Here we go Spark Friends!
My experience of running my first 5K. I have to admit, it was nothing like I imagine.
Checkout the link:
The 5k and 10k race was a late evening race, 6pm, July 3rd. So, I had a lot of time to wake-up and gather myself for that day.
I followed some very good advice in preparation of the race that day. My water intake was moderate, because I hydrated two days in advance, I ate lite (potato and bake chicken), and I took a lite nap. This actually reminded me of my college football "game day" prep!
I even laid out what I was wearing to race in. :-)
One thing I have to admit, I haven't been this anxious towards an athletic event since playing football. This was a good thing for me, lets me know my mind set and focus I had going into this.
We arrived at Gillette Stadium an hour prior to the race time, met up with other friends and family, who were either in the race or there to cheer us on.
If anything in the world for your first 5K or race in generally, friends and family being there helps eases that anxiety.
Finally, race time was upon us. There different areas based on pace time. The area we were in for pace times, between 10:00 pace and "Walkers". LOL
Again, taking in all the advice received, made my final bathroom visit and took a position in the pack right after the 10:00 Pacers and just before the "Walkers".
Once the race started, it took us 10 minutes before we reached the actual start line and where the clock begin for us.
In my head, I reminded myself, "Stay at your pace...". There were people zipping by and there were people, "Walkers" who I was passing. Not to mention, the first 50 yards of the race was a slight incline.
This is just after the "Start Line"
Once by the incline, we turned on to the main road which was a good decline for at least a quarter of a mile. At this point, I am feeling good and maintaining my pace.
At mile 1 of the race, I was at 14:00 minutes per/mile. I am SHOCK! This was a faster pace then I expected.
Then reality set in, I hit an incline that sucked the life out of me, so my pace slowed to nearly a walk. At this point of the race, I was 3/4 of ways around the stadium and headed back to where the start line was, which then takes the runners into the stadium and up 3 and half inclined walk ways to the 300 level (top level) of Gillette Stadium.
Once I hit the inclines, my pace was a walk/jog pace until I came upon the Mile 2 marker, time 24:00 minutes. THIS I FOUND HARD TO BELIEVE...NO way, I did a mile in 10 minutes!
Once I hit the 300 level of the stadium, my pace was back to normal, for the most part I still walk/jogged until I gather myself. BUT, once I hit the opposite side of the stadium to the decline from the 300 level, I let my momentum take me down the entire distance to the 100 level of the stadium. HUGE BOOST to the last leg of the race.
The last leg of the race involved one more decline to the field level, but takes you out of the back of the stadium and back in towards the field, where the sign I was waiting to see...MILE 3!
At this point, I am super excited and make my strides into a powerful jog, just like I trained for...FINISH STRONG!
Right after the Mile 3 marker, it is out of the tunnel, through the giant inflated Patriots helmet and on to the field, where I made the turn towards the 50th yard line finish gate!
A sprint for me has never been more exciting in my life! People everywhere, in the stands as well. Just like running out on to a field of a football for me!
Now, for the ANTI-CLIMAX...I ran across the finish as though I had been there before...LOL
No hands raised...No hopping up and down...NOT EVEN a high five to Jarrod Mayo (#55 Linebacker) cheering runners across! (Celebrity guest)
BUT, deep down inside, I had an overwhelming feeling to let out a huge burst of tears...Tears of joy, accomplishment, and peace...
This day, I can call myself a runner...
Special thanks to LDRICHEL and ON2VICTORY...their advice and motivation is priceless!
Official Finishing Time: 42:51, Pace of 13:48 per mile! :-)