Sunday, July 5, 2009

1st Running Race.....ever!

Race report – 7/4/09 Fifth Season Race

My first 5K is under my belt and I feel good about it. Had you told me 2 months ago that I would be running the race, not walking as I have done for years I would have laughed in your face. My girls, Rachelle & Becca have inspired me to be more fit. I’ve watched them work very hard to accomplish various fitness and training goals over the last few years and I stand in awe of them.

A couple months ago Rachelle and I discussed the possibility of me starting to run. My birthday was in early May and she decided that in order to reinforce this interest she would take me on a shopping spree. New running shoes…cute new running outfit…the right socks…and a visor. I was set…and I looked good! All I needed was a plan that wouldn’t scare me off and wouldn’t hurt this 52 year old body. Rachelle hooked me up to the Couch Potato to 5 K Running Plan – a 9-week training plan.

I think back to the first couple weeks – they seemed too easy - probably because I wasn’t exactly a couch potato going into this. (I’ve been using a treadmill, elliptical and stationary bike for daily workouts for many years. Plus I walk outside 1.5 to 2.5 miles several times a week.) But at the end of week three I panicked. I was struggling with the 3-minute runs and the next week was going to require me to run 5 minutes at a time. So I called Rachelle and explained my concerns and asked if I should repeat that week. Rachelle asked me the following questions about my current workout: First, was I lightheaded? Secondly, did I feel nauseous? And lastly, was there any pain? The answer was no to all of them. Apparently I was finally moving out of my body’s comfort zone. I needed to press on and I did. Week after week I could feel my stamina improving and I was running for longer periods. My longest run up to race time was 25 consecutive minutes.

The 5K Plan
Because my training had not actually gotten me to the point of running a full 5K – Rachelle, had decided on a plan for me. I would run the first mile; walk till recovered and then finish the race.

I was up early, ate a breakfast of Lego waffles and a half-cup of coffee and felt ready. But once I got to the race site I found myself with a case of pre-race jitters or were they shivers due to cool temps and constant rain? My hubby Jim and Rachelle were there to provide moral support and cheer our efforts. Becca was going to run as well as my sister Patty. Patty and I would run together. We had done some training together and had similar paces.

Ready, set, go!
Since I had only been a walker in previous years I had never experienced the excitement of being a part of the big running group. It was great! Part one of the plan was on schedule. Patty and I ran the first mile and then walked from there to the 1.2 water station. We shared some water and then resumed our jogging pace. Unfortunately the rest of the plan didn’t go as it was supposed to. We ran two more legs of .5 – .75 miles and had to take a recovery walks after each. So there was a total of 3 short recovery walks. We ran the last half-mile in and crossed the finish line. HURRAH!

My time was 32:09. There were only 51 women finishers in the 50-59 age group and I finished 5th! The 3rd & 4th place finishers were only seconds ahead of me! Do I wish that I had skipped one of the recovery walks? No. This race is my benchmark for all future races - I have nowhere to go but up! I’ll be done with my current training schedule in 2 weeks and then my next race will be the Sweet Corn Festival 5K in 6 weeks and I should be ready to bust out by then! Plan on a marked improvement!!!!

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