In three days I'll be running in my first ever race.
Yep me... running... in a race... scary. This all started last October when I went up to Washington DC to watch Jeremy run in the Army 10 Miler. As I stood there waiting for Jeremy to cross the finish line (which I totally missed by the way), I pondered to myself "why in the world am I standing here?" Not because it was hot out, or I was bored, but because I am a fit person. I am an athletic person. I am a person who would rather be outside doing something physical instead of sitting inside watching TV. Heck, I don't even have cable for the simple reason that I would never watch enough TV in a month to justify the $70 or so cost. The point was, I felt very out of place just standing on the sidelines watching, and I felt anxious. I wanted to do something, my legs needed to move.
Now, if this were a marathon or even a half marathon, I would not feel this way. I have no desire to run that far, heck I have NO DESIRE to run 10 miles.. or even 3. But, to be clear, I was not feeling this way because I WANTED to run 10 miles, but because there was simply no reason that I should not be running 10 miles. There's not reason with my fitness level that I could not train up to this mark, and just then the challenge was born.
I thrive on a challenge, and a new one had been set.
Fast forward to 7 months later, two weeks after the MS150.
I decided that once the MS150 was over, I'd start running. Perhaps I should say that I'd start "running." Cause when you don't run, and you decide that you are going to start running, then you aren't really running those first few times. Instead you're doing some cross between a fast walk and a jog, and people around you tend to know to stay away because you may just fall over at any point. This is how I felt.
On the April 24th I started running. I ran around town lake in Austin, 3.1 miles, and it took me about 34 minutes. This included a walking break around mile 2.5 for about 2-3 minutes. Truthfully, after the 'run' was done, I felt good. I didn't hurt, I wasn't out of breath, I felt just fine. Well that feeling of accomplishment faded about an hour later... then the pain set in.
After the run, Jeremy and I took out a kayak on town lake and took a 1 hour slow moving kayak trip up the lake. It was at the end of this trip that I started to feel this strange pain in my legs. Pain from mussels that I didn't know I had. Pain that, over the next two days, would continue to get worse. My IT bands hurt so bad I didn't think I could make my legs move one in front of the other, and the next morning I almost fell on my face getting out of bed.
End result? Learning that running 3.1 miles for your first run is probably too much.
Move forward two more weeks.
Last week sometime a friend of mine sent me an email about the Lone Star Stamped in Houston. "We should do this" he said, motioning to both Jeremy and I. At this point I'd done two 3.1 mile runs around town lake, and I knew I had the 10 miler in October, so I thought, ok, I'm in. I've learned now, after having signed up, that what he really meant was "I'm going to Dallas this weekend, but YOU should do this." Yea, thanks Albert! So now, this coming Saturday I'll be doing my first ever running race. I'm doing the 5k and yesterday, on my 3rd run around town lake, I managed to get my time to 30 minutes flat. That's about 9.67 min/mile which I was totally impressed with. Then again, I paid dearly for that pace. Both at the 2.3 mile point where I almost collapsed due to horrible side stickers, and the rest of the day when my calves were so tight I could, once again, barely walk.
My goal for Saturday is 34 minutes. I'm giving myself extra time because 1) I'm sure it won't be nearly as pretty as town lake with all the trees, so there will be nothing to distract me from the pain in my legs/sides. And 2) Starting at 8am, (and I'm sure even as late as 8:30 cause you know things never start on time) I'm sure it will be much warmer out than I'm used to, having run at 7am the previous times.