Thursday, May 19, 2011

5k Race for the Cure

The Saturday morning before Mother's Day was a strange morning in our apartment, as we were both up at five to get ready for our first 5k! I imagine I looked like a zombie as I cooked ouregg sandwiches, especially since my good friend Cassie spent the night and we stayed up until 2:30 talking! (It was worth it. I hadn't seen Cassie in nearly a year, and we had a lot to catch up on.)

A little after six, our friends Andra and Drew knocked on the door, and our whole running party was assembled! We were a very tired lot, yet very excited. After months of training and sweating and nerves, the morning had finally arrived! We were clad in our (Champion) wear, had laced up our shoes (Asics for me, Pumas for Nick), stuck our time chips on our shoelaces, smoothed a band-aid over that stubborn blister on my foot, and packed snacks.

We were ready.

(Cassie and I before the race)

We packed ourselves into two cars and drove the five minutes to the race, had an easy time parking, and then walked five or more minutes to the huge crowds milling around on the blacktop, drawn by the loudspeakers. We were momentarily distracted by the huge lines of Port-a-potties, and had to test them out. (Tiny bladders do not fare well while running full.) We found the right place for the timed runners, squished ourselves between about 25,000 people (record turnout, most in 15 years for this race, yay!) and . . . waited.

We listened to 107.9 The End radio people who were there on a podium, heard some sniffly stories and some lady got a medal for something-or-other (I would have paid attention, but I was anxious to ruuuuuun) and then they told us it would be starting soon!

(Also, we were distracted by all of the awesome group signs that people were holding up. "Save the ta-ta's", "Bazoombas" and . . . um. I forgot. But they were funny.)

Aaand then we were off! They had the 7 minute milers up at the starting line and the rest of the pack kind of . . . ambled/jogged over the line, but once we passed it we were able to go to the side and kind of run around people. Andra and Drew were very fast and went ahead, and we saw them looping around the road at one point and waved and called out but they were concentrating too hard. (Andra actually placed in our age division, I am soooo proud of her!) Cassie and Nick and I were just trying to complete the race in under 33 minutes, which we totally aced. ^_~

The walkers in the race were on the other side of the road and waited about 20 minutes after we started running. It was so exhilarating being surrounded by other people, everyone who was supporting a cause and cheering each other on, that honestly the first two miles kind of flew by. There were water and aide stations at every mile and cheerleaders and radio stations set up playing music around nearly every corner. The race organizers had closed down some major roads for this race so we were running through Sacramento on the roads! It was so cool. I was doing my best to keep Cassie motivated and distract myself, and Nick was being his studly silent self.

As I said, the first two miles were pretty easy, which is keeping with my limited running experience. The first half mile is usually the most difficult for me, but once I warm up I can do a mile pretty easily. The excitement of the race meant I had gone more than two miles before I started to realize I was feeling it, and by the end of the race we were all going, "SERIOUSLY? ANOTHER TURN? Where is that stinking finish line?)

Cassie and Nick and I stuck together until the very end, when Nick sped up for the finish, and Cassie got a little tired at the end and just barely stopped to walk when I saw that dang-gum finish line and she immediately started running again, we both did, running faster than we had yet, and we totally flew across that finish line, which was lined with a cheering crowd and an announcer telling us we had beat 33 minutes! Nick was there waiting for us, and Andra and Drew were smushed up against the gate at the line cheering us on. There were tables of water as we walked out of the finish line area, and a whole huge area full of fresh fruits and drinks and snacks for the runners for free. I had a banana and some juice and a few crackers, and they were delicious.

We all panted in a circle for a little bit (okay, Andra and Drew had caught their breath by then) and bemoaned our sweatiness, before agreeing to go back to the car to grab our wallets so we could buy some awesome souvenirs at the expo.

Well, the expo was awesome and had lots of cool free stuff, including coffee and some awesome bags that I will use for shopping, but no actual things that we wanted to buy. Oh well.

After wandering around the expo for forty-five minutes or so, we walked back to the cars, and hugged Andra and Drew good-bye as they drove back to Davis. Cassie, Nick, and I piled into the car and drove back to our apartment, where I proceeded to insist upon sweaty post-run pictures. You are welcome.

Unofficial Team SexyLegs

Our new Race for the Cure t-shirts!

Nick and I. This guy is probably the only reason I was able to run this 5k, because without him doing the training with me I would have given up and eaten too much chocolate more times than I did. Thanks, honey.

So that's it. Our first 5k.

Let it be known that after this run we were all a gibbering mess, high off our run, and all babbling how much we wanted to do another run right away because they are so awesome and we are going to be so sexy this summer after running so much!

We . . . are all apparently crazy people, because we all still want to do another 5k. And then maybe a 10k. And wouldn't it be awesome if someday we could do a half-marathon? We passed one just the other day. And how many people can do a full marathon? Wouldn't that be an accomplishment? (So crazy. And yet . . . )

This race was inspired by a random thought, pushed to fruition via lots of motivation talk and spending-lots-on-cute-running-clothes incentives and threats from my awesome boyfriend, and has actually changed the way I think about running. It is actually sometimes . . . kind of . . . fun.


Lisa S. said...

Excellent post honey. The thrill and fun of the race and the high with the imagined sore legs (which you didn't seem to have). I look forward to reading about your next race, whilst resting at my leisure :)

Katie said...

Thanks mom! That's exactly it, though I did have sore legs after! :) I am looking forwards to the next race as well, as soon as I find one and sign up!