniform. It worked. : )

I didn't run in college - aerobics was the popular exercise in the 80s & 90s. When I lived in Thailand, it was a great way to keep in shape and also see the sights of the city I lived in. I ran EARLY in the morning because of the heat; I loved seeing the citizens prepare and then feed the monks in their bright orange robes. It was a wonderful way to start the day.

However, I stopped running when I returned to the USA in 1995 - something about my knees ... haha. That excuse actually kept me from running for 15 years. I even tried to run on the treadmill at the gym, but I heard it's bad for your knees so I stopped doing that (plus I'm afraid I'm going to fall off).

Recently I tried again to get on the weight loss band wagon (ugh, it's a constant evil part of my life!) and I struggle because I want to eat what I want to eat. Even though I usually eat healthy most of the time. I participated in the "Biggest Loser" competition at work, lost about 8 pounds in 2 1/2 months, not great, and toyed with the idea of running. However, after not losing much weight, I decided to do it. Joel is my trainer and we started gradually, walking around the block a few days a week, then starting running it. This was around mid-April.

Eventually we got up to running the loop around the block 3 times, thinking that was almost 3 miles, which we thought was perfect as we planned to run a 5K in June or July. We registered for the Firecracker race at Maryland Farms on July 3 and ran it yesterday morning at 7am. Usually we run around 6am when it's slightly cooler. It was sunny and warm at MF and this was my first road race, first race period!

It was exciting and exhilarating and exhausting! All of the anticipation and anxiety - lots of emotions. I had a slight panic attack (I don't know how else to describe it) as the race started and I was running amongst all of these people, hoping I could keep up, not knowing exactly what the course was like. Of course Joel was GONE as he runs faster than me anyway (those long legs). Also he's competitive and wants to get a good time and running at my pace isn't going to get it.

We both struggled in the last mile, especially because it was ALL up hill basically, and we were hot and tired. We were dying! However, we discovered later that we'd been running less than 3 miles for the past 2 1/2 months, a lot less, about 2.4! We mistakenly listened to what someone said the distance around the block is instead of clocking it ourselves.

We had a great time though and have 2 weeks to train for the next 5K on July 17 in Brentwood with Susie, too. We'll increase our distance and endurance so we don't die out there in the sun! : )