After 3 months of running, it was time for my first 5k. I signed up for the race a couple months ago and somehow convinced my bff, Katie, to join me, even though she hasn’t done much running since her marathon in December. I wanted to pick a fun race and give myself enough time to be ready for it. What’s more fun than a St. Patty’s Day race through the old railroad tunnels by the Hoover Dam?
Initially I had the goal of running the 5k in under 30 minutes, then once I really started I running I realized that there was no chance in hell I was going to be capable of that. The former athlete in me definitely didn’t like that, I like to be good at things. I’m usually not the best athlete, but I’m always decent. About 4 weeks ago I had to get over my ego and just be proud of myself for keeping up with running and not giving up. I kept working at getting faster, but I knew I wasn’t going to be where I thought I would be.
A week before the race I came down with a sore throat and cough. By Tuesday afternoon I pretty much lost my voice, and even now I don’t have my voice fully back. I wasn’t at 100% for the race, but I knew my goal was to just finish the race without walking. Last Sunday I managed to run 3.1 miles, it took me over 40 minutes, but that gave me the confidence that at least I could make the distance.
Friday night came around and Katie and I packed up our running gear and headed down to the classy hotel by the Hoover Dam, the Hacienda. The Hacienda definitely has character, but I’m glad we didn’t spend much time there. After a night of not so great sleep since I couldn’t stop coughing, it was race morning.
I was definitely nervous, which really isn’t surprising, and could barely get down my pre race meal of a luna bar. I managed to eat half, take some cold medicine, and drink a lil bit of caffeine and smart water. Katie and I put on our best green running gear and made the trek from the hotel to the race start (only about 700 yards).
The view on the walk down to the course
We watched the half marathon start, got warmed up and took some pictures…
Apparently I can’t keep my eyes open
But Katie can
There was a big crowd of people for the 5k and the race trail was narrow for that amount of people. Katie and I went kind of towards the middle/front. My garmin of course didn’t load in time, but it did just in time for when the crowd thinned enough to where I could start running. Katie and I said bye at this point, since she was going to finish at least 10 minutes ahead of me. I turned on my tunes, found a good pace, around 12:30 a mile, and kept going. For the first mile I was weaving in and out of people that were walking, but that thinned out around the water stop at the first tunnel. I hadn’t trained with water and my coughing miraculously wasn’t bothering me, so I kept going. I was really feeling strong and knew I was going to make it the whole way without walking. The tunnels were interesting. They were really dark and the ground was uneven. I had a couple of oh crap I may fall moments, but made it through without falling or breaking my ankle. After the turn around I was still feeling great, I made it through the two tunnels and was actually enjoying myself. I started to notice two different women, who I would pass while they were walking, and as soon as I got to them they would start running again. They pretty much did this for the rest of the race. It was pretty annoying, but I tried not to pay too much attention to it. As I was getting closer to the end I knew I was going to start sprinting at a certain point. After finishing 11 min ahead of me, Katie came back up the course to cheer me on, it was nice to have a familiar face there. Once past her I decided to sprint the rest of the way, I passed the annoying run/walkers and made my way to the finish line. They had someone announcing your name as you finished, which I thought was pretty cool. I grabbed my medal, a bottle of water and went to cough my lungs out after the sprinting. As I was making my way towards the finish, I was kind of getting emotional. I had worked so hard for the past three months and I was finishing something I never would of imagined doing 4 months ago. I thought I may cry after finishing, but I kept my emotions in check, caught my breath and took some pictures of course!
My Race Medal
After I finished (and stopped coughing)
Katie Post Race
Katie’s Post Race Outfit with our lovely hotel room in the background
After rehydrating a little bit, we packed up our stuff and left the lovely Hacienda Hotel and Casino. We decided to stop for breakfast and ended up at Crepe Expectations in Henderson. It was delicious and I want to go back to try one of their sweet crepes.
Ham, egg and swiss crepe
My first 5k was a success. There were definitely bumps along the way, but I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished and I can’t wait to run another one. Thanks to all of you who texted, tweeted and facebook liked/commented! I really appreciate all your support!