About three weeks, and 8 training runs later, I ran my first 5k. It was the UNCC Gold Rush 5k at J’s alma mater. We signed up at the last-minute and figured we wold just see how it went. My mom came out to cheer us on at the start and the finish. It was cold and damp and rainy. I told J he did not need to run with me, he could go at his own pace, and I would see him at the finish.
I zipped up my jacket to ward off the elements, and soon was moving along with the rest of the back of the pack. Run 15 seconds, walk 45 seconds, run 15 seconds, walk 45 seconds. Keep moving forward. All sorts of thoughts start running through my head – my training routes did not have hills like this – how did I forget there were so many steep hills on this campus? Why am I wearing this jacket? How can I be this hot and cold at the same time? How am I NOT done yet?
As I was nearing the track and field complex, where the finish line was hiding, I saw J running back toward me to run in with me. Well that was too much for my super-sensitive, somewhat-over-emotional self to process while running, and I started to get choked up and have trouble breathing. It probably did not help that I was still wearing my jacket and felt like all of Charlotte’s humidity was suffocating my body underneath a layer of some polyester nylon blend with zero breathability. I waved him off when we entered the stadium, tried to pull myself together, and finished my first race. It felt pretty damn good.
After I caught my breath and cooled off, we went to Starbucks for coffee and breakfast and race-recapping. My Nike+ app did not record my race, but my official finish time was 48:02 with an average pace of 15:28 per mile. When I got home, I showered and climbed back into bed for the rest of the afternoon.