Monday, July 8, 2013

Monday Memories 056::My First Race

Freedom Run 5k, July 4, 2007 - my first race ever!
After I had Second Daughter, I had the crazy idea to run a race.  I had never really enjoyed running before, I wasn't sure I ever would enjoy it, and was very nervous about the idea of a race.  And a 5k?  Up to that point, 1 mile seemed like torture and 3.1 miles seemed impossible - never mind doing it in a race where people might be watching.  But I decided to give it a try anyway.  At the very least, it was a great goal to get a jump start back into shape after having a baby.
Second Daughter was born in March.  I figured July 4 was far enough away to give me time enough to train and close enough to make me push myself and work hard.  I think I trained for about 8 weeks.
Every night at 8 o'clock, after the kids went to bed, I went out running in the neighborhood.  I loved that quiet time alone at dusk to decompress and work my body.  It ended up being something I looked forward to every night.
When I started I couldn't run one mile.  But I went out every night and did what I could.  I didn't have any experience running or training, so I made up my own game plan.  I started off running as much of a mile as I could, then walked the rest.  Each night for one week I pushed a little farther until I could run 1 mile without stopping.

My next goal was 1.5 miles.  I ran until I couldn't, then walked the rest.  Once I reached that, I pushed to 2, and kept going that way until I reached a full 5k.  It was a training schedule that worked well for me and felt very doable.  It was my first experience with a training schedule of any kind.  It felt good to have a goal and a schedule to keep me motivated and on track
And eventually, race day came.
The morning of the race I felt really nervous and really excited.  I woke up early and drove myself across town to the starting line.  The sun hadn't quite come over the mountain peaks and the July morning air was cool and comfortable.  At the starting line, just south of BYU campus, I watched the hot air balloons majestically peak over the trees tops.  It was an amazing sight that helped distract me, just a little, from the nerves I felt.
But then, to my surprise, I was greeted by many familiar faces at the starting line.  I didn't know that so many of my neighbors were runners and had the tradition of running in the Freedom Run.  I was excited to see so many that shared my hobby and nervous thinking that they might see how inexperienced (and slow) I was.  I still wasn't confident that I would be able to finish the race and I wasn't comfortable "failing" in front of people I knew.  That seems so silly now, but I was really nervous then, and wasn't sure how good I would be at running.
The race felt good.  I felt strong and prepared.  I loved the energy of the crowd, the comrodarie of the runners, and the adrenaline of the challenge.  And when I passed my little family cheering for me right before crossing the finish line, I felt amazing.  I was so proud of what I had accomplished and felt how proud of me they were too. 

I did it!
I had trained.
I had prepared.
I had finished my first race without walking.
I was hooked.

It was then that I fell in love with running and couldn't wait to sign up for my next race.
If you have ever thought about running a race or starting to run, do it!  You will not regret it.
Running is so rewarding in so many ways and is so much more possible than you think.
Just start where you are and make a plan to gradually improve at your own pace toward your own goal.  It is amazing what our bodies are capable of - so much more than we think.

Right now I am craving running so badly!
I miss it and can't wait to get back on the trail.
It always feels like starting all over again after having a baby, but it feels so good to get my body moving again and to push myself back toward my athletic potential.
I seriously cannot wait.
And I definitely plan on running in next years Freedom Run.
It's a super fun race and a wonderful tradition.

Anyone wanna join me?  :) may also like::
Thanks for stopping by!


Hannah said...

I kinda want to join you! But, then again...I'm terrified to run with a runner. ;) Good luck with your next race! You'll have your body back before you know it!

The Yuan Fam said...

If I'm close, I'm in!! Seriously. Your words have sparked something in me that I haven't felt in a long time. Thanks!!

MommyMert said...

me! :)

Meg said...

All it takes to be a "runner" is to just get out there and run! I by no means am an expert. I'm super slow, but I plug away and I love it. I'll run with you any time!

Meg said...

Lets do it! Perhaps by then we'll be ready for the 10k????