The funny thing about running a 5K for the second time is you do not know what to expect. After training for about a year (or moreso doing real cardio for a change instead of just playing softball) and getting used to ‘running’ for more than just the time it takes to run the bases, I competed in my first 5K. The route was small and narrow, there was about 2000 other women all shapes, sizes, races, ages. It was a sea of eggs. It was cold that morning in October, I was freezing but my UnderArmour capris and top kept me warm. Once I got running, the music pumping in my ears, I couldn’t stop, not even the side stitch I got after the first mile was going to stop me. The amount of people on the narrow path made it hard to navigate around them but once I found an open spot I dashed around the slower runners and walkers and continued on my way. About the last .5 mile I sprinted, I took off, there was enough space to just run and I mustered up enough energy to finish. Later on I was discouraged, I didn’t like running with those unexperienced runners (even if I was one myself). Many of them didn’t know to move to the side if they were slower or walking. I wasn’t sure I’d do it again.
And I did, I kept running throughout the year, actually added it as cardio to my weekly workout and entered a race with my sister, the runner in the family. No way in hell would I be able to beat her best time, so I told her she might be waiting about 8 minutes for me at the finish line. June in Albany was not expected to be a cold and rainy day, but we were racing in the Freihofers run. Thankfully the rain was just a drizzle when we lined up and only downpoured after we finished on the way to the car. I followed my same mantra only this time I picked out people who were ahead of me and said to myself “I have to pass that one, and that one and that one” and it worked. Only the last stretch did I slow my sprint down in fear that I would fall flat on my ass because of the slick roadway on the hill to the finish line. And I finished again in a sea of green and orange bibs, my purple one was the only one by itself. A much more organized race, with Olympic athletes leading the pack is definitely my cup of tea. Only next year I’ll add more music to my mp3 and will remember to pack my foam roller (instead of using my sister’s rolling pin). Now I have a better time to beat and a sport that I can compete alongside my sister.