Sunday, June 12, 2016

My First 5K 2016

Last Sunday I ran my first 5K!

How do I explain my (non)history of running? In high school when the gym teacher forced us to run the mile to measure our physical fitness I always tried my hardest, even though I hated every second. I watched the cool girls just walk nonchalantly around the track, but I just couldn't bring myself to not care. I cared about everything. That said, my personal best mile was about 8 minutes... which, in case you're not a runner, is very slow for a mile. That's a young, thin Ericka trying her very hardest for maybe a year... 18 years ago.

Since then I've rarely run except for some brief flirtations with treadmills, but even that ended over a decade ago.

Joe Keany Memorial 5K 2016
Looking dubious pre-run

So one morning, after many years of pondering why my friends run half-marathons and marathons, I decided to do it. I registered for the shortest race in close proximity. Janice gifted me sneakers for my birthday- thanks Janice! And shortly after that I signed up. I had enough time to do an 8-week training schedule, which I turned into 10 weeks with a 1-week Japan break. This plan was possibly flawed because it wasn't enough time, it was interrupted by Japan, but mostly because I couldn't even do what the training program required. When I asked my doctor why I couldn't run for 30 minutes, he said maybe I needed more training time. But after he inquired about my high school running, he shook his head slowly and said maybe I'm just not built to run.

Joe Keany Memorial 5K 2016
The starting line. SPOILER ALERT: Shirtless tall teen guy on right was the winner.

Whatever. My goals were simple: 1- Beat my practice times which were about 43 minutes for a self-timed 5K (3.1 miles), and 2- Not come in last. Nonetheless, that morning I was freaking out. I felt a little ill. It didn't help that I went alone. I even encouraged my family to stay home because I was concerned about Kevin entertaining the kids for a big stretch. When the race director gave a moving speech about the hometown hero who had passed away at a young age and in whose honor we were running, I cried. I suspected the race director was actually the mom. I was not off to a great start.

Joe Keany Memorial 5K 2016
My position on the starting line was behind these guys.

I achieved my goals: 1- I beat my practice times (coming in at 41:10) and 2- I didn't come in last! I was still kind of mad about how slow and almost-last I was. Evidenced by this below:

Joe Keany Memorial 5K 2016
Woman pushing stroller beat me. Seriously! And almost all the other runners too.

Joe Keany Memorial 5K 2016
At least I got to run by the beautiful harbor.

Joe Keany 5K 2016
Working hard

Perhaps I could have shaved off some seconds or even minutes by not taking pictures while I ran, but I could no more hold my pictures than hold my breath. Actually, Chrissy said the one thing that made me feel a little better: "But you were so much faster than all those people sitting on their couches." Truth.

Joe Keany Memorial 5K 2016
Pre and after party in the gym

After the race I walked home... about 3 miles... in just a little more time than I ran 3 miles. Sigh.

Time: 41:10.2, Pace: 13:16/mile, Place: 220/234
37 F, Division 35-39 F, Division Place: 9/10, Gender Place: 106/117

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