5K | a runner’s diary

my Nike Pegasus post-race

Today my husband and I ran a 5K together (my first, not his). It was a lot of fun! I thought I would Blog about it while it’s still fresh in my mind, since we have more 5Ks coming up and some of this info may be useful again in the future.

Today’s particular 5K was the Jana Piccola Walk4Love Project. All of the money goes towards pediatric cancer research. It started and finished in Mill Dam Park, Huntington, which is right on the water. Subsequently, it’s also right smack in the middle of some serious hills, something I don’t have the option to train for closer to home. One thing I learned today: staring at sailboats on the calm, clear water at 9am is a luxury. Another thing I learned: hills are a killer!

I didn’t take any iPhone shots of the scenery. We were too pumped making sure everything was ready to go for the start of the clock. We had registered online about two weeks ago so today we got to go pick up our racing bibs (#272 for me, #273 for Vin), shirts and swag bags. We walked all of that back to the car and had a good half hour to kill. If you know me you know I run nowhere early so this was weird especially considering the hour (up at 6:50am, breakfast by 7am, kids dropped off at Mom’s 7:30am). I swear running is turning me into a morning person. Early morning runs = earlier bedtime.

When signing up for this race, I asked Vin to run it with me but not with me. Make sense? He’s much faster than I am. I didn’t want him to feel like he had to run alongside me and keep me company. I also didn’t want myself to feel bad for holding him back.  I don’t talk when I run. I don’t sing. I am pretty sure I have the smallest set of adult lungs on the planet so I don’t do much of anything aside from breathing. LOL! I was happy to crank-up my iPod and just run to my music.

At the starting line – 30 seconds left!

You know how some songs remind you of a certain place or time. I started the race to Florence + The Machine’s Dog Days and it was perfect. I’m pretty sure it will always paint a visual of this morning’s race for me when I play it in the future. Something about those faint guitar chords in the beginning and seeing all of those people scrambling into their comfort zones. Vin gave me one look and I waved him on. “I’m fine. Go”. He was off. He did awesome! I tried to pace myself but I think adrenaline got the best of me. I finished my first mile at 9:30. I am not a 9:30 runner so you can see where this isn’t optimal. =P I still had two miles left.

Mile 1, awesome.

Mile 2, not as awesome.

This is where we hit a great deal of hills. I had to do a combo of running and some walking to make it up most of them.

Halfway through the race, there was a water table. That helped.

Around 2.7 miles, we raced downhill for what felt like, um, ever. That was pretty cool because you sort of just ‘fall’ down the hill. It doesn’t take nearly as much effort as climbing up it so I knew I was making up some time here.

Around 2.8 miles, I spotted Elmo. LOL It was someone dressed in a giant Elmo outfit and it made me smile.

Around 3 miles AKA sooooo close to the finish line, I smiled at the boats. I thought “This is pretty cool. It’s 9:30am, I am up, functioning without coffee and running a race with beautiful scenery.”

And then I swear out of the blue, I thought I was going down. Humidity was at 98% all for the past few days. It was so thick outside. Just uncomfortable and sticky. I kept thinking “I am so close yet I really can’t finish this.” (psst: My name is Gina and I sometimes have a tendency to completely psych myself out). I wanted Vin to somehow spot me and help me walk over the finish line. (psst: Me again. I’m sometimes a bit on the dramatic side). I was slowing to a walk and the man in front of me turned around and pushed me to finish. And that was my goal all along anyway. I asked Vin last week what a good finish time was based on my pace He said “Just finish it”. Sometimes that man comes up with a real gem.

Despite that last 1/10th of a mile of feeling faint, the humidity and the hills, I finished in my goal time with my usual pace, if not a few seconds faster.

I finished my 1st 5K in 32:57 with a pace of 10:37.

Vin finished it in 25:51 with a pace of 8:19.

And just like that, we had 3.1 miles under our belts for the day and ran our first 5K together.  Post-race we enjoyed water, juice, oranges and these delicious sandwiches from Tropical Smoothie Cafe (mine was turkey with avocado – yum!)

Did I love it? Am I hooked?

I am running in the Diva 5K next weekend and a Nassau County Police Officer’s memorial 5K two weeks after that. What do YOU think?

Taken by Andrew, post-race & as a courtesy to you, post-shower.

You can’t really tell in the above shot because I have a blue shirt on but I got a bright blue hair feather after the race today (you can kind of see it sticking out over the RoadID part of my bib).

Taken by Emily.

I hope you are all having a great weekend and did something to keep yourself fit, happy and healthy! :)

3 Comments

  • Congratulations Gina!!! I’m so proud of you. I’m not a runner, sometimes I feel like I want to be. But, I have an AMAZING amount of respect for those that do! Your time is um. AMAZING!!! Way to Rock it #272!!!!

  • LOL I love my self-psyching semi-dramatic running friend. You’re too cute. You did fantastic! We won’t even talk about how fantastic Vinny did because he puts us all to shame. I wanna hear more about the guy who pushed you to finish! Did he say something to you??

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