I had this brilliant idea a couple of months back to run a 5k on Thanksgiving.
Everyone replied, “I guess you’re not cooking?” Oh no. I did. For eight people.
Bailey was my running buddy for the past two races I did, but this time I went at it alone. I was curious as to how I would really do without the distractions that come with running with a dog (Poop. It always comes down to dog poop.).
The weather was cold and rainy, which of course, is awesome. I honestly don’t mind the cold. I hate being hot when I run. I’d rather be a bit on the chilly side. The rain was another story.
Runners waited inside until a race organizer announced that it was time to get lined up. Off we all went just as the cold rain started to come down. And there we stood for a good 10 minutes.
Just waiting. In the rain.
Thankfully, by the time we got going, the rain had let up and the sun was slowly starting to peek through the clouds.
The race was held in a notoriously wealthy part of town, which is fine. No ill will on their end. Not being a resident of this wealthy part of town, I was unaware how hilly it was. A few weeks back I stopped avoiding the big steep hill in my neighborhood, which ended up being good training for this course.
The hills were longer, but less steep so I knew that I could handle them at a slow, but steady pace.
Sidebar: To all the moms and dads that pushed strollers up those hills, I applaud you. I hope to one day be as fit as you.
The finish line, of course, was at the top of a hill, which as you can imagine is really super fucking awesome when you’re 40 pounds overweight and physically exhausted from jogging all of those other hills.
My race mantra was, “Slow and steady finished the race without walking.”
I don’t judge people who walk part of all of their 5k. I mean, my pace is so slow that most people can walk next to me so who am I to judge anyone?
See sidebar above.
But walking isn’t my goal. My goal is to finish without walking. My goal is to run, jog, whatever, the entire thing no matter how slow the pace.
Race 1 – Run for Their Lives 5k: 45:42, 14:44 min mile
Race 2 – Dog Day 5k: 43:16, 13:57 min mile
Race 3 – Just Think First 5k: 41:34, 13:24 min mile
I took off quite a bit of time overall, but I attribute that to not having Bailey and not because I’ve improved my pace since my last race.
Despite that, I’m proud that my race times continue to creep downward and I continue to achieve my goal of finishing without walking.
Thankfully this part of North Carolina has fairly mild winters so I should be able to keep up with my jogging regime until race season starts up next spring. Bailey needs the exercise so I don’t have much of a choice.
My ultimate goal is an overall time of 30 minutes for a 10-minute-mile.
Since walk/jog intervals got us to 3 miles, I figure jog/run intervals will help bring down our time. Using street lights as markers, Bailey and I jog for two street lights and walk for three. We do this until we get to the bottom of the big hill and break to focus on just getting back up.
The system seems to be working out well: I feel like I’ve added a challenge to my workout, without feeling like I’m killing myself and Bailey is happy that we’ve picked up the speed.
I’m not sure I’ll be able to hit my goal by the time the race season starts back up in the spring.
But, then again, this time last year, I couldn’t even jog a mile.
It just might happen.