WPLR Shamrock n Roll 5K

I did it!

...and I was wearing my tiara while I did.

I just finished week 6 (out of 9) of the Couch to 5k. My longest run was 2.2 miles, Not too bad considering where I started, but still almost a mile short of a 5k. BUT I said my goal was to finish. even if I had to walk part of it. I did do some walking, but I finished!

The hardest part of the race may have been trying to get my husband and children up, fed and out of the house in time. I was ready to just leave them home and go by myself when I hear Todd tell the boys how important it was for them to be there to support me and I knew that he meant it  - and it was important to him to be there.

When we finally made it to New Haven, we found a place to park and walk the last half mile to Toad's Place. I considered it a warm-up, but the kids thought it was punishment. They called everyone to the start and I kissed my boys and headed for the back of the pack. I'm slow. I know that and I'm okay with it. I don't want to get in anyone else's way. Apparently, other people didn't have that kind of forethought. Once the race started, there were people pushing and shoving their way through the pack to get in front - even before crossing the start. I was further annoyed when there were several people with jogging strollers (which are prohibited) getting in everybody's way. For the record - I have NO problem with people jogging with strollers in general, but they are against the rules for a reason. It is just too crowded! New Haven is an old City. the roads are narrow and there were 2,100+ people trying to start the race.

Just as I was getting really put off about this whole race thing, the pack began to thin out as everyone hit their own pace. I was starting to get discouraged early on, but I refused to let myself give up. Whenever I started to think I can't do this, I told myself to shut up, because I AM doing this! I have to say I picked a great playlist to motivate me. I put in lots of Dropkick Murphy's and Flogging Molly for the occasion. Plus, people were encouraged to run in costume and quite a few of them just made me literally laugh out loud. It is always good not to take life - or a 5k too seriously.

Soon, I started to see the  leaders doubling back on Waley Ave. I was probably delusional when I assumed that I was close to half way. Those people were the over-achievers like my friend Vegan Heart Doc* who compete in marathons and triathlons. They were just going for a quick sprint around the block. Then I passed the 1 mile mark and I started to wonder what the hell I was thinking showing up for the race. Then I noticed some of the actual racers cheering us on. If they think I can do it, then maybe I can, right? Then I made a deal with myself. I will run the first half, then if I need to walk a little bit, I will.

I hit the half way point and kept running for a few more minutes, but gave in  and walked when I started to get a cramp in my side. I breathed and walked it off for a few minutes and got back into my stride. by that point I was doubled back on Waley and I was surprised to see that there were people behind me! I made sure to cheer them on too. I also began seeing some of the over-achievers again. some were just running it again because they could, some were cooling down and a few were jumping back in to finish (again) with their teammates/friends/family.

I kept going jogging and walking a minute or two where I needed to. I was walking when I saw the last runner heading the other way. He had a cane and he was jogging. What am I doing walking? I ran the rest of the way.

I finally saw the last turn on to York Street ahead and I knew the finish was close, but I was so ready to be done. There were two people on the corner holding signs. The first on said "RUN FASTER, I JUST FARTED" and the other said "DON'T STOP! PEOPLE ARE WATCHING!" Talk about motivation!

As I came down York toward the finish, I saw my boys standing  just before the finish and I nearly cried. Ryan put his hand out for a High 5 and I think that was even better than crossing the finish. When I did cross the finish, my phone app was playing Spicy McHaggis and as I crossed, the Celtics won the championship! talk about timing! My phone said I did it in 39:00 with an average pace of 12:30/mile. My official race time was 39:35 with an average pace of 12:33.

After the race I took the boys into Toad's to get some water. First time I've seen that bar covered in glasses of water! lol Ryan hated the smell of the beer but decided that watching a real rock band was worth it. The other two couldn't take the noise and went outside with Dad. We decided not to wait around for the award presentation and went for pizza instead. Yeah, I just ran a race, but probably not far enough to justify the 4 slices of pizza I had at 10am, but hey, it is New Haven...

I did learn a few things:

  1. Get the kids/dad up earlier if I want them to go with me.
  2. Pack a backpack with snacks and drinks for the kids during the race and some fruit for me after the race.
  3. Don't get discouraged. It is only a race.
I took a long walk on the boardwalk this morning and I will be back to my C25K tomorrow. I would like to get my pace down under 12min/mi by the next race. 

*Seriously, the Doc is an inspiration. She was running a quick half before rounding on her patients while I was dragging ass through New Haven..Check out her blog. She is the real deal.

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