Welcome to another edition of Tuesday Topics. Today’s topic – Share your first race experience!
Let’s go back in time. When I was in high school, I ran outdoor track for one season during my freshmen year. After that I didn’t really run again until college, and that was on a treadmill in the gym. Other than that, I wouldn’t revisit running again until I was 30. I just never “loved” running and always said the only reason you would see me running is it I was being chased.
When I started getting into fitness, I started with Zumba. I loved it and then I started adding in boot camp and spinning classes, but still never gave running a second thought…until I started participating in a local cancer event in my city. The Hope in Motion Walk & Run has been around for 20+ years. For a few years my family, friends and I participated in the 5K walk. One year I arrived to the event pretty early and saw the start of the 5K run. I’m not sure why but I was inspired to run the event the following year. I announced this to my crew and they all laughed, but I was serious!
Since we literally had no idea how to train for the race, I pulled a 5K training plan out of a magazine, probably Runner’s World, and we followed that. We ended did a test run on the route – let’s just say that didn’t go well and we all felt like we were going to die – but it was good practice, I guess?!
Finally it was race day. My mom, friend and I were super nervous but we knew that we prepared as well as we could. This race always takes place in June and this particular day it was pretty warm. I tried to ignore the heat and just focus on my breathing. I took the first mile pretty slow which was great because I didn’t want to start out too fast and suffer during the last half of the race. At around mile 1.5 we hit a pretty big hill and I decided to walk that in order to save my legs. I ran the downhill and then settled back into a pace for the last half of the race.
When the finish line was in sight I started to get super excited and then I started sprinting to the finish line. In hindsight, not the smartest idea but I couldn’t contain my excitement! I still remember crossing the finish line and automatically being greeted by a volunteer holding a bottle of water and giving it to me and then directing me to the post-race food tent. After I allowed myself to rest for 5 minutes, I really focused on my achievement and couldn’t believe that I, someone who hated to run for a minute, just completed a 5K. After that point I knew that running would be a part of my life until I couldn’t do it anymore.
Do you remember your first race?
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Topic for next week – Who are you rooting for in the Olympic Trials?