Well, I did it folks! I ran my first 5K! I met both my goals too. I wanted to run the entire thing if I could and not walk any part of it. Check! And, I wanted to come in under 45 minutes. Check again! You'll have to read on though to see what my actual time was.
I was so nervous when I got up on Thanksgiving morning. But, I knew there was no turning back. And, it was a beautiful, crisp, sunny day. My in-laws kept the middle two boys - Charlie and Edison. And, John and I brought Wyatt, our oldest, and Joseph, our youngest along.
The run began at 9:00 a.m. but we wanted to be there by 8:00 to check in.
The Turkey Trot was being held at my alma mater, Millersville University. The little college town also is home to my high school alma mater, Penn Manor. The high school campus and college campus are pretty much right next to each other so heading in to the run really was a walk down memory lane.
We checked in at the University gymnasium.
Me and my boys!
I mentioned that it was my sister who originally asked me to run this 5K with her. And, that her friend, Missy, was the one who asked my sister. Well, my sister bowed out when she realized it was probably going to be more than she could do in one morning (she was also hosting our family Thanksgiving meal). But, Missy was still running. I found her and her stepson, Jake, while we were still in the gym.
I felt a little better once I saw a familiar face. The campus was hopping with 5K runners and many of them were quite a bit younger and fitter than me. There were a lot of people there who I could tell took running very seriously. I had lots of nervous energy and waiting for the start time was hard.
Missy & I waiting expectantly
And, we're off!
Can you find me in the crowd?
Missy and I started out together, but we both agreed to move at our own speed. Missy quickly pulled ahead and out of my sight. I knew that I had to pace myself. And, the run started out going slightly uphill. If I would have tried to keep up with the crowd I would have quickly run out of energy.
So, I moved slowly, but consistently. I wasn't at the tail end of the pack, but I was certainly toward the back.
John got this picture of me at one of the points along the path.
I tried to concentrate on my own running and not be distracted by what was going on around me. I also tried not be discouraged by the fact that the people who were mixing walking and running seemed to be going faster than me! And, there was a dad running with a little girl who appeared to be about 5 or 6 and they consistently stayed well ahead of me.
I kept telling myself 'slow & steady wins the race'....well, maybe it doesn't win the race, but it does finish the race.
There were also people stationed at the one mile and two mile marks calling out our time as we went by. At the first mark, I remember thinking "I've only gone a mile?!" Again, I tried not to let it discourage me and I just kept moving.
The run ended coming around the track in the University stadium.
Coming in the home stretch.
Wyatt told me my finishing time was 39:28. Hmm. I look awfully close to the line here. Maybe it was more like 39:27?
My men were there to congratulate me at the end.
Would I do it again? Well, Missy has already told me that there is Jingle Bell 5K coming up in December. We'll see.....