Saturday, July 30, 2011

Success on All Fronts: My First 5K

I’ve had success, dear reader(s), with my first 5K! I finished at 54:07 according to my HRM. I'll have to wait until they post the results to see my official time. The walk there was .35 miles from my apartment, so I set three different laps on my HRM: Lap 1 – walking to the registration/starting line; Lap 2 – walking the actual 5K; Lap 3 – walking home from the finish line. I burned 397 calories doing the 5K and about 45 each getting to and from my apartment, so that’s 487 calories in under an hour! Pretty good, I think.

Some things I learned that will help with my next 5K:

1.     3.1 miles is no joke. It’s a longer distance than I realized and I need to walk more so I am not as surprised or tuckered out after the race.
2.     I am not ready to walk/jog a 5K. Maybe during cooler days, but walking/jogging a 5K in 90 degree heat isn’t doable for me yet. (I ran for a total of 105 seconds today.)
3.     Good call on the water. They had a great food/drink stand there, but I drank my whole bottle while I was walking.
4.     Don’t go to registration so early. The race started at 9 a.m.; registration opened at 7:30 a.m.; I left my apartment at 8 a.m. It took me 3 minutes to register and get my time tracker anklet. Then I stood there for over an hour. I was by myself, which was fine, but that meant the time went even more slowly. Also, my feet were getting bored and tired from standing. Next time I will go early, but not that early.
5.     I ate before I left, which was good. They had a lot of food there, but I noticed it was donuts and muffins, and other pre-packaged goodies. Fruit, yes, but lots of other tempting things for a fat girl who loves her pastries. Best to eat before I go and stay away from the snack table.
6.     I got some blisters. I knew I had problem areas on my feet but I forgot to get any type of pads for them, so I just dealt with it. They’re not too bad, but they started hurting about 1.5 miles in, so next time I will be sure to get some sort of protective pads for those areas.

Here’s a picture of me before I left my apartment:

Here’s a picture of me upon my return (check out the official number badge!):

And an up-close one of my sweat and smeared make-up:

The race was fantastic. Lots of friendly people and plenty of walkers. I was certainly not in last place when I crossed that finish line (I pictured me being rushed by the police escort that brought up the back). One lady had a dog that kept just lying down in shady spots. He’d be jogging alongside his owner then – bam! – lying in the middle of the street. He was me in dog form, I think. Then a woman passed me who was talking to her son about exercise. She said it doesn’t matter when you finish, just that you keep moving and finish. Her whole family was doing the race (her other family members were running) and she walked alongside her son, who wasn’t ready to run yet. It was very refreshing to see a mother so encouraging. I even saw a kid wearing a shirt that I designed (I was a graphic designer for years before I became an editor).

After I finished, I had a mini bagel with about 1T of cream cheese (it tasted soooo good!) and ate it as I walked back to my apartment. It was a great morning and I cannot wait to do another 5K!

Side note: When I filled out the registration form, they had a place to mark what size shirt you wanted. Now, I’m an XL girl. That’s just the size I’ve been since I can remember (I did do a quick stint in size L when I magically lost that 50 or so pounds a few years ago, but that didn’t last long). But guess what size I got? A large. I’m all sweaty, so I haven’t tried it on yet, but it looks like it will fit. I’m not going back to XL. I refuse.

Change of topic: last night I did the spinning class. Jeff, the usual instructor, was back. I think I might love him. He’s adorable and encouraging and listens to some pretty good music. He was way more intense than Mary was (although Mary was really good and I’d totally do another class with her again). He had us do an 8-minute climb. The first time I took his class he had us do this too, but I couldn’t stand and pedal for more than one minute. Of course, that was during my foot problem, but even without that, I probably wouldn’t have been able to do much more than three or four minutes. But last night, I started out slowly and just told myself that I would stand and pedal as long as I could, but that it was okay to take a break when I needed to. One minute passed and I was still standing. Then two, three, four. By the time we passed the five-minute mark, I knew that I wasn’t going to sit down. I had already passed the halfway point. I had already done the hard part. And guess what? I made it all eight minutes! How fantastic is that?! Eight whole minutes of climbing. The sweat was just dripping off of me. I can’t wait to do it again next Friday.

I think that’s it for now. I have to get showered up for my trip to Trader Joe’s. Have you gone to Trader Joe’s yet? What are you waiting for?!

Exercise: 5K!
Total Calories Burned: 487

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