Yesterday was the day–my first-ever race! In the days leading up to yesterday, I was insanely busy doing 4 video compilations (one for the school talent show, one for the hockey association banquet, and one each for my sons’ end-of-season parties). I love doing the videos, but I hate them, too. They are So. Much. Work. But that’s because I’m crazy and I feel the need to use lots of videos and pictures and set it all to music while making sure there are funny parts as well as sentimental parts…yeah, I’m a freak. :p I slept no more than 5 hours per night the week before the two hockey parties, and actually pulled an all-nighter the night before my eldest’s party. Add to this the fact that that son’s team has disbanded and the week before my 5k we were doing “hockey hell week” (aka, tryout week) where we had a tryout 5 of 6 nights and the sixth night was a slumber party for his birthday…well, it shouldn’t be a big surprise to find that I wore myself down so much I got a terrible head cold. 🙁
BUT, that was not going to stop me! My friends picked me up at 5:45am yesterday morning, when it was cold, drizzly, and just not very pleasant, weather-wise. But at least it wasn’t snowing, lol!
We did some pre-race pictures as we were standing around waiting for the half-marathon to start, and then I walked over to the starting line to cheer them on. There was a pre-race rush for the bathrooms which was kind of funny, but everyone made it to the starting line on time. I was glad I was there for the start of the half-marathon, because it was pretty neat–they sang the Star Spangled Banner, even, which was really moving to me, that they would take the time on that cold, drizzly morning to send off the runners with the national anthem. Then they were off and I was left to stand around for another half-hour for the 5k to start.
I have read a lot of advice to “start in the back” if you’re a walker or a slow runner, so as not to feel embarrassed when people are forced to go around you. I was so nervous about making people do exactly that that I literally started at the very, very end. I even stood on the side until almost everyone was gone so that I wouldn’t be in anyone’s way. Well, as it turns out, I am faster than I give myself credit for! I was passing people like crazy, and I was honestly getting a bit frustrated because some of these walkers were taking up the whole road, lol! Eventually I found an open spot and then I felt better. I wish the morning would have been clearer, because at one point we walked along the Detroit River and would have had a great view of the river and of the Canadian shore, but alas…nothing but fog.
The worst part of the race for me was the “down and back” where we went down a road, then did a u-turn to come back up. It was so miserable to see all those runners on the other side of the road when I was still walking, trying to get to the end. But on the other hand, when *I* got to the other side, it was kind of cool to see all the people who were behind me. Yes, that’s bad of me, but there it is. :p
It was odd to me that there were a lot of folks who would run/jog past me, then they’d slow down to a walk and I’d pass them. I should’ve expected it, but it was still kind of disconcerting to me at first…it was kind of messing with my brain, aka, “Didn’t I just see you?!” I have a very tiny brain sometimes. 😉
I did see lots of interesting people, including a man whose 8-year-old son was pushing his daughter (about 2 years old, I think) in a jogging stroller. We paced each other for a while, because he was stopping and starting, but eventually I passed them for good because the son was having a hard time keeping it at a jog. He did a GREAT job, though, especially for a kid!
I was excited to round the last bend and know that the finish line was in front of me, but my excitement tempered a bit when I realized the finish line wasn’t right there on the high school track when I went through the gate, but instead I had to go around one end to cross in front of the bleachers.
I was getting tired by that time, lol! But I persevered, and then, just as I was crossing the finish line, I saw my husband and my boys waiting on the fence for me! It was such a great thing to see and it made me smile.
After the race, I found them and the boys congratulated me and hugged me, and we got some pictures together. Bless their hearts, they had had sucha tough time getting there…they were supposed to take a shuttle to the finish line from the parking lot way down on the far end of the island, but when they got there, they found that the shuttle wouldn’t run again until long after I was done! So my dear husband parked a mile away from the high school and then they walked the rest of the way. My oldest even told me that they ran the last quarter mile because my husband was worried they’d miss me crossing the finish line. Awww. Such love. 🙂
I sent them home after a little while, because I wanted to stay to watch my friends cross the finish line for the half-marathon. That was really, really cool…I really enjoyed being able to cheer them across and take their pictures. Some of them even used the pictures I took on the blogs/Facebook pages, and that always makes me smile, because having someone else publish the pictures I take of them is just the highest compliment I can receive. 😀
Once everyone was across the finish line, we went to the post-race food extravaganza, and Oh. My. God. Wow!! It was awesome–Panera bagels, homemade cookies, fruit…all in great abundance!! I got two cookies (one for each of my boys) and then I splurged and had a cinnamon crunch bagel. It turns out that puppy was ELEVEN WW points, but I honestly don’t care–it was good. While we were in the food area, my friends showed me that the results were posted, and I was floored to see that I had walked the 5k in 40:43!! It said my pace was 13:08!! *thud* I still can’t believe it! People have told me I walked fast, but I had no idea it was that fast!
We took a post-race photo before leaving–it’s funny to see how tired (and cold!) we all were at the end, but we all finished, and that’s what mattered.
It was lots of fun, and I enjoyed the post-race talk in the car on the way home. They were all in various states of exhaustion and/or soreness, and I wanted to chime in, but I just couldn’t bring myself to complain to a bunch of half-marathon runners about walking a 5k, lol!
All in all, it was an awesome day and I am so very, very glad I did it. I am so ready for the next one, which I hope will be warmer and drier, lol! I’m not sure I will ever be able to beat this time, but I don’t think I really care. I really did enjoy the whole experience and am already anxiously awaiting the next one. Of course, now I have to FIND one!! 🙂
Thanks for reading my first-ever race report!