I have never been a runner. Even back in high school, when I played lacrosse, I hated running. I even switched from midfield to defense so I wouldn't have to run as much. In the past when I have tried running, it was always such a painful experience. I was just too out of shape to run. However after having completed P90X and the Insanity Asylum Fitness programs, they changed what I thought my body was capable of.
I recently took up running a few months ago. I wanted to capitalize on the improved cardio that I got after The Insanity Asylum. This time around, running came more naturally and with much less strain on the body. I found that I actually enjoyed my runs. At that point, I decided to looking into racing.
I was referred to the active.com website which lists all the local races. I wasn't sure which race to sign up for. I decided to play it safe and just start with a simple 5K. I heard that they were often quite fun and relaxed races. I thought that it would be a good way to test the waters. I was looking for a local race around town. My friend Janet Cheng, forwarded me an email about a local 5K in Irvine called the Kevin Cook 5K Spirit Run. I decided this was it.
I was pleasantly surprise to find out that my family, mom, dad, brother, mother in law and brother in law wanted to come out and watch me run. I really appreciated their support. The race was held at The Great Park in Irvine, on the old El Toro Marine Base. The race course was around the tarmac on concrete. It was flat as can be. It was such a beautiful day to run. There were sunny blue skies but the temp was still in the low 70s. I got there early and watched the high school runners race. I was shocked at how fast their times were. Then it was time to line up at the start. This was a small local race so I estimate there were only a few hundred in the open division. We were all milling around when the race chairman said, "GO!!!" Then it was literally off to the races.
Running in a crowd of people is quite an experience. I'm use to running by myself down a quiet bike path, only crossing paths with another runner on occassion. The beginning of the race is quite exhilirating. There is so much energy that you get caught up in it and want to floor it to the max. I had to constantly remind myself to slow down and pace myself. There was all sorts of runners around me: senior citizens; little kids; big people; skinny people; runners with strollers; and runners with dogs. It was quite the zoo.
I had a preconceived plan on keeping a certain pace but that pretty much went out the door. I felt good and just went with it. I fell into a comfortable pace and was able to maintain it throughout the race. I even had enough saved in the tank for a strong kick to the finish line. My official finish time was 23 minutes and 16.1 seconds. My calculated average pace was 7 minutes 29.36 seconds per mile. I placed 94th overall out of 386 total in the open division. They did not break it down into age groups. I was very happy with my performance. I'm hoping to see what my ranking was. Unfortunately, since this was such a small race, they didn't use chip timers. They simply collected my tear away race bib stub and posted it on a race board. I forgot to go back and check the results. Hopefully they will post the results online later.
I want to do a 10K race next but I can't commit to it just yet. I've decided to take a month off from running. Unfortunately, I have developed a problem with my right hip. At first, I thought it was just sore from the running but it continued to get worse with each subsequent run and would stay around longer. I held off on running the 2 weeks prior to my 5K to rest it up and it did get better. My hip felt great during my 5K but I started noticing the soreness coming back at the end of the race. By the time I got home, I was limping again. Not good. I think I either have tendonitis of my hip flexor or possibly a small stress fracture. I was pushing my pace too early in my training. Lessoned learned. It is frustrating to have to stop running when I have finally fallen in love with it, but I know the only way I can continue to pursue this sport, is to let my body heal up. It is my sincerest hope that after having taken a month off from running, I can start training again. I really want to run the Dana Point 10K Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving with some friends of mine who are interested.
Super big thanks to my brother who took most of these pics for me. I only took a few with my iphone (which are the square pics). Also big thanks to all of my family and in laws who came out to share in the experience with me. It really meant so much to me!
The kids got to enjoy the Merry Go Round at the Great Park afterwards.
I did it!
Here's my very first running race medal! More to come!
Before I end this post, I want to leave you guys with this great video. Makes me want to lace up my running shoes and go for a run everytime I watch it.
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