Yesterday was my first 5K. I did not really know what the course would look like and was surprised to see that we would be starting at the highest point on campus (University of Nevada in Reno) and returning to that point. I also did not expect it to be as cold as it was (it had snowed in the mountains the night before). The one thing I was certain of…I would finish the event. And I intended to run the entire course.
Walking up to the event from where we parked served as warm up as it was all uphill. There was music and colorful dye and many interesting outfits including one young man in only a Speedo and running shoes and another in metallic gold shorts.
They actually started about 15 minutes early and it felt good to move. Unfortunately, people did not follow the guidelines (slow and walkers to the right) and I spent much of the run running around people. Going downhill wasn’t bad at all and when we got to what appeared to be the halfway mark (meaning we started to turn back uphill), I was nicely warmed up and felt pretty good about how things were going. Unfortunately, at the top of the big hill we had previously descended, we turned and the run continued with many more inclines.
I remember passing three women in red patterned running tights and then appeared to pass them again. They were walking, how did they get in front of me again? (I later figured out that they were a part of a larger group of women – all with the same tights) I did not always run at my normal tempo (especially during the second half when most of the course was an incline – some pretty steep) but I continued to run. Even when it looked more like a shuffle, I kept running. By the time I had passed through the yellow dye, green dye, pink and purple dye stations, and headed into the blue, I was wishing I had my music so I would know how much further I had to run.
The people at the blue dye station were a bit wild and I came out of that station with blue dye up my nose (thankfully I had a tissue). Of course there was yet another hill to climb before arriving at the finish line. And when I arrived, I slowed briefly to let my boyfriend take a photo and then ran on through.
There were lots of people at the finish line to cheer us on and hand out water. I got my water and began walking. I was not prepared for the jolt of emotion that hit me as I walked around the parking lot to cool down. At one point, I thought I was going to start crying (endorphins no doubt). Eventually I got back into balance. We stayed long enough to see the dye throw and then grabbed a chai latte and headed home.
As to the question I raised in my last post…yes, I now plan to do 4 more 5Ks before my 56th birthday (December 24). I already have most of them picked out including a mud and obstacle run in September.