Yes, it's official, I started and FINISHED a race....well kinda. It was a Run/Walk 5K and I mostly walked it. I actually surprised myself by jogging 1/8th of it. Really REALLY surprised myself, but I felt good and wanted to see how I would do. Soooo here is how the day went.
I got up at 6:30 to shower and put on my makeup. Yes, I don't go ANYWHERE without it and if I do...it's mighty rare indeed!
Abby and I headed out to gas up the car and grab some coffee, this would later prove a mistake :)
We arrived at the RBC Center and because we were pre-registered, we walked in and got our goodies and our numbers. We each got a nice long sleeve Tshirt and a $500 gift certificate from Red Star. They sell sunglasses and want to expand their market to the states, so every runner got one. Sweeettttt deal. The website has some AWESOME glasses!!
Then we treked back to the car to put our goodies in the trunk and put on our number's, hats and gloves cuz it was COOOOOOLLLLLLD out!
There were over 2,000 runners so it was a great crowd. We mingled a bit and then we got in the HUGE line to wait for the gun. I have to say, it was SO exciting. We got our Ipods ready and did some more stretching and waited.
Once it was on,the crowd got moving and got moving FAST! It was real quick that the runners broke from the pack and the walkers were left. I was surprised to see that there were MORE walkers than runners. I somehow thought it would be the other way around . Lots of couples with dogs and babies in running strollers and lots of walking groups, great crowd.
Now....these are the few tid bids I learned from my FIRST event so here goes:
1. EAT before a race. I know, I can feel those eyes rolling right now. NO I didn't eat, but then, I almost never eat breakfast. I'm just not a breakfast person. I have to FORCE it down and that's never fun. I had my orange juice and coffee just like I always do.
2. Speaking of coffee....I had to pull into a BP to use the bathroom on the way to the event. The coffee kicked in and I totally panicked that it would KICK in again, during the race. Thankfully it did not...but I won't do that again.
3. Bring water. I know, again, huge mistake. I thought, it's ONLY a 5K, we'll be okay and they'll have water there at each mile. Nope. They ONLY offered water at mile 2. I also got a headache around mile 2, another sinus headache, yeah me. I wished I had some sinus meds at that moment.
4. Shoulda brought Chap Stick. My lips got pretty dried out there. It was COLD, windy and of course, the sun was out.
5. I over dressed for this. I looked like a green snowman! I had on Wayyyyyy too many shirts under my thick hoodie. I got hot during mile one, but didn't want to stop to take EVERYTHING I had in my hoodie pockets, out and then take off the hoodie to only have to stuff my Ipod and keys back into my pockets, cell phone and tie the hoodie around my waist. Nope, I just suffered and sweat my ass off. Sweating is not a bad thing, but alllll those clothes weighed a lot too, so I would have felt lighter and better.
6. Wear appropriate socks and shoes. I have recently bought new running shoes and I LOVE them, but their not fully broke in yet. That being said, I KNEW not to wear those. I also don't have running socks, so I borrowed Christy's. Now she wears men's socks, and they were TOOOOO big for my feet. That meant the heel was up my ankle and the front of the socks were bunched up. Last night I had lovely blisters and the skin came off the top of one toe where it rubbed. The tennis shoes were TOO tight because of the HUGE socks, hence the blisters.
7. I DID learn that when some people pass you by, they say things like, "You got this, keep it up" and "Doing great".
8. I learned that as I hit mile 2.5 I got a sudden spurt of energy and started jogging, I knew I was approaching the finish of the race.
9. There is NO better feeling than seeing the FINISH sign. In all of my life, I don't think I've ever been in a race or passed through a finish sign so I was excited.
10. That I LOVE those ladies who saw me jogging and asked if they could finish with me. They said I was an HONORARY LEMON DROP for the day.
11. That at the finish line there are people who stick around JUST to cheer for the finishers. How nice is that?
12. I never expected to get emotional running under that sign but all I could think of is, "Remember when you were almost 350 lbs 7 years ago? Who would have ever thought I could do this?" There were tears....
13. I was and am forever grateful that Abby walked with me. She was SO encouraging and sweet. I love her so much.
14. The banana they offered after the race and Gatorade never tasted so good.
Sooo, I learned a few things and next race, next month will be better. I'm sure I'll be learning quite a few things as I participate in these things. I know this, it was an EXCELLENT experience and it IS addictive, I WILL be doing another one next month!!!
As always, I'll take it one bite at a time and one decision at a time.