It’s finally race day! September 4, 2017 was my first ever race, a 5k (3 miles). I was nervous but felt pretty good. My 2 goals were to run the entire race and finish the race, here’s how it went.
First, I had to work the midnight shift Sunday night, so I got off of work at 7am, ate a small meal to have some energy for the race and sipped on fluids to make sure I didn’t get dehydrated. By 9am, it was race time and I started out feeling great!
About a mile in, the dead legs started to seriously kick in. The exhaustion from being up all night was taking over and I decided to walk for a bit so that I could have something in the tank to finish the race. Goal #1 not accomplished, but in order to finish the race, I decided that I wasn’t going to kill myself over run/walking my first race. Turns out, that was a smart decision.
I only walked for about 200 meters and was back to running and periodically throughout the last 2 miles walked for about 200 meters when my legs started to feel like they were going to fall off, and it definitely made it possible for me to finish the race.
Goal #2 was accomplished and I ran across the finish the line with a time of 32:49, good enough for an 11th place finish in my age group. This was great because it wasn’t far off of my 10:30 pace I had done in training, so I was pretty excited about the outcome.
The run itself wasn’t bad, the sun started to beat down, but the last 2 miles were inside the park and there was a ton of shade and a slight breeze that made it not so stifling hot. All along the route (which was the parade route) there were people cheering and incredibly encouraging. Of course my family yelled out to me, which was a new experience since playing team sports you don’t really hear them as much individually as in a race.
Overall, my legs weren’t in terrible condition afterwards, of course the epsom salt soak helped immensely with that, and I was able to nap it out the rest of the day before heading to work at 11pm that night.
- Get the night before and the night of the race off of work (seriously, don’t do that to yourself again)
- Stay hydrated during training and especially the week leading up to the race and eat enough carbs and fats and proteins to make sure your energy stores are at their optimal level for race day
- Make sure you have food and liquids for immediately after the race and give yourself time to wind your body down
- Have fun! It’s only a race and like my cousin said “At least you’re out there as opposed to not.” True statement!
Highlights of the race… other than finishing it and in a decent time…. Having my family there, getting a Smiley Face cookie, chocolate milk, bottle of water, and half a banana after the race. Oh, and my first race sticker!
I have my sights sets on two more races before the end of the year, one in November on Thanksgiving (another 5k) and one in December in Cleveland (10k indoors). I’ll keep you posted as my training for those starts tomorrow!