I have officially gone from the couch to a 5K! Yesterday was my first race and I felt really prepared for it. I had been running a few days a week since the beginning of March and I had built up from running only half of it and needing to take walking breaks to running the entire 5K start to finish. So, here's the story:
My MFP twin supersarah14 suggested running a 5K together about 2 months ago, and I needed something besides the evil scale for a goal, so I said "let's do it!" and we signed up for the Race for Hope in Washington DC for May 1st. The route went up Pennsylvania Ave. and in front of the Capitol building and back again, and it was a really flat course. I was excited and started training that week.
At first, I could only run for 15 or 20 minutes and then I'd need to stop. And I was a slowpoke... haha. My inhaler was really helping and my lungs started to get used to functioning properly while working out (finally!). And as I kept running at the gym or outside my apartment complex around the lake, I started getting better. My lungs weren't on fire, my muscles weren't dying, I finally sorted out the constant stomach aches I was getting (I have a very small list of snacks I'll eat before running... haha).
Finally about 2-3 weeks ago, I was able to run the entire 5K distance! It felt amazing, my time wasn't horrible, and I could breathe. My comfortable running pace is around 4.5-4.7 if all the conditions are right (i had a horrendous run this past week in a sweltering hot gym where running at 4.3 was hard, haha). I felt ready for the challenge of a real race!
Yesterday morning I was suprisingly perky for getting at at 6am, ate my preapproved breakfast, and made my way into DC to meet up with Sarah. I started to get that boost of addernaline right before the race started. There were around 12000 people participating and about 3000-4000 were running by my guess. But since it was on the streets of DC, we had plenty of room and kept up a good pace. A bit slow to start and then I got in a groove. And to my shock, I was able to talk the ENTIRE RACE! It really helps having a running buddy :) My heart rate settled in the low 180s, which is pretty darn high. Towards the end it was hovering around 190! And when I crossed the finish line, it was 195!!! But once we passed the Capitol for the second time and started to loop towards the finish, I saw the balloons and I wanted to hit my goal of under 40 minutes. Well, one side stitch later, I was bolting across the finish line!
OFFICIAL Finishing time: 39:33!!!!!!!!!! (just got the results off the website)
That's about a 4.7 mph pace, which I'm happy with as a starting point. I've already got a race scheduled for Sat. May 14th to try and break it. We enjoyed post-race popsicles and hung out to see the awards ceremony (and David Cook... we saw his hat!! hahaha). Then I rewarded myself with a trip to the mall (Coach wallet, 4 pairs of shorts, 2 shirts, polarized sunglasses, and crop pants... haha, I had coupons!!)
So, my lesson learned here is that nothing is impossible. Even taking my lazy ass from sitting on the couch every night to running an entire 5K. I didn't stop to walk for a second, and I didn't really feel the need to. My mind was focused on getting to the finish line.
And one final bit of awesomeness, we both rocked size adult small race tshirts :)