After nine weeks of couch-to-5K and two additional weeks to get ready I finally lined up at the starting point for my first race in Chipman, New Brunswick. This race started and finished at the same place and the course was mostly flat. (2.5K up the road and then straight back for the second 2.5K)
Before starting I felt tired and anxious. In spite of my training, I didn’t feel ready on race day. What did I do wrong? I left home at about 7 and arrived in town shortly after 8:30 in time to register and get the free t-shirt. (There were only 75 up for grabs and I wanted one as a souvenir of my first official 5K run.) Then, I waited for forever for the race to start. This was the worse part, standing, waiting, trying to relax and seeing all the super-fit runners from across the province arrive and warm-up. What was I doing here?
Finally, at 10 the race started and I was on my way. A few minutes later I wanted to call it a day. Everyone seemed to be so fast. Actually, everyone was faster than me. The 10K runners dashed by – young, old, slightly plump, a man pushing a baby buggy and before long I had the street to myself.
My time goal entering the race was to finish in 40 minutes or less. By the time I hit the 2K marker my time goal was under 50 minutes or just finish and stay ahead of the walkers. Wait – at this point I was also a walker. Somehow, I found enough strength to start running again and made it to the finish line in slightly less than 38 minutes. Well, I am not exactly sure of the time because I forgot to click the stop button on my watch when I crossed the finish line. When I realized this and hit stop my time was 38:15 seconds.
Overall, the day was a positive experience. I met some other runners who offered words of encouragement. The race organizers and locals were friendly. Most importantly, I have a PR (personal record) that I can work on improving.