Run your ice off 5K style

I do not DO mornings, especially on weekends. I do not DO cold.
But on a cold Saturday morning in February, I was up and dressed by 7:30. When I say "cold", I mean water was freezing. The thermometer showed 28 degrees.

I thought that I was crazy.
But there was a reason for my madness. I had decided that in 2013, I was going to run/walk in a 5k. It was my "good health" personal goal for the year. I was resolved to participate. No matter the temperature. It is my opinion that when you set goals, if you begin to make trivial excuses, it is harder meet the goal. It is better to make every effort to do it and then you have achieved something you wanted to accomplish. Once I registered online a couple weeks before the race, I knew I had to do it or lose my money.

Checking in was easy. I got my t-shirt and little gift bag, which I put in the car. I saw some friends and we chatted in high pitched voices indicating our excitement.
As I made my way to the starting point, I was anxious to begin. I was bouncing, shifting my weight from one foot to the other. I saw people stretching, so I figured I better do that too. That helped calm me down.

And then I began to feel the cold on my ankles. I went back to the car and put on my extra pair of socks.
Hubby was supposed to come out and I was feeling a little despondent because I did not see him. But then, like a beacon of light, I saw his car pull up. It gave me renewed energy. He is a great supporter of whatever I do.

By this time, it was getting close to 8:00 am. Runners began to gather near the starting line. Time to do what we came to do. Run this race.

Ready. Set. Go.

I was like a shot out of the gate, but within probably a quarter of a mile, I began to go at my regular stride. I knew that if I wanted to finish, I needed to pace myself. I had only been training for about a month, so I knew I do not yet have the endurance to run the whole 3.5 miles.

I found that I run best when I kept my eyes closed. I focused on the movement of my feet hitting the pavement. Two friends were running alongside me, but they both have longer legs so I had to take two steps to their one if I wanted to keep up with them.

I thought that I would have my iPod blasting with music to keep me pumped up, but the ear buds kept falling out of my ears.
In the end, I talked a little with my friends when we walked.
When we were running, we yelled encouraging phrases at each other to motivate: "KEEP IT UP!" "YOU GOT THIS!" "WE ARE ALMOST FINISHED!"
When we saw the finish line, the adrenaline kicked in and we gave all we had to run that last little bit.

My ending time was 48 minutes.

I did not win, but I did not come in last place either. That was my goal for my first 5k.
Hooray for me.
I had fun with good friends. Most importantly, I proved to myself that I could do it.

This was a great first 5k race for me. I recommend anyone who wants to exercise to participate. The race is usually the couple of weeks first of February in Greenwood SC.


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