I did it! I ran my first race. When I called my husband to let him know I was done (he had stayed home with the kids), he asked "Did you win?" He was totally joking, and I had a great laugh.
I am so proud of myself.... I finished in 32:03 (the 3 is an estimate, not sure what the official time is, but that's what I saw as I crossed the finish line). My stop watch has me at 32:13, but I forgot to stop it until I was half way through the finish chute. Whatever the last few seconds are, I am thrilled with finishing in 32-ish minutes.
UPDATE: OFFICIAL TIME IS 32:01
Rank, name, age, gender, finish, pace
371, Laura N, 37, F, 32:01, 10:19
I got a call from a friend from the gym at 7:10 a.m. asking for a ride to the race, which was a welcome surprise. She is the girl who worked at LA Weight Loss and met me when I weighed 207 pounds, and we've kept in touch since we both work out at the same gym (she got fired from LA--long story, she totally didn't deserve it and I love her to pieces). She has lost over 70 pounds and has kept it off for over a year. Anyway, she made it such a fun experience. Getting to talk and hang out with her before the race was excellent.
I picked her up at 8 a.m. and we parked at the gym and walked about 5 minutes to the mall, where the Komen 5K race is held. There were 16,300 participants this year-- a record for our town. It was amazing to see all the breast cancer survivors in their Pink t-shirts. Very inspirational. The race started at 9 a.m. and the weather was perfect at around 60 degrees with mostly cloudy skies.
We lined up close to the front of the pack, because Elizabeth wanted to run for time (she finished in 28:42) and heck, so did I. So it only took about 5 seconds after the start before I got over the official starting line.
For the first mile I got passed like crazy. It freaked me out for a while, seeing kids and out of shape men in jean shorts running past me. Then I just got in my own little groove and put on my blinders and ran my own race. I'm sure I eventually passed some of those who passed me, but I really didn't notice. I was shocked at mile 1 to see a time of 10:02. I figured they'd marked the course wrong (see how much faith I have in my running ability?). Then at mile 2 the clock said 20:35 and I thought, hey I'm keeping up a great pace! I ran the whole thing, walking only through the two water stations.
When I saw the finish line with the pink balloon arch, it was all I could do just to keep my pace steady and not sprint for the finish. I knew I couldn't hold a sprint for long and didn't want to cross the finish line walking or ready to pass out. I kicked it up a little bit, but just enough to feel like I was making an extra effort. I forwarded my iPod to the last song in my 5K song list and thoroughly enjoyed running the last distance listening to Cake sing "The Distance."
He's going the distance.
He's going for speed.
She's all alone, all alone in her time of need.
Because he's racing and pacing and plotting the course,
He's fighting and biting and riding on his horse.
He's going the distance.
My first song on my race song list is "Unwritten" by Natasha Bedingfield. It's usually the first song I listen to any time I run, and it says so much about who I am right now and who I am becoming....
I am unwritten,
Can't read my mind
I'm just beginning
The pen's in my hand
Staring at the blank page before you
Open up the dirty window
Let the sun illuminate the words
That you could not find
Reaching for something in the distance
So close you can almost taste it
Release your inhibitions
Feel the rain on your skin
No one else can feel it for you
Only you can let it in
No one else, no one else
Can speak the words on your lips
Drench yourself in words unspoken
Live your life with arms wide open
Today is where your book begins
The rest is still unwritten
Elizabeth and me at the gym before the race.