Today I ran my first race, the Keep LA Running 5k in Playa del Rey!
This morning I woke up bright and early (6 am on Sunday, ugh) and immediately put on pandora radio and started to stretch. Then I enjoyed some breakfast and suited up.
Then I drove to Playa Del Rey which is near LAX and on the water. The race course was downhill/flat. Never having run a race before I hung out a good distance behind the start and waited for the race to start. If your from so cal than your familiar with what the weather is like by the beach at 8:00 in the morning: very overcast, spitting a bit, and slightly more humid. The race got underway, I started my timer as I passed the start line. I felt really good when I started running and was passing a lot of other runners. I was only one song in on my ipod when I passed the mile 1 sign. This was kinda odd for me and honestly I think the mile marker was in the wrong place. There is NO WAY I ran a mile in under 4 mins.
I was feeling really good after mile 1. I kinda had to go to the bathroom but I charged onward. It felt like I ran forever before I saw the mile 2 sign. It was around this time that I wished I had a garmin so I could know exactly how far I had traveled and what my pace was. Especially at the beginning of the race I was telling myself to hold back so that I wouldn’t gas out at the end. The competitive side of me really wanted to push it, but I kept telling myself to hold back.
After I finally saw the mile 2 sign my legs were starting to burn a little bit and I was feeling tired. The people around me had thinned out so I tried to keep pace with a couple other runners. I could also see the elite runners approaching the end of the course which helped me push. Then the course turned and went down hill. I kept pushing hard but I could feel my pace slowing down a bit. All of a sudden I could see the mile 3 sign and I got really excited. The course turned again and went down hill. I speed up on the down hill and suddenly my legs stopped hurting and I sprinted to the finish! My ipod said 25:50 and the official clock read 26:00. I know the official time is 26:00, but I’m going to call it 25:50 because I started pretty far back from the start line. The best part of a first race? No matter when you finish, its a PR!
Overall, I discovered that I love running races! I definitely got a runners high from the race today and I can’t wait to do it again. When I had to get up early today I was thinking that this better be worth it, and it SO was. I was also really happy that my first race was a low key 5k so I know what to expect when I run longer, more intense races.I was also happy that I started further back in the crowd. It was a major self esteem booster that I was passing people rather than being passed. I am so thankful for my body and the amazing things that it can do. I am beginning to really, really love my body. Since I’ve started running 6 months ago my confidence has boosted partly due to weight loss (16 lbs and counting) and glowing skin. Most of all, running gives me confidence where other parts of my life (ahem law school) might not!
Looking forward to the 1/2 marathon I want to be focused on setting a pace. The major takeaway from this race is that I want a Garmin or another type of race timer so that I know my pace and if I should slow down or speed it. For a 5k I can basically run as fast as I need to but a 1/2 marathon is going to be a whole new ball game. I plan to do a lot of yoga for the next week or so and throw myself into 1/2 marathon training. I also want to run some more races soon. I cannot wait until November for another runners high!