I ran my second 5K race ever yesterday! You can read all about my first experience in 2008 (so young!) on this very blog. Mayor Nutter (who was the mayor of Philadelphia at the time) was there, and I met him so that was cool. And Marisa took what is my favorite picture of the day:
That's me pointing to the Mayor's back. How security didn't escort me away I'll never know.
Much like my first 5K experience, signing up for this one was something of an impulsive decision. I wanted to support the cause of getting rid of colon cancer in my mom's memory so it seemed like a good idea. Of course, I hadn't actually ran outside, or really at all, for months and months and months before I signed up.
I had been doing an hour on the elliptical for several months, so I didn't think it would be too bad to get back into the running habit. To train I went out and did exactly what you aren't supposed to do: I ran a 5K run to see how it would feel.
Reader, I ran my fastest 5K ever! At this point I considered becoming a professional runner, but the benefits aren't great.
A week later, I ran another 5K and BEAT my previous time again!
Then we went on vacation and I ran along the coast of Oregon… and didn't beat my record. However, I did get chased by a couple of dogs so that was fun.
I ran a few more times in Philadelphia and before I knew it race day was upon me. Marisa, sadly, was off being famous so she couldn't be there. My brother and his girlfriend came down to watch me race (though they weren't there at the start, since really it isn't that exciting. And due to a coffee mishap they missed me crossing the finish line, but it is the thought that counts!).
I showed up, pinned my number to my t-shirt and waited. I hate being late for things, so I was an hour early for the race. I could have helped myself to some snacks… but I don't eat before I run since I imagine myself vomiting along the route (this is also why I don't eat before public speaking).
Since I had so much time on my hands I checked out the giant colon:
Soon it was time to start the race. I was surrounded by people in much better shape than me (some of whom were wearing nothing but their underwear. I was wearing the pair of boxers they gave to runners [it was an undy run] over my running shorts… doubly secured).
And off I went! My goal for this race was simple: pace myself. During my practice runs I was so excited to be running outside that my first mile would be super fast (well, for me) and then the second mile would be slower, and the third mile would be me jogging/walking and hating life.
I didn't want to walk at all during the 5K, and I didn't want to expend all my energy during the first mile. How did I do?
Check out my Runkeeper stats:
I am very proud of how darn consistent I was able to keep my pacing. How did I manage it? Well, I had set Runkeeper to tell me my pace at 1 mile intervals, which really meant that I couldn't adjust at all. Before the race I set it to alert me every .5 mile (which I didn't think would be too annoying) and it worked like a charm.
Now, when I registered for the race I had two fears:
- I would be the fattest person running.
- I would come in dead last.
I'm happy to report that only one of those fears was true, which made the fact that the second didn't come true all the sweeter.
Sure, I was the biggest guy running (lots of people did the fun walk) but I wasn't the slowest person. Hurrah for me!
Now, I was very far from being the fastest person but I did come in 9th in my age group (104th overall). That's something.
The run itself was pretty good. I made sure to run along the far edge of the road so people could easily pass me (since I wasn't running very fast). We ran 1.5 miles one way, turned around, and ran back.
The way out was great. I was chugging along. Passing some people, having some people pass me. No big deal. Then I turned the corner, passed the water station (no water for me, thanks. Don't want to vomit) and ended up behind 3 teenage girls walking side by side on the race route. It was clear that they were friends since they were chatting amongst themselves. No big deal, but they were blocking the entire half of the road. I sped up, swerved around them and passed them.
No big deal.
Well, having seen an old fat guy pass them they decided they needed to speed up themselves and so they passed me. And kept running. Until they started walking again. And, you guessed it, I had to pass them again since I was running at a consistent speed.
Once again, they saw this… and decided to run pass me again.
And then they started walking side by side again.
So I passed them, again.
And this was with about .7 miles left, so I was pretty sure they would run past me and beat me to the finish line… but I didn't see them again.
Therefore I assume I beat them. Take that, teenage girls who I am sure have no memory of me even being there!
According to the race chip I ran the 5K in 31:39 which gave me an average pace of a 10 minute 11 second mile (3 times in a row!).
And then I ate two bananas and drank all the water:
When I ran my last 5K (9 years ago) it took me 33:03, so I improved without really trying. Hurrah for me.
And a much bigger hurrah to everyone who donated to the cause. I was almost the top fundraiser for the race (I was bet by $75 but I'm ok with that).