Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Finished: First Frigid 5K!!!

I know that I did my 5K nearly a month ago, but I still want to write something about it. So, here it is:

I did it!

I completed my first 5K race!

And it was freezing. Miserable freezing.

It wasn't as bad as it could be....I mean, the weather forecast the night before predicted it would be -14 degrees when we ran....and we had a balmy +10!

haha. yeah. brrrrrr.

My whole family (mom, dad, John, 2 sisters, 1 brother-in-law, 1 brother, 1 sister-in-law, and me) was doing it together, which was awesome. For more than half of us, it was our first 5K--or any race for that matter.

We all got there at 7:45am, even though our race didn't start until 9:15, because my little 4 year old nephew was running the kids 1K race. It was adorable....but kind of pitiful watching all those kids freeze as they were all huddled at the starting line.

So we had over an hour to wait. They had said they would have heated tents, but they lied. Really it was just some big tents, that once there were enough people in there, there was some body heat. Brrrrrrr. My feet were freezing. As in, felt prickly and then numb. So a few of us went back to the car to warm up before the race. Great idea. :)

When it was about to start, we geared up again. I changed my shoes, since I was wearing my Vibram Five Fingers. I was pretty worried about wearing them, since there wasn't much between my freezing feet and the snow. I did have some toe socks, but they weren't very thick at all.

As John and I walked toward the start line, we realized we weren't going to make it in time for the starting gun. Yikes! So, (and this was a truly brilliant idea) we jogged up the hill to get the start. Oh joy. I was kind of freaking out, since I was already out of breathe before I even started. Great. We got there just as the walkers in the race were heading out (people who were walking were at the end). I stopped to catch my breathe, and then started out, weaving between people and passing all the walkers.

Around the first corner I caught up to my Mom and sister. My mom was just going to do a bit of jogging and mostly walking, and my sister, though she's a marathoner, is pregnant (woohoo!!!!), so she was going to stay with Mom. I ran with them for a little while to cheer them on, then pressed on. Next I caught up to my other sister and bro-in-law. They had been doing the couch-2-5K program, so they were jogging quite a bit, but hadn't been able to finish the program. They were walking when I caught up, so I went between them, grabbed their arms and jogged for a while. :) BIL had a way faster jog than me, so he actually took off ahead of us, but then I caught up again and ran a bit more with him before I took off ahead again.

And then it happened.

My utter melt down.

I had passed all the family I thought I would catch up to, and it was just John and me.

My feet were freezing. Like little pins of ice were in my shoes.

I couldn't control my breathing, first because of the altitude, then because I was just freaking out.

I couldn't see far enough ahead to make myself mini-goals because of the sea of people, so I felt like I couldn't push myself.

And then I started whining. Whining like I haven't whined since I started this journey. It was more like whimpering actually. "I can't do this, I have to walk. I can't do this. There's no way. Why did I ever think I could do this. This was a horrible idea. I can't do this." And on and on.

John was with me....he didn't know what to do. He tried many tactics to help, firmly telling me that I could do it, telling me I just needed to push though it. Reminding me that this isn't who I am anymore, than I've changed, that I was talking like the old Diana. Encouraging me that I have proved to myself that I am strong, that I can push myself, that I have conquered so many things in the past 6 months. He was really wonderful, but really I just needed to get over my pity party.

I felt like a failure the first time I started walking. I was near the point of tears, hyperventilating, half of me freezing, half of me sweating. I think I made it about half a mile. I had to walk another 2 times before I got to a mile. I felt pathetic.

I had my mp3 player with me just in case I needed a boost. I love music...I love moving to the beat and losing myself in it, forgetting the pain and tiredness. So I started it up.

About a mile in, my feet finally warmed up. I had heard that that's the way they should work, is since all the muscles in my feet were working, I would have better circulation once they warmed up. And sure enough, once I'd been moving, they were actually quite cozy! What a relief. :)  The VFF's were great from then on.

I'm not sure if it was finally something John said, or if it just clicked in my head, but around 1.2 miles I fixed my attitude. I said to myself "Self, shape up. Just because you had an awful first mile, doesn't mean you can't be proud of yourself for the rest of it! You can totally do've trained for this. Yes, nature threw some obstacles that suck, but you've pushed past barriers before. Now do this!"

And I did.

I blasted my music, started shedding my clothes (thank goodness that John was there, he was like my personal coat rack. He held my coat, my hat, my, and ran.

And I kept running. And it was okay. I got a hold of my breathing. I found a great rhythm. I even was singing along to some of my music! A little before mile 2, I caught up to my sister-in-law, Ira. This was her second 5K. We had thought we would run about the same pace, and maybe run the whole thing together, but since I got a late start, that didn't happen. I was so glad that I caught up and was able to run the last mile with her. It gave me that extra boost. Everything felt great. My attitude was way better, I felt optimistic about finishing, I was *relatively* enjoying being outside in the gorgeous valley with the mountains around, I had my music, was flanked by two great family members, it was good. And then.........the last corner!!!

I had a great sprint at the end. I was dyyyyyying, but it was great. I pushed hard and had an awesome finish. My brother was there at the finish line cheering us on. It's way easier to push hard at the end when you're running through a line of people cheering. :)

The race was actually 3.2 miles, instead of a true 5K which is 3.1. My actual 5K time was 42 minutes. Obviously, very, very slow compared to most people. But that was 42 minutes that I pulled my 205lb self along! The other thing that was awesome, is that my goal was 40 minutes. I was pretty happy with only being two minutes off given my pathetic 1st mile!

Overall, I feel like my meltdown was proportional to the difficulties that I hadn't been prepared for (artic cold, running in snow, altitude). I haven't beat myself up about it. I am just so proud that I bucked up and did the majority of the race strong. I proved to myself that I am strong, and that I can push myself, even when I think I can't.

But, even so, I will be doing another 5K here locally, just so I can say that I ran a 5K. Because I know I can. And it will be warmer....mmmmmm.

So, that's my story of the 2010 Bozeman MT Huffing For Stuffing first 5K! :)

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