This Saturday I participated in my first 5K. As Tim and I pulled into the parking lot full of runners in all of their glorious running paraphernalia, I was intimidated. To say the least.
I wore a T-shirt and shorts. I didn't even wear my best running shoes because it was supposed to rain, and I didn't want to ruin my new shoes.
As we approached the sign-in tables, the director called out to my husband. "Mr. Layton, this is your table. You're pre-registered."
We moved to the correct line, and the lady who gave us our numbers and T-shirts was a friend of mine. So far. So good.
We walked around and I studied the list of runners and their times from last year. I thought 48 minutes might be a good time. So I made that my goal.
This was the R. J. Corman 5K run. I heard runners, real runners, talk about how hard this race is because of all of the hills. Gulp! One lady said she runs it every year, but she dreads it because it's so hard. Double gulp.
Runners stretched and discussed strategy. Tim socialized with others, and I watched.
At last it was time to line up in the street. I knew I would be slow and walk part of the way, so I moved toward the back. A father and daughter took a spot ahead of me, and the dad discussed strategy with his daughter on how to get ahead of the pack.
The racers in wheelchairs got to start first. Maybe three minutes later they officials sounded an air horn, and the race began. Whoosh, and we're off.
Police cars blocked traffic through town so we'd be safe, and one police car followed the last person in line and played upbeat music.
The race goes through downtown Wilmore, around Asbury University, through Talbott Subdivision, back around the university, through a downtown neighborhood, and back to the Wilmore United Methodist church where we began. Neighbors sat in their driveways and cheered the runners on. Some tried to talk to us, and wouldn't you know it, Tim got into conversations with them. I hadn't shared my 48 minute goal with him, but he has a big heart, and I didn't want to ruin his fun.
We ran some and walked more, but we kept moving.
Here are some things I learned:
Don't train for a race with your dog. Too many stops and not enough non-stop moving.
Wear cooler clothes if you're racing in June.
Compete in a flat 5K before tackling the hilly race.
That's it. I can't wait until we do it again.
In case you're wondering, my time was 48 minutes and 55 seconds. If I'd known it would be that close, I would have moved faster.
One last thing, Tim came in third place for his age division. I'm always proud of him.
Thanks for letting me share. If you have any advice for my next race, I'd love to hear it.