Tuesday, July 6, 2010

My First 5k

One of my 500 in 2010 goals was to run a 5k in the fall. I'm happy to announce that I have completed the goal two months early. It was very exciting and I'm very proud of myself.

The 5k was held at my local farm park. It's not a very big event, only 105 runners this year. But, it's the park that I train in, so how could I resist racing on my home turf?

It wasn't the most organized event I've ever been to. There was confusion as to whether it started at 8:30 or 9:00. Because I cannot stand being late, I got there at 7:45. And waited until 9:00 for the race to start. I spent a good portion of that time helping Andy keep Michael busy. I also spent too much of that time getting hot. But, this is this the send off I got, so totally worth it.


For some reason they started us across the street from the park, so we had to gather in the school parking lot and wait for them to stop traffic so that we could run 20 yards to the entrance of the park road. Not a very good plan, and one woman actually fell making the hard right onto the park road.

Here I am standing at the start while the race director shouted instructions over two idling ambulances with diesel engines.


You can see that we were not very organized.

I have to admit that I felt very intimidated waiting for the race to start. Most of the people were running in groups and most looked like they knew what they were doing. I just sort of followed the crowd and that seemed to work.

Starting the race was a strange feeling. I didn't know the etiquette of getting out of people's way, but I got lots of experience. I was passed by a large number of young folks, a good number of older folks, a man pushing two toddlers in a stroller, and a 74 year old man. In fact, I was passed by all but 19 of the 105 runners.

I'm not a very competitive person. I like friendly competition and I like struggling against personal goals, but I've never been bothered by other people beating me at things. So I was a bit surprised at how much I did not like being passed by so many people. I even caught myself passing two young women on a hill because I really thought I could take them. (I did!) At some point during the race I decided that not only did I want to come in at 33 minutes - my best 5k practice time - I also didn't want to let those girls catch up to me.

There was a time when I thought that passing the girls on the hill was going to do me in. I made it up that hill, and down and around a bend, but the next hill almost beat me. Several of the race support team members were clapping and cheering for me, and part of me wanted to tell them what I thought of their cheering right then. Of course, I was too out of breath to say "boo" let alone anything unpleasant.

That's when I came to a pile of dog poop right in the middle of the road. Who does that? It's a public park, for crying out loud! Clean up after your dog, especially if it's pooping in the road! Come on people, that's RUDE!

Next thing I know, I'm at the top of the hill. I guess getting angry at thoughtless dog owners was just the distraction I needed.

From there on out, I knew I was going to make it. I only had about .5 miles left and one hill to run up. Based on how many people had passed me, and how few were left behind me, I figured I had really tanked on my time. I would be happy for anything under 40 minutes.

Finally, I was at the top of the hill and only had a straight shot for the finish line. Andy and Michael were there to cheer me on.


As I got closer, I saw the clock.


It was 31:50. I put the last bit of energy I had into it and crossed the finish line at 32:06. Almost a full minute faster than my best time and my goal.

It felt wonderful.


A litte bit exhausting.

My knee hurt. I was hot. And I had to explain to Michael that no, mommy didn't win. But it was all good.

Even though I didn't win any awards, we waited around for the rest of the runners to finish and for the award ceremony. I watched two 76 year old men complete the run in about 40 minutes. That was awesome. Then, we all cheered as the final runner came across the line. It was a mom about my age who had run the race along side her five year old daughter who was on a toddler bike with training wheels. It was one of the cutest things I've ever seen.

When we got home, Andy and Michael had a little surprise for me.


I'm the luckiest woman in the world!

Next up? Warrior Dash!


LauraC said...

DANG GIRL! You have some runner's legs on you.

I know exactly what you mean about races. When I pushed the boys in a 5K (DUMB IDEA) this 8 year old girl beat me. I tried and tried and let me tell you, I was not going to beat her ever.

You are awesome.
And I'm glad you got to race it on your home turf!

DUDE my captcha is "deadleg"

Karen said...

Great job! And I love what Andy and Michael got for you. So sweet.

Mel said...

You are awesome! I love to see everyone making their goals. I hope to run one also, but not sure when.

London said...

You're my hero Joanna! I'll be thinking about you in two weeks when I attempt to run mine. And think of beating your time hehe. Although I'm not sure right now that I can!

Hot legs Mama!!

Angela said...

Congrats!! Isn't it an awesome feeling?? :-)

Stacey said...

You look great!! What an awesome accomplishment.

Kara said...

Way to go girl! I love this challenge, especially getting to read about everyone meeting their goals! You're awesome!!

Heidi O said...


Karla said...

Joanna, You look GREAT!! Congratulations to you on accomplishing your goal and beating your best time! WOOT!!

JenFen said...

Awesome and amazing and congrats to you for achieving your goal and early at that. And I agree with Laura, you have some very sexy runner legs girl.

Deanna said...

That's freaking awesome! I'm so glad you posted about this and I love your trophy and medal. And I'm going to agree with everyone else because it's true, you have some legs to show off!

thanks for some extra motivation - I'll get back to hitting my elliptical and weight training.

Beth said...

Congrats. That's huge! You are inspiring. I remember what you said about starting small and not giving up. Maybe I'll get there one day, too!

DesiDVM said...

Congrats Joanna! I remember how I felt when I finished my first 5K it was one of the proudest moments of my life, and SO much sweeter when you have a little one at the end cheering you on. I've been slowly but surely getting back into it--I have a 5K planned in 5 months and you've inspired me to keep going...

Julie said...

CONGRATULATIONS!! You are awesome! Way to go getting your best time--woo hoo!

You do look fantastic in those shorts Miss Sexy Legs ;)

I am truly impressed with your accomplishments. Maybe one day I can be motivated to actually follow through with my promises to myself to workout and actually like it.