Yesterday I did my very first 5K! Shocker, I know. But I wasn’t in there for the competition of the thing, but simply to prove to myself that I could actually do it. It started back when I walked four miles to my friend’s house and back, and my friend Lisa saw me as I was coming home. She suggested this Halloween 5K, and that wouldn’t it be fun to get a group of us together and enter this race. Well, fun was not the word I would have used, but she did get me thinking. So I’ve been trying to include 2-3 mile walks in my routine, and this past week I was hoping to do 3 miles three times. I actually didn’t reach that goal, but I did 2 1/2 miles on the treadmill on Monday, and then 3 miles on Wednesday. So I knew I could physically walk that far (3.2 miles or something like that), but I don’t go fast at all.
So we went over to the rec center last night, donned in my workout gear. We picked up our t-shirts, pinned on our numbers and got our free glowey necklaces. No costume for me, although I did wear a blinky LED necklace, and a blinking hat to be festive. One of my friends showed up in a purple wig, and the other was wearing a cute little witch costume over her clothes. Some of the people there were REALLY dressed up! There was a member of the band Kiss (he looked just like the one on the right, only skinnier), complete with tight black pants, white makeup, long black hair and major platform shoes. I don’t know how he did the race in those shoes, but I guess he did.
There were two guys dressed as “snorkelers”. They had on full body wetsuits, masks and snorkel gear, and both were holding inflated innner tubes. I asked one of them if he had run the whole race with that snorkel tube in his mouth and he said he did. He said the hardest part was that the mask kept fogging up and he couldn’t see where he was going in the dark. He just followed the glow necklace of the person in front of him.
I had already been assured by one of my neighbors that she was NOT running, and she wanted to make sure she’d have someone to walk with and not be left in the dust by our running friends. I agreed to walk with her, since I wouldn’t be doing any running, either. But this friend walks 3 and a half miles every morning with her dog. What was I thinking? As we started out, we did actually jog for a while, but that was mainly so we wouldn’t be run over by the throngs of people behind us. After everyone spread out we slowed to a brisk walk. Her brisk walk is about my fastest walk possible, with a few paces of jogging thrown in every once in a while to keep up.
I’m sure I was not the most pleasant walking partner (she’s used to the company of her dog, after all), but we talked the whole time, and she got a good laugh when we went through the cemetary and a very very tall man crept up on us to scare us. I kept asking her if she thought we were almost done, and when the people directing us said we were just over 1/2 way, I said a little too loudly “You have GOT to be kidding!” But I made it. I did the whole thing, and came in under 50 minutes. My friends were there cheering at the finish line, and it made me feel good. I had not tripped, passed out or gotten lost along the way. Oh, and I came in #245, if that means anything. 245 out of what, I do not know, but I know there WERE people behind me, so I wasn’t dead last, at least.
When it was over, we went back into the building to find some water and eat a banana. We also picked up our little goodie bags with raffle tickets in them and then went to see if our ticket matched any on the prizes. Oh, Goodie!, I thought–contests! Yes, I won……a water bottle. Wow. Since there weren’t many people left, they let us pick a second goodie bag and see if that had a winning ticket, so I picked another one. Sure enough, I won another water bottle, so I gave it to a friend. DaNae, who had been one of the ones pushing us to do this, WON first place in her age category (which was also my age category, and I looked to be about 17th, by the way). She was very excited about this win, and assured us she was going to mount this ribbon and frame it.
So, overall it was a good experience. I would probably do it again, if pressed upon to do so. I’m proud of myself that I could actually do something like this. So, if I, an almost 40 year old overweight, out of shape mother of 5 can do it, you could do it, too.