Sunday, January 27, 2008


Hooray! Yesterday I ran in my first race and lived to blog about it.

First of all, let's go ahead and get this out of the way - this might have been a race but there was absolutely no racing going on in my head. All those people that were in it to win it had one less competitor in me. My goal was to finish at a decent time and not get eaten by a zoo animal.

I woke up at 6 to go meet my team for our group run. I only ran half of what my goal was since I was planning to run again that day. I ran without my iPod but with a buddy, so it was a good trade, and I even ran a big hill. Then I ate breakfast, ran some errands (I picked up shoes from the cobbler... that is so much fun to say), came home and planned to take a little nap. Just 30 minutes.

Well, I ended up oversleeping and I didn't wake up from my little nap until 20 minutes until I was meeting my friend. I threw on my running clothes, grabbed a snack and ran out the door. I got to our meeting spot late, and then realized I'd left my wallet at home.

If you know me well than you will understand why I got so flustered. I was nervous about being in a race environment for the first time (some of those people are crazy), not having stuck to my plan of what to eat/drink that afternoon pre-run (Gatorade and carbs), forgot my wallet which had my ID (which I thought I needed to pick up my timer), etc. Yes, I know that none of those complaints would really be a factor in my ability to run that afternoon, but in my head they were, and I had thrown myself off big time.

We got to the Zoo and there were a ton of people. I was laughing at how bundled up some of them were - if you think this is cold, try 7 a.m. We went and got our ChampionChips (timing devices). Turns out I didn't need my ID to pick that up after all, so that was one less thing to fret about.

We stood in line and hopped around to stay warm. There were so many people that I started to get intimidated. Finally, the gun fired and we were off. We started off pretty fast and I was doing fine until about the 1 mile mark, when my legs sent a memo up to my brain that read "Hey moron - didn't we already do this today?" I let my friend keep going at her pace and slipped into one that was good for me.

We didn't hit the actual Zoo exhibits until more than halfway through, unless you count the empty elephant exhibit that was all uphill. I smiled when I saw one tiger prowling around his cage, and saw some fish and goats (not together) closer to the end of the race.

Near the end of the run there were spectators with cameras and signs. I can see now how important it is to have someone cheering/watching for you, especially when you're running more than 5k, and it made me really glad to think that when I do that, my family will be there.

Just as I was processing that thought, I saw the 3 mile marker and knew I was almost done. I also saw my sweet friend running toward me. She'd crossed the finish line, turned around, and came back to finish with me. It was thrilling to run under that big sign and know I'd finished. I did it!

We went to get some water and waited for our times to be posted. I don't know if 32:45 is a great time or not, but I don't care. I was just proud of myself for accomplishing a goal.

Midway through the run I started to get really discouraged. If this is hard, imagine what 13.1 miles is going to be like? And if I get this worked up over a 5k, imagine how worked up I'll be the morning of the half? The past two weeks or so I have felt really good and confident about my ability to do this, but for about 6 or 7 minutes yesterday I was panicking. In fact, I'm starting to panic again just writing about it.

My friend had somewhere to be so we didn't stick around too long after the race, which was fine with me. I came home and got ready to meet up with some friends, but got ready early and went to the mall to buy myself a treat for my efforts.

One more last bit of exciting news: I decided to raise my fund-raising goal to a nice even $2000 because my online campaign is going so well. Thank you Kate and everyone else who has contributed. I have the best friends in the world!

Ignore the hair. I overslept and it was windy.


  1. Congrats! That's incredible that you ran that much in one day. Nice treat too.

  2. 6.1 miles total.... less than half of what I'll be running in April. Yikes.
    I know - that sweater is hot, right? I love it.

  3. I'm so proud of you! you rock.


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