It is the end of the UpandRunning 5K course this weekend. I have bonded with the women on the course!!! It has been the most wonderful way to learn to run. This weekend (and the couple coming up for those that fell behind due to travel/illness and life) we are all doing our 5km races. And we are cheering each other on.
I decided to do almost the same course as the 4K fun run last weekend but extend my turning point. I did a trial there yesterday to make sure my new workout clothes were comfortable and to check the extended route. I also tried out runkeeper for the first time. As I finished up yesterday, I imagined the blue finish arch at the slightly new position and ran through from before the last corner to my new end point.
This morning I got up, had some breakfast, got ready, got my small one ready and we headed off. I really wanted to run the full 5km but was not sure if I could, my fall back plan was 30sec walking after 3km and another 15 sec at 4 km if I needed it; but that I would try dropping down a gear first before dropping back into a walk.
I did a good warm up today and a good stretch. I started runkeeper and I had my watch on as well as backup. It was time to start.
The first km was hard. It was the only time this morning that I really thought I might not be able to run the full length. But I know that the first 5 min is always hard and when runkeeper piped up at 500m and told me my speed I knew I was going a little too fast. So I dropped the pace a little, focussed on breathing and kept going. The second km was comfortable and so was the third. At my turning point I realised I had run further in one stretch than I ever had in my life. And I was running comfortably. I went into the fourth km still feeling comfortable but then it started getting difficult. At 3.5km I imagined the girls from the course lined up on the side of the track. They had pink pompoms and they were cheering and doing waves with the pompoms and calling out my name. They got me through that fourth km. And then, there was only 1km till the end. I had already run that last km so I knew that I could do it again. I could feel a blister forming on my left foot but decided that it would not stop me. I tried to pick up the pace by swinging my arms a little more. I had 500m left and I almost cried because I was going to make it. Every person that I saw that last km saw my smile. I was so thrilled to be out there.
I rounded the final corner and saw the end point. And then I saw my man and little boy all of a sudden start to run to try and get back to it before me. I imagined the girls from the course, I imagined the blue finish arch. I almost tripped because I wasn’t looking down but I recaptured my footing and kept going. And then runkeeper announced I was done and I still had 20m to get to my man and boy, so I kept running.
I made it to the end. I had not slowed to a walk. At each point runkeeper piped up I knew my pace was a good one. And I cried.
I am sitting here, 6 hours later, drinking a little champagne and having some cheese. My legs are tired but actually it is not that bad. And I am in tears again.
I am not the fat girl anymore. I am fit and I am healthy. Sure, I still have some weight to lose but I can run! I can run 5K! And I will keep running. I will keep making healthy choices.
I am so proud of me.
5K total – 36.32
1st km – 6.30
2nd km – 7.17
3rd km – 7.39
4th km – 7.39
5th km – 7.27