This morning, I left my house at 7 a.m., and headed for Angels Stadium to participate in the Big “A” 5K! It was my first race since I began the Fit4Mom Irvine/Tustin run club, 4 weeks ago, and now I am just 5 weeks away from participating in my first 10K, the Santa Run!
The Big “A” 5K helped to raise money for the Anaheim Cops 4 Kids (C4K) program and the Anaheim Police Department Baker 2 Vegas running team, an annual relay race that covers 120 miles.
I’m a big Angels fan, so when I found a 5K at Angels Stadium, I was pumped! Warming up on the field was a lot of fun. Of course I had to play it out and do stretching/sprinting/warm-up exercises in the outfield, just like the Angels would for a game!
One minor mishap, it seemed like no one remembered to turn off the sprinklers on the field. So every now and then a surprise sprinkler would pop up from no where and soak some unexpected folks before the big race. I did get sprayed once, but managed to sprint away to avoid the downpour! No one wants to start a race soaking wet.
The race was ready to begin. Excited and ambitious, I was the first one in line before the crowds flowed in behind me. I had my earphones in, my MapMyFitness app on my arm, ready to go, and a goal of an 8:00 min split per mile in the back of my head. I was just waiting for the buzzer to start my race, and I would be off in my own little world.
Wait.. this is Hollie we are talking about here… you know the story wouldn’t be that easy, right!?
With a smile on my face I look down at my iPhone, and press “begin workout” on my app, split seconds before I glance up only to realize, I’m in a stampede! There were 30-40 guys who meant business and were not running, but SPRINTING full speed up the steep ramp to get out of the stadium. All I could do was SPRINT full speed to keep from getting run over.
I know the cardinal rule of racing long distance is not to start out too fast, and I sure broke that rule. When I finally got to the top of the (did I mention, very steep) hill, maybe 100 yards of a full on sprint, and made my way over, I could feel my chest hurting from the extreme dry air, and I was breathing very heavy. All I could think was, “Oh crap.” Not the best way to start off a race, but at least it was better I made this mistake at my 5K then the 10K.
I spent the first mile trying to get my rhythm back, and my breath. I already knew, after a start like that, this was not going to go down in the books as my most fun 3 mile run. However, I was determined. I was not going to walk. I was not going to slow down my current pace. My goal was an 8:00 minute mile and I have been consistently running 8:00 minute miles in my practice runs. I knew I would only be mad at myself if I stopped or slowed down. I made a stupid mistake in the beginning, but that wasn’t going to be another excuse to not hit my goal. I was not going to listen to that little voice in my head that says to give up or take a break. I’ve listened to that voice too many times in my life, so I just kept on moving. I’m okay feeling sore tomorrow, but I am not okay feeling sorry.
The race began and ended on Angels field, with the final lap around the warning track before crossing the finish line. Running around the entire field, was exactly what I needed to amp up some energy for the last part of the race. It was awesome!
As I crossed the finish line, I hit end race on the MapMyFitness app to find out how close I was to my goal. I was over the moon to find out that I hit my goal after the most unpleasant start.
3.14 miles – 25:05 (average pace 7:59)
Mile 1: 8:01 min/mi
Mile 2: 7:56 min/mi
Mile 3: 7:53 min/mi
That feeling of accomplishment is the reason I love running (which 5 weeks ago I would have told you I hated). I never thought I could run much further then a mile. My head was wrapped around the fact that I was a sprinter, and I just couldn’t run long distance for fun. I’m still trying to knock that thought out of my head. Running is not going to get any easier so I just need to train hard to get better.
So, I have tackled the 5K, my first running milestone. I have 5 more weeks to train for my 10K and I won’t lie, that one makes me a little nervous, but I’m determined. I’m done looking for excuses. I’m going to do this for me. The 10K is something I never thought I could do, (or wanted to do) but now it’s time to prove myself wrong!
Time to lace up!
“This Girl Is On Fire!” (current favorite running song)
….and just because this made me chuckle… My friend Carmen posted this on Facebook today… and I feel like I am now a cartoon (minus the fact, my girls are NEVER just sitting there so contently hahaha)