[Originally Published 05.07.2013]
A couple of weeks ago one my twitter/fb/ig friends, Marie (My SoCal Life), invited me to run a 5k/10k in Santa Monica with her in May. I’ve never run a race before and I thought it would be cool to finally meet her and her family in person. So, I went on to active.com and searched for the 5k/10k in Santa Monica in May. I found the Spring Dash 5k, 10k, 15k, half marathon and registered for the 5k. It turns out, I signed up for the wrong race. Marie signed up for the Santa Monica Classic later in the month. Oops. Oh well.
This was going to be my first 5k race ever. This was going to be my first race in my adult life (I had a very short career on the high school track team back in the 90s). I was excited and nervous at the same time. Although I my typical runs on my own are about 3 miles long, I can’t say I’ve really pushed myself for speed. I think my best DIY 5k time was a little over 28 minutes so I was looking forward to seeing what adrenaline in a race would do for me.
Still, in the back of my mind, that insecure voice was casting doubt. I almost decided to not show up at the race since my friend wasn’t going to be there anyway. Even during my drive from Orange County to Santa Monica, I was trying to come up with excuses to not run…
Well, I made it to Crescent Bay Park in Santa Monica. It was a beautiful sight!
I went to check in and pick up my bib and I realized that I knew the person behind the table. We were Daily Mile and Facebook friends. We also met once before in real life when I bought a pair of shoes from her boyfriend. Her organization, Rocket Racing Productions, was hosting this race. It was a small, low-key race… perfect for my first one.
I was ready. I was excited. My goal was to meet or beat 28 minutes. All of the runners, regardless of the distance of their race, started together. After a some instructions about the course and a 10 second countdown, we were off!
I probably started running faster than I should have but I tried to keep that pace some of the other runners for the first mile. I tried not to get too distracted by the scenery of the beach and pier. But for some reason, I kept thinking about what I was going to eat after I was done with this race. Before I knew it, I was at 1.55 mile turn around.
I was feeling good until maybe the last 3/4 mile… just a minor cramp in my right quad. But I still pushed through. I had passed a couple of guys who were younger than me after the turn-around and I didn’t want them to catch up to me. They didn’t.
I finished the 5k in 26:31, 5th place overall out of 37 people running that distance! I met and exceeded my goal! This was definitely a confidence boost for me. Now, I’m signed up for my first 10k at the Santa Monica Classic in a couple of weeks.
What was your first race? How did you do? How did it make you feel?