Running (And Winning!) My Second Ever 5k

This past Sunday I ran my second ever race! It was just a 5k but I had a lot of fun and wanted to share the experience with you all. I blogged about running my very first 5k back in February of this past year.  It was a huge deal for me! I've only gotten into running since I started trying to lose weight so it's been less than two years that I been practicing at this point.  Running that 5k in February was an awesome experience, I finally felt like an official runner, this was something I could do!
 
 I've kept up my running consistently since that last race and have REALLY improved a lot over this past running season. I'm currently training for my first half marathon which is only a month away (!!!) The opportunity came up for me to get a free entry to this 5k through my work and it was only about 10 minutes away from my house so I decided on a whim to sign up. Since I've been training for my half I really have been focused on distance versus speed. I'm trying to keep my pace around an 8:45 min/mile for the half so obviously I'm watching my pace as well but my biggest goal has been making sure I can actually run 13.1 miles!!! So, when I go out to train I normally do one run between 5-6 miles during the week and a longer run of 8 or more miles on the weekend.  I never actually go out for a run and only try to run a 5k.
 
 
Now, of course I do run a 5k at the beginning of my other runs so I can see what my pace has been for that portion of the run.  On a training run the weekend before this most recent 5k I ran 8 miles and made a PR for my 5k of 25:09, and then went on and did 5 more miles haha. Needless to say, I was very curious to know what my time would be if I was only going out to run 3.1 miles.
 
So...before the race I looked up some of the times from the past winners.  And I started to feel...a little hopeful? There always seemed to be a girl who beasted it and ran the race in like 19 or 20 minutes...but then the next girls normally came in around 22 minutes or after.  I knew there was no way I could do it in 19/20 minutes.  But 22/23? Just maybe!!! I kind of got to hopeing I would do well and maybe place for my age group.
 
Well, the day of the race came. I got all prepared, ate an early breakfast, digested, stretched, went for a jog around the block to warm up.  Then I started nagging my hubby to get moving and getting a little snappy with him on the way over.  I was being a big grump! And then I realized why.  I was nervous!!!! Hah! Yes, I knew I could run 3 miles.  I've gone out and ran 12 miles at once before! But this was still only the second only race I've run and I really just felt nervous!! I looked around at all the other girls warming up and getting ready to line up and I felt inferior. No matter how much weight I lose or how many training runs I go on...a part of me is always going to remember what it felt like to be that 246 pound girl who couldn't run for even a minute without stopping.  I'll always remember what it felt like to be the girl in gym class huffing around the back of the track trying to finish that damned mile run we had to do once a year.
 
After I realized I was grumpy because I was nervous...I started to think a little more clearly.  I set myself up wanting to do well at the race but I told myself no matter what, really all I wanted to do was finish faster than the PR my watch gave me from my training run of 25:09, I didn't need to win any prizes, I just needed to try to beat my best!
 
So, race time! I started at the front of the pack so I could get a good start.  And off we went! The course was fine, a few small hills but nothing unmanagable.  I finished my first mile at about a 7:50 pace which I was happy with.  At this point the initial crowd of runners had died down and I knew I was towards the front 1/3 of the runners.  So, I kept going.  I finished my second mile a little faster at about a 7:30 pace and that's when things started to get tough.  I  normally run at an 8:30 pace or slower so I had been pushing myself to be faster now for two miles...and I was starting to feel it! I kept looking for ponytails...and trying to get past them hahaha.  I was able to overcome a few girls...but there was one girl who had been running pretty side-by-side with me up until this point that eventually pulled ahead and I just could not catch up with her.  By mile 2.6...I was feeling rough.  I was REALLY pushing myself!!! Thoughts of...how about I just lay down and crawl the rest of this? Or just a quick walk. Or....how about I just lay down and die. Hahahaha.  But. I knew I would be pissed with myself if I did any of those things so I just kept pushing and made it across the finish! My official time was 23:17.
 

Now...I knew at least one girl had beaten me...but I couldn't tell how old she was to know if she was in my age group or not! I was in the 20-29 female age bracket.  Turns out the lady who beat me was 41, and I ended up winning my division!!!!

When they called my name I was literally SO surprised.  My husband wasn't paying the best of attention at the finish line so he really wasn't sure if any other girls had made it through. "I think maybe one did?" Hah. Thanks dear.  Turns out I was the third girl to finish! The overall winner for females was a beast and finished in 19:58 but then after the other 41 year old woman it was me!!! I even beat the boy in my age division too ;) I was 17th out of 120 runners.

Apparently my last name is now Untermohlen too hahaha.  Whatever. Close enough.

I could not stop smiling after I got my medal.  I really thought I wasn't going to win anything after getting myself so physched up and nervous before the race.  It may be only a cheap little medal for a measily little hometown 5k race but I felt like I was ontop of the world :D


Losing weight is hard but has turned into a lifestyle change for me. Training every day is hard but has turned into a habit. Learning to accept myself, my body, and who I've changed myself into over this past year and a half? That still takes time.  So, I'm taking this cheap little medal and hanging it up in my cubicle of a reminder of all of the hard work I've put in over the past months to change myself and become a better me. And I'm going to like it :)

I'm also going to like the new running shoes I went out to buy with my prize! Official running geek now ;)

3 comments

  1. Congrats Rebecca! That is AWESOME! No doubt you are super pleased with yourself!

    Since I'm much older than you I'm also very impressed at that 41 year old's speed.

    bisous
    Suzanne

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  2. Bravissima Rebecca, congratulazioni!!
    Carmen

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  3. How exciting! Congratulations! I've just recently gotten back into running. I bet a 5k would be very motivational for me! -Marci @ Stone Cottage Adventures

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