As I write this post, I am able to say that I just finished my second 5K as a “runner.” Don’t get me wrong, there were plenty of walkers who finished before me, but I ran both times, the whole time. Believe me, that is quite a statement for someone like me. I never, ever, ever would think that running would be part of any sort of exercise that I would do. I’m a couch potato through and through. But when your husband comes home from the doctor saying, “The doctor told me that my joints are healthy enough to run a 5K” and then proceeds to download an app C25K (Couch to 5K), what are you going to do? I can’t speak for you, but I thought this would be a good thing for us to do as a couple.
So we begin training in the middle of August and its humidity. We train when we are home; we train when we are on vacation. We progress from walking more than running to running more than walking. Truly an amazing thing, if you ask me. And since we were training for a 5K, we needed to sign up for one. Bobby, my husband, found the Ashland YMCA Fritter 5K scheduled for October 28. That actually was 11 weeks after we began training, but was the one closest to us that was reasonably close to the end of our eight week training program.
All was on track. We would train and then run the 5K and that would be that. Or would it? Well, apparently not. Shortly after Bobby posted on Facebook that we were registered for the Fritter 5K, a good friend of ours, Jan Maxwell, told us of another 5K on November 4. It was the Rich Dalessandro Fall Turkey Run.
The cause was a good one — leukemia lymphoma research. We really like the Maxwell’s (Jan’s husband, Ron, had lost brother to cancer) and we wanted to support them. Bobby coaxed me into signing up and joining Team Max 436 (Ron and Jan’s team). We didn’t think too much about the fact that they were on back-to-back weekends. Which in hindsight, might have been something we should have thought about a little bit more.
The day of the Ashland 5K turned out to be cold and rainy. What?! Even though we had been training for over 8 weeks, we had avoided running any time it was raining. We are not “avid” runners like some people I know. But what are you going to do when you’ve been telling everyone that you are running on October 28? You can’t predict the weather and I’ve got too much pride to bow out because of a little rain. So we run.
It was a horrible experience. Well, maybe I’m overstating that. It was miserable running in the rain. The first part of the run, I was having a hard time catching my breath. I wasn’t sure if it was because of the cold or the rain or the fact that most people had left me in their dust (so-to-speak). But then I got into the story I was listening to on my phone. Yes, I listen to books and not music when I run. I know, I’m weird that way. Even though it was cold and seemed interminably long, I ran the whole way. (Bobby did, too. You can read about his experience here.)
When all was said and done, I ran the Ashland 5K in 39 minutes and 48 seconds. I guess that was pretty good, although I had wanted to run it in 38 minutes. No scientific reason for that, just a number I got in my head. As I turned the corner to head toward the finish line, I could see and hear a few people cheering for me. (Jan had come out to run this 5K with us as well as my sister, Randi, and her husband, Shaun.) They were cheering for me, but I was just concentrating on not falling in the wet grass (we had to run through a soccer field or something to get to the finish line). Almost immediately after I crossed it, I knew I was going to be sick. I lost my cookies and then dry heaved for what seemed like several minutes. I thought to myself, “this is supposed to be fun?!” But after a little bit of time and a chance to sit down out of the rain. I was glad we did it.
Fast forward to November 3. During the Rich Dalessandro Fall Turkey Run, the weather was beautiful. It was cold, but then I’d rather run in cold than hot weather. It was clear with no rain forecasted for the morning. It was a party atmosphere. There were over 1,000 runners/walkers/cyclists in attendance. A DJ played music that kept the atmosphere upbeat and got me charged up. I was expecting to be able to do better since it wasn’t raining. Again, hoping to come in at 38 minutes. The gun sounded and we were off.
I’m pretty sure I was towards the end of most of the running group and probably had even been passed by some of the walkers. I never think that 3.1 miles is going to be so far and then I realize it is. We take a right down a residential street, another right, a left and then I honestly forget where we went from there. I remember a couple of hills that if you had been there you might have wondered why I call what I do running. It was a sort of slow hopping or something. Probably I could have walked faster. But I kept going with the run.
This time I had my C25K app running for the 5K distance — which basically is a 5 minute warm up, a 30 minute run and a 5 minute cool down. I ran the entire time, but I wanted to get a sense of where I was in my timing. I had hoped to cross the finish line before the app told me my workout was complete. (She tells you that when you are done with the cool down.) Alas, that didn’t happen.
I was just turning the corner that would take me to the finish line when she said my workout was finished. I crossed the finish line at 43 minutes and 39 seconds. But, I didn’t realize my official time was actually 43:07. The chip embedded in the runners bib starts the time when I break the plane of the starting line and ends when I cross the finish line. I was disappointed in myself that I hadn’t improved on my time and was even slower. But this time I didn’t throw up, so maybe that was a decent trade off.
After I got some water and a doughnut (Lerch’s doughnut — yum!). I went back to see how Bobby was doing.
He was tired, but he was still running. He was so focused. He crossed the finish line at one hour, one minute and 9 seconds, however, that was the gun time. He was at the back of the runners pack. When you look at the chip time, which measures when he breaks the starting line and when he crosses the finish line, he actually shaved four seconds off his Ashland time.
I guess regardless of my time, I am again sitting here thinking that I’m glad we did this. We are actually capable of doing this…this…running thing. In fact, there is a rumor going around that we’ll be running on Thanksgiving Day in Hinckley, Ohio. I never said I was doing that. But then again, I should learn never to say never.