I ran* 5 km and didn’t die. Yay me!

*I think I ran about 50% of the time, the rest I alternated power walking and just trying to remain upright and forward moving.

A few months ago I decided to register for the 14th Modiin Run, 5 km.

I figured I would have some time to train before the race, I would wake up early (are you laughing yet) and take myself for a half hour jog/run around the various parks in  my neighbourhood a few times a week and all would be good.

Yeah, I woke up early once, ran 600 m around our nearest park, and never trained again.

In hindsight, even running a few kilometers once or twice a week in the months leading up to the race would have helped tremendously.

But, no point lamenting the fact I didn’t train, it is what it is.

On Friday morning, I woke up, got dressed, drank my coffee and took a slow 2 km stroll to the start of the race. I figured that slow walk would be a good warm up. I got there the recommended hour before the start and walked about, checking out the vendors and other bits and bobs that had been set up in a nearby park.

I posted a pic of my race number and got a great deal of really awesome encouragement from my friends in the computer. Thanks you all by the way, it was a great motivator. I then met up with a friend and we made our way to the start of the race.

I would just like to state, for future record, what I should have done, somewhere in that hour I was wondering around, was find the port-a-potties and gone to the bathroom. I only realised I needed to pee 2 minutes before the start of the race. Running on a full bladder is not recommended. Also a great motivator to finish quickly!

Anyway. There was a great vibe at the start, music pumping, people laughing and smiling and taking selfies. And off we went. I lost my friend within the first few 100 meters, she was a tad faster than me. I figured I would take the start slowly and not use up all my energy at the beginning. Good plan, the start was on a slight uphill!

Once we got to the main road the pack thinned out a bit and I decided to find a few people in the group around me and use them to pace myself. In particular I found a mom and her two boys and decided to pretend that her encouragement for her kids was for me too. Worked a charm and I managed to keep up with them for almost the entire race.

The 2nd half of the race was where I hit a bit of a snag. As we came around the loop and turned towards home, my right butt muscle went into spasm. OUCH! For a moment I even considered stopping at one of the ambulances on the route but decided to just tough it out, I waddled for about a kilometer while rubbing my knuckles into my butt cheek. I must have looked a sight!

And then the final stretch. I walked the small uphill and as I crested it, I could see the finish line. I made an effort to actually run that last 200 meters and to finish with a smile on my face (I was not going to have a bad finish photo) and bam, 5 km done. I will admit to hobbling to the nearest place to sit my butt down and thinking that I was probably not going to stand up again.

I finished in just under 43 minutes (my official time is listed as 00:42:38) and I’m pretty happy and really impressed with that, considering I did no training.

The race organisation was excellent.  Everything started on time. Routes were well laid out. There was plenty of water at the water stations. And at the end of the race we were given water, ice lollies and fresh fruit.

I’m not sure I will do the 5 km again next year, mainly because I want to do the 1.8 km event with the kids as a family. Paul on the other hand is now keen to do the 5 km next year.  I’m also not sure I will be doing anymore official races, but never say never, I might still be persuaded.

A bit about running…

Part of my training is running.  I have never been a big runner.

I remember a sports day in primary school, where I got drafted to run the 800 m (someone really wasn’t thinking clearly) and I told them it just wasn’t going to happen, they insisted and said that everyone must run, everyone must complete their race, even if they have to walk or crawl.  I ran for about 50 m before I felt like my lungs wanted to explode from my chest, so then I walked, for 750 m and because the rules stated EVERYONE had to finish, they couldn’t pull me off the track, they had to watch and wait for me to finish, they couldn’t do any other races, they had to wait for me.  They never asked me to run again!

Back to the present and the fact that I have to run.  3 km!

I bought myself a new pair of running shoes (the first new pair in over 15 years!) and I am running.  Sometimes I walk, but I always complete the run.  Yesterday morning we did the 3 km route and I ran 1 block, walked 1 block for most of it, the last 6 or so blocks I walked 1, ran 2.

running

I think I am getting better and I must admit, its not my legs that are the problem, its my lungs.  I cannot breathe.  Also my shins hurt with the impact of my feet on the road.

If anyone has any exercises or ideas on how to increase my lung capacity and how to avoid shin injury, I am all ears!

6am

Faith pretty much slept through last night.  Yay!

It did mean that she woke me up at 5am for a bottle but I managed to get her to go back to sleep.  Yay!

That meant that if I went back to sleep I would be a very grumpy Gina when I woke up later, so here I am, 6am, coffee made, laptop on, getting ready to tackle my first day back at work in almost 4 weeks.  Yay!  Maybe… Kind of…  Ok, Yay!!!

I must admit I was pretty clever going back to work today, not yesterday, you see, today is my half day, so I get to ease back into things.  I do have to go do the monthly grocery shop after work though but I think thats a fair trade.

Oh, and after that, once it cools down a little, I am going to attempt a run.  I have been seeing all the Twitter runners talking about their training and races and I have felt the urge to get on the road and run too.

Dont get too excited though, just climbing a flight of stairs leaves me breathless and exhausted, my cardio ability is severely lacking!  I do however need to exercise and I know that I will not use a gym contract to its full potential, running seems like a decent alternative.  I dont have to pay a membership fee , I dont have to go a minimum amount of times a month, I can run whenever suits me.

So wish me luck!