Today was my prep race for the Spartan race in September, and also my very first race ever. The distance was 5k, which is about the shortest distance the Spartan race could be. I’ll need to run farther to know for sure I can handle the distance.
The last few days I’ve been filled with energy–like I could run a 5k and still have room left over. Unfortunately, when I woke up this morning I didn’t quite feel the same way.
I felt really nervous, and though getting ready to go went smoothly, I was really worried I wouldn’t be able to complete my goal of under 45 minutes and to run the entire thing.
Luckily, once I got there with my amazing team of friends to support me, those nerves vanished.
The first part of the race I got caught up in the competition and ran a lot faster than I meant to. The second quarter mile I ended up running even faster, because there was a kid running on the course who continuously stumbled into my stroller or zig-zagged in front of it erratically.
By the time that half mile was up my lungs were burning, but the gauntlet of people had opened up nicely and suddenly the crowds were gone. I was able to settle into a nice pace and enjoy the scenery.
Throughout the race, my friends texted encouragement which really helped, but it turns out this was the easiest run I’ve ever had. At no point did I have to coach myself, nor did I feel like dropping into a walk.
Best of all, I beat my personal best by a lot. The last time I was able to finish 3.2k I clocked 39:22, and I would not have made it without the encouragement of random people in the park. It was a real strain to finish the exact same distance just 1 week ago.
This time my time was 36:04, a huge improvement from my last run. (Of course, it’s still slower than average. 30 minutes is average for a 5k.)
The day wrapped up with some face painting, and then to the park for my son who mysteriously still had energy. It worked out for me because I ended up doing another personal best—I finally nailed all 10 monkey bars when skipping every other (to mimic the width the monkey bars have on the actual course.)
I did fall off trying to slap an invisible ‘bell’, but I have plenty of time to keep practicing.
Now that I can run 3.2 solidly, I’m probably going to start cross training, with one run being a distance run for as long as I can, and one run a week being broken up with monkey bars etc.