Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Always show up...5K recap

I live in Virginia Beach.  At the end of March, the weather is usually beautiful.  Sunny, breezy, and high 60s.  Spring really blossoms at the end of March.

Apparently, the last few days have missed that memo.  Sunday in particular.

I had a 5K race Sunday morning that I had really been looking forward to.  The last few months of my training have been going really great.  I went from a 10 minute mile average to an 8 minute mile average in about two months time. 

You see, the thing about me is I am competitive.  I think that's why I love running so much.  I love competing with myself.  Is that weird?  What I mean is with running I can constantly improve, constantly go faster, harder, longer.  The feeling of beating a personal record (PR) is almost as good as the feeling of beating a real flesh-and-blood competitor.  Almost.

Having the obsessive personality disorder that I do, I was constantly checking weather.com for the 10 day forecast.  The week leading up to the 5K I watched the weather go from sunny and mid-50's to cloudy and mid-40s.  On Friday, I saw that the high was 41, but I thought, "Hey, that's cold, but I can still do it."  When the graphic changed from a little cloud to a little rain cloud, I felt disheartened. 

Saturday night when the final forecast was a high of 38, rain/snow/wind I felt downright defeated.  Especially considering two weeks ago I got a sunburn when I ran outside in the afternoon.  Oh Virginia Beach.  Yous' crazy.

Sunday morning I got up early in order to eat breakfast and let it somewhat digest before the race.  Knowing the forecast, I dressed warmly and left the house.  I was unprepared.

It was freezing!  It was freezing and the rain was freezing and I was miserable. 

And of course the race was being held at the oceanfront on the boardwalk.  With the windchill it had to have been around 25 degrees.

Within minutes I was soaking wet and completely numb.  I checked in and got my bib number and then I waited.  I got thanked about twelve times by the volunteers for coming out.  Because of the weather it was a pretty small turnout.  Around 50 people.

After what seemed like a million years it was finally time to start.  I went right to the starting line with the boys.  My goal was to place in my age group (Female 20-29) and I wasn't going to let anyone get in my way.  The horn sounded and we took off.

We had started in the middle of the boardwalk and were basically running to one end and then coming back.  This means that one way the wind would be at our backs and the other way we'd be fighting it tooth and nail.  Unfortunately the wind was at our backs the first leg of the run.

My body was completely numb but I knew from my Nike+ that I was easily maintaining under an 8 mi/min pace.  The wind was literally pushing me.  Aside from not being able to feel any of my extremities I felt great.  I passed a few people...but no one passed me.  I was feeling really confident.

Until I turned around.  Running into the close to 20 mile per hour wind was not what I expected.  It literally felt like I was running through hummus. 

But it gets even better.  As I was fighting with the wind (my pace dropped from 7:50 mi/min to 9:20 within seconds) I noticed a flock of seagulls up ahead (an actually flock, not those guys with the weird hair) I am petrified of seagulls, but that is a tale for a different day.  There were these little white things falling from the sky up ahead and I remember thinking, "Oh great are the seagulls pooping?"  But no it was not poop.  It was worse than poop.  It was hail.  Little white pellets of ice.  And because I was running into the wind, the wind was blowing them into my face.  I've never been shot with a BB Gun but it has to feel similar to being pelted in the face with hail.

There came a point where I was so cold, so numb, so wet, so sick and tired of being hit in the face with hail that I felt like quitting.  And not just a fleeting thought of, "Oh I'm so tired I could quit."  I felt like everything was against me and it wasn't worth being so miserable over a stupid 5K that I had paid $15 for.

But then I remembered.  I had started at the very front of the group.  I knew exactly who was in front of me.  And it was all men.  The only girl that was any competition was slowly falling farther and farther behind me.  I could not only place in my age group, not only take first in my age group...I could take first place overall out of the females.

So I pushed on.  I saw the finish line getting closer and closer...and I may be imagining this, but I'm pretty sure the winds died down, the rain let up, the clouds parted and the sun appeared.  Oh and a rainbow appeared in a perfect arc over the finish line.  Yeah right.  I think the winds did die down a little.  All I know is I picked up my speed and sprinted the last 400 meters to the finish.

And guess what?

I won!  I took first place overall female.  Not sure exactly what my time was...my Nike + says 26:19 but I started it before the horn sounded and it ended about 5 seconds before I crossed the finish line.  My goal was under 26 minutes but considering the conditions I think my time was pretty good.  Oh, and everyone else agreed with me because I won!

One of my prizes...it is gigantic so I'm not really sure what I'm going to do with it 

My other prizes were a $10 gift card to Tijuana Flats (burrito place kind of like Moe's which I already used) and a $15 giftcard to Road ID to purchase an ID bracelet in case there's ever an emergency when I'm running outside.

Okay so here's my whole point of this race recap.  Always show up.  Even when it seems like everything is against you just get out there and do it!  There were a lot of people that didn't show up to the 5K on Sunday, but guess what?  I did.  I showed up and I won.

No excuses.  I know them all.  You're tired.  You're busy.  You worked all day.  Your kids are running you ragged.  Whatever it is that is holding you back, stop letting it own you.  Find 20 minutes each day to do something active.  Chances are you'll feel better once you do.  You'll have more energy, less stress, more patience...you gain a lot with exercise.

Just not weight!

1 comment:

  1. Congratulations! This is awesome! Well, the wining that is! What horrible weather! That is unbelievable!! I'm so excited to hear that you won, and you hit on a very good point. Sometimes confirmation comes in strange packages! Keep up the handwork! It's worth it, despite the hailstorms.