Hey there! So, this morning, M and I ran our very first 5K race! We ran the UNC Chapel Hill Alpha Delta Pi Ron-A-Thon on UNC's campus. I am an ADPi, so it was so special for me to support the Ronald McDonald House and race for ADPi's favorite philanthropy!
Luckily, the heat wave finally broke down here and it wasn't too hot today! I had a bottle of water and a slice of toast before we got to CH, and then some more water and a trail mix Kashi bar about 40 minutes before the race started... wanted to have plenty of fuel and be very hydrated! We got to CH around 8am to check in for the race and stretch before the 9am start time. M and I decided we would start off together, but split off if necessary. Neither of us really had any time goals, seeing as it was our first race! Ideally I just wanted to try to not walk at all.
Now, for some reason, I decided it would be better to NOT wear my watch while we ran. I think my logic was that I didn't want to get too caught up in the time. Unfortunately, there were also no markers along the course to tell me how far I had gone. So, after M took off (she is so much faster than me now, haha!) I had no way to tell how far I had been going OR for how long. I literally could not have told you if I had gone 1 mile or 2, or if it had been 15 minutes or 30! Yikes.
This lack of a sense of timing totally screwed with me. I was really struggling (probably because we started off way faster than normal) and so when I got to the first (and only) water station, I decided to let myself walk. Of course, my mentality was "now that I've walked, I guess I haven't succeeded at my goal :-( A few minutes later, my ankles started bothering me... boo! I ended up letting myself walk way more than I would have liked. Not only that, but without a watch, I couldn't keep track of intervals of walking/running either! Boo. The course was also really hilly, which made it even rougher both physically on my ankles and mentally!
So, I was feeling pretty bleh about the race, but finally I saw the corner that I knew signified the end of the race! I only had a block-ish left to go. I heard the crowds cheering, so I started pushing myself much harder. As I got closer to the finish line, I was astonished to see the time! I ended up finishing at 33:21, or a 10:45 pace! Woo! Considering our runs during the week tend to average between 11 and 11:30 miles, I felt good about running that quickly.
So, to be honest, my first race wasn't as amazing and exciting as I had hoped. I wish I would have pushed myself to stick with M longer (she finished in under 30 minutes!) and to have run longer. Next time, I'll remember to wear my watch so I can pace myself better. I also decided it might be time to go see a doctor about my ankles, and find out if there is anything other than icing/stretching that I can do to ease the pain.
To be fair, I don't stretch as much as I should, even now. And I'm not even great at remembering to ice (although I was today!!). If I want to stick with running, I need to get more serious about icing, stretching, cross training, etc. There's no way I can expect to build strong muscles and have less pain without all that stuff! I'm also thinking we might use the Galloway method (of doing run / walk intervals) - I've heard that it really helps people increase their speed (which I would love), plus sometimes I feel like walking, even for 30 seconds, helps ease the pain in my legs/ankles.
I signed up for our10K today, which will be on November 20th. The official 8 week training program starts this week. Right now, 10k seems insurmountably far. But I know we can do it if we stick to the plan. Wish me luck in getting more disciplined with stretching/icing/strength training/cross training! Any tips or suggestions for any of the above?
Tomorrow I'll let you know all about my post-run fuel and my 8th day of eating no meat!