I ran in a 5k race today, which wasn’t the first time I’d run that distance, but sure is the first time I actually put myself in a race.
It’s 8 weeks since I started doing the Couch to 5K training, which I’d kept at pretty darned tootin religiously. It was all going great until about half way through, when the running intervals started getting a longer. The day that the training called for 2 x 8 minutes running, I really fell off my pace during the second 8 minutes. It happened again in the next workout and the one after that, and I finally decided that I just had to slow it down.
So technically, I was following the training plan, but going at a pace so slow, I’m hard pressed to call it jogging, let alone running. Things haven’t gotten much better in the last few weeks, so I knew going into today’s race that it was going to be a long journey.
I got myself there this morning, signed in, and lingered around waiting for the start. When that finally happened, I swear, all the people in the crowd just took off and I never saw them again. The back of the pack was pretty darn thin; I mostly ran alone the whole way.
The race took place on the Fourth of July parade route through Alameda, so there were loads of people camped out on either side of the road. I imagined that would be the case, but it was so much more embarrassing than I’d anticipated. Lots of people would cheer and since I was all on my own… well, they were cheering for just me. As I trudged by, very, very slowly. I don’t really like to think of anyone seeing me running, let alone properly watching me and oh my god, let alone cheer for me? I wasn’t terribly fond of that whole aspect of the experience.
It was pretty sucky the whole way, and I had some very good, long thoughts about taking a walking break. But I didn’t. After like a million years, it was finally over. I don’t feel so super about it and really wish I had been able to go more quickly, but I finished it. And that’s a start.