Today was my much-dreaded 5K and I finished in last place. Sounds dismal, right? Actually it wasn’t so bad.
First of all, there were only 50ish runners, compared to the usual 250-500 in most local races. I’m not sure if the rain deterred people or if it wasn’t well advertised, but it was a small group. Regardless, I am going to say I finished in the top 50 rather than I finished last. It’s all in the attitude, right?
I knew from the get-go that I’d be at the back of the pack. While many 5Ks are billed as walk/runs, this event had a separate walk afterward, so I had a feeling this would be mostly racers. When I saw how fit everyone looked, my new goal became “Just finish within 10 minutes of someone else.” The good news? I was only about 30 seconds behind the next to last runner.
I keep saying “I” because the slow place was all me–but my sweet husband ran with me and kept my pace, despite being a much faster runner than I am. I remember starting to feel like death at mile 2. It was like a war movie, where one soldier tells the other to save himself. Picture me in near tears, with my breath coming in gasps. “Just go! I’ll be fine. I’ll be right behind you, I promise!” I pleaded. “Maybe we can’t both make it, but you can! Do it for me!” It was our stretch goal of finishing in under 43 minutes. He stayed with me, despite my melodramatic begging, and we both finished in 43:46. Not TOO far off our mark, but I know I can do better if I just train. (What a concept.)
Shortly after begging him to save himself, I went from weepy to pissed at the fact that the finish line did not seem to be getting any closer. I kept looking for the third mile marker and it was nowhere to be found. Now, I am not someone who swears in everyday conversation, but I vividly remember shrieking, “Jon! Where the F*&K is mile three?!”
The good thing about being a slow runner? No one is near you to hear you lose it.
Aside from those few freakouts, the rain and the fact that I finished last, I actually enjoyed myself! (I enjoyed our pancake breakfast afterward even more, though.) This was my second 5K and I’ll be signing up for a third one that’s taking place Thanksgiving weekend. My big goal: to do five 5Ks before my 30th birthday next July and break into the 30s for at least one of them.
I secretly dream of doing the Disney Half, but I think that’s more because I want to go to Disney World and less because I want to put my body through torture for 13.1 miles.
Are there any other crazy out-of-shape people out there who want to go to Disney World–um, I mean run an insanely far distance (half of my interminable commute to work!)–with me in a year or so? We can do it!