HEY HEY HEY... WHAT'S GOIN ON?! We did it! Claire and I completed our first ever 5K race. It was so much fun! I think I mentioned this before, but the race was in Pound Ridge on Saturday. It was scheduled to start at 9:00AM, but it didn't start until 9:15AM. I mention that because I was such a nervous nelly waiting for the race to start. Haha! I'll get to the race itself in a minute. The night before I had made a couple of servings of pasta for dinner for Claire and me. We also had some chicken wings so that we could have our carbs and protein for the next morning. Then I laid out all the things I needed for the race, like I had read about in Runner's World magazine and other people's blogs. This really helped me from gettin all antsy in my pantsy in the morning. I got to sleep at a reasonable hour so that I got my eight hours. I woke up at about 7:00AM, had some Corn Flakes and some water (I had also been filling up with water the night before). I know it was only a 5K; but in my mind, it was a huge frickin deal because it was not only my first race but the longest I going to ever run at once.
We arrived at the location of registration, signed in, and got our numbers. After pacing back and forth, making sure I had everything I needed for the race, we met up with my parents who came to show some support. I know it's kind of corny, a 25 year old man asking his parents to come watch him race, but their support means the world to me. They are my two biggest fans, and I knew that having them there was enough to motivate me even more. And if that isn't cheese bally enough for you, get this... I even asked my mom to bring her camera so she could take some pics of us so that I could post them on the blog and keep them to remember my first race. Once we had met up with them and snapped a couple of fantastic "check me out... yeah, I'm a runner... no big deal" shots, they headed to the finish line to wait for us. I wasn't planning on setting any world records... I just wanted to finish the race. So, I told them to be ready to see us approaching the finish line between the 30th and 40th minutes. Claire and I got our stretch on and then waited for the race to start. I was so anxious... ready to GO. Claire was chill and relaxed. She kept reminding me about the Bronx River Parkway run we embarked on a few weeks ago by saying, "Now listen here, Superman... There's no need to be a hero. Make sure you pace yourself and don't burn out too early." Being the humble, open-minded, and thoughtful person I am, I responded every time with a "Yeah, yeah, yeah... I got it." Haha!
At 9:15AM, the horn was blown; and we were off. Slow and steady, Ed... Slow and steady. I stuck with Claire for about the first 50 yards and then upped my pace a little bit, leaving her a little bit further behind me. I stuck next to this 6'5" dude, thinking he was a giant and that I could probably keep a good pace with him. Scratch that... it turned out Tiny was a runner. I felt out my comfort zone and took pace next to this lady who looked like she had been around the block a few times (no pun intended). Side note: She was wearing an American flag bandana, which I thought was pretty damn cool for an old lady.
I was not familiar with the route. All I knew was that the first mile was pretty much downhill, the second mile was flat, and the third mile was mostly uphill. I kept a decent pace in the beginning to save my energy for the last mile. I had no clue where or how far along the route I was. They said that there were water stations at the 1.5 and 2.5 mile markers. This did not do me any good with knowing how far along I was considering the people of Pound Ridge were so nice that they had set up water stations outside of their houses all along the route. It was really nice of them. The only thing I could do to get an idea of the distance was look at my ipod stopwatch, which I had started when the race began. It helped me out quite a bit. The entire race was such a rush. I had my music going and just a natural high from thinking "this is so cool... running a race with all these people." There was never a point in the race where I didn't have a smile on my face (I dabble in creating rhymes like that... pretty good one, huh? Watch out, Eminem).
When I started to hit the uphill sections, I said to myself "this better be that third mile they were talking about. Otherwise, I'm screwed." It turned out, it was. After two of the bigger hills, I went into a fast-paced walk for 10-15 seconds. Then I transitioned back into my run knowing that I had almost arrived. Then I saw the park. I knew that this was the end of the race because that's what they had told us ahead of time. BOOM! I hit it hard, picking up my pace to finish the race strong. I got to the end of the grass... "FILTHY LIARS!!!" I said to myself when I did not see the finish line. It turns out that the park makes a hard right hand turn and goes about another 200 yards. I rounded the corner and saw the finish line. I looked to see if I could find my parents. I didn't see them, but I did see that I was below 30 minutes. I was like, "BOO YAH!" When I was a few steps away from the finish line, I saw my parents there cheering me on. It was so incredibly awesome! I did the famous both-hands-up as I crossed the finish line. Unfortunately, my mom did not grab the shot (bummer), but she did get a shot of me right after I finished running. VICTORY! I started walking to where the last straight-away was so that I could see Claire as she was finishing up. There she was, doin her thang. I cheered her on and ran along the side line with her. My mom got the post finish line shot of her, too. WE DID IT!!!
We walked for a bit, stretched, and got some free bagels (KEY!). We were waiting around for a bit to see if we could get our official times, but we had no such luck (at first). I had stopped my clock after I had already finished and started walking to meet Claire, and it was 29:54. So I knew I ran better than that. As we decided to call it a day, I saw some people that looked like the race "officials" and asked if they knew how we could check our times. The guy that I asked happened to be the one that recorded all the times. He found Claire's right away, which I believe was 31:28; but he could not find mine. I told him that I believe I was in the 29th minute, and he said he couldn't find it. He was in a rush. So I didn't want to bug him about it. So, I'm putting myself either in the 28th or 29th and change range. The official times will be put up on the internet on Wednesday. Once I get the actual results, I will post them along with the pictures my mama took.
Thanks to everyone who helped me out with this. The comments, suggestions, and support really helped and motivated me. I guess it just goes to show how powerful this blogging business really is. Thanks again!