Today I ran my first 5K. First of all, I’m happy to announce that I finished with no problem at all, and did it in under 45 minutes. Secondly, I learned a few things today:
- Cold weather really does cease to affect me once I start running.
- I need to drink as much water as I think I’ll need to be hydrated, and then drink even more. I was pretty dry by the time I hit the one relief station they had on the 5K course. I've never downed 12 ounces of water so fast in my life!! (I suspect this lesson will be even more important when summer gets here!)
- Running on a treadmill is NOTHING like running outside. There’s something about having a wide open sky above you and real ground below that is far more appealing than a treadmill. I found it was much easier on my joints, too, and since I have mild arthritis in my right ankle, that’s a big deal.
- I was so NOT ready for the hills. I did a fair amount of walking today, and most of it was on the hills. Thankfully, Spring seems to be here to stay, and once the park trails completely de-ice and dry up a bit, I’ll be out there running on those hills as much as possible so I can get used to those suckers! I have every intention of continuing my training, and now I have a new short-term goal: To run a 5K with no walking breaks at all. Once I’ve done that, I’ll be moving on to a 10K race.
- I’m capable of running much faster than I thought. My average time per mile was a full two minutes less than my training miles.
- And here is what I think is the most important lesson from today: I can accomplish just about anything if I believe in myself and am willing to do the required work. Looking back on the past few months, I don’t think I actually believed that I could complete a 5K when I first started training. Fortunately, I have good friends that frequently gave me words of encouragement, and after a while I really did start to believe that I could do it. Now I know I can. And running this race has just made me want to run more. I’m more excited about my long-term marathon goal than I was before I ran this 5K--it seems more possible now than ever.