I Ran My First 5k and Won!

Yesterday I ran my first 5k, and won! Well, at least in my eyes. There were 149 runners that showed up, and I placed 87th with a time of 31 minutes (31:39:88, to be exact, with an average pace of 9:52 a mile). But the fact that I went and finished gives me a great sense of accomplishment.

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There were some crazy fast people there! The first place winner clocked in at a mere 17:08! I can’t imagine running so fast!

There was a murderous, steep mountain hill (aptly named “Falls Hill”) that almost everyone walked up, including me. Most of the course was flat or small hills after that. This race also gave me a new record for my 1 mile time: 5:37 (I’m in disbelief).

There are a few things I’d wish I’d known before going in that would have really calmed my nerves.

1. You pin your bib to the front of your shirt, anywhere. This may seem like common sense to most, but I’d never run nor watched a race before and I thought maybe there was a specific spot on your shirt you had to pin it. Turns out, as long as it is visible you can pin it on your face for all they care.

2. You don’t start being timed until you cross the start line. So even though thirty people got a “head start” on you, you could actually run the same amount of time as them on the course. I found this out because a girl who was way ahead of me crossing the starting line ran just a few seconds shorter than me. If I had known this beforehand, I would have had a lot less stress during the race.

3. Bring your own post race snacks! I had been told there would be snacks and drinks provided. Turns out that was half a banana, a quarter of a half of a bagel (they broke the two sides apart and then cut them into quarters, making 8 pieces), and cheap, off brand bottled water (which gives me major headaches, and was also very warm). I was shocked by how little they provided! I understand that it is hard for them to provide for so many people, but even a whole banana would have been nice. But for the future, I know to bring my post-race food.

4. Crossing the finish line is addicting. After we got home, I immediately got online and began searching for more races.

Overall, it was an amazing experience, and one that I highly wish to repeat. Maybe one of these days I’ll be able to convince someone to run one with me (nudge, nudge sister-in-Florida).

Happy Racing!

Have you ever run a race? Answer in the comments below!

5k’s and Heart Attacks

I’ve been running since last November. I have pushed myself, ran when it’s 10º outside, and cross trained like nobody’s business.

I decided that it was time to move forward.

Sooo….

I entered my first race. (So I wouldn’t have to sell my left arm, some dear family members chipped in on the entry fee. Thank you!)

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It’s just a 5k, a distance I can now run easily (at the moderate pace of a 10 minute mile), but I am nervous out the wazoo. I don’t expect to place, and I will be thankful just for crossing the finish line (not to say I don’t hope I get a 30 minute or less time anyway!).

It’s on  Sunday, February 23rd,  and the weather is supposed to be in the mid-thirties with wind and possibly freezing rain, conditions my sister-in-law that lives in Florida would have a heart attack at the thought of running in.

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Here’s to hoping I don’t have a heart attack myself.

Happy running!

Have you raced before? What was your first race like? Answer in the comments below!

My Frenemy, the Foam Roller.

As a runner, I often read and hear about the amazing wonders of the foam roller. I have heard that it cures aches, soreness, and pain. That it prevents injury and feels like a deep tissue massage. That it possesses magical powers which, when activated, can make you able to fly.

Okay maybe not that last one.

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There are so many people who swear by the use of foam rollers, especially runners. My left knee has been hurting so, last week, I broke down and bought one in hopes that it might help.

(With a sale, Christmas gift card and coupon code, I paid $6.26 instead of the retail $40! Yay!)

It just arrived today, and is a 36″ High Density j/fit foam roller.

Browsing through Pinterest, there are a ton of different ways to use this hunk of medical-grade foam. Since I had no idea how to use this thing, I decided to try this guide I found. It covers hip flexors, IT band, hamstrings, glutes, calves, upper back, lats, and chest.

Most people look up how to use things; not many people look up how NOT to use things. I think that this is a very important step that is skipped often, especially when it comes to health! The only warning I really found was not to use it on your lower back. Putting pressure on your lower spine could cause injury* (which is exactly what I’m trying to avoid by foam rolling in the first place.) If you have come across any other warnings, please leave it in the comments below!

So I’ve got a few exercises to do, and know how not to use it. Time to get down and dirty.

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OH. MY. WORD.

Whatever this thing is, it is NOT relaxing. I had read other people mentioning that it hurt, but seriously! Pain flared through me with every roll. I sounded like a dying elephant. I kid you not. So for those of you who are wanting to start foam rolling, be warned! It HURTS.

However, it’s been a little while since I’ve rolled now, and my whole body feels so much better. I didn’t even realize how tense I was before. So maybe the 10 minutes or so of pain was worth it.

I have a five mile run this afternoon. Here’s to hoping that my knee hurts less.

Happy rolling!

Do you foam roll? Answer in the comments below!

 

(You can find more resources here and here.)

*I am not a doctor or anything medically related. This is based on research that I’ve done, and should not be consider a Professional’s opinion.