Last Sunday I did my first 15K. If you’re thinking about doing the jump from 5k to 15k let me give you one piece of advice: train!
I had signed up with the intentions of using it as a goal in the gym and as motivation to train more regularly. Needless to say I did not. I finished the race, and even finished it under my goal, but then I was in such pain I barely moved from a recumbent position for 2 days. It’s 3 days on and I’m still hobbling around like I left my walker at home, but at least I’m vertical now.
The race was the Mini Heart 15K. You may remember I was also signed up to do the 5K directly afterward with Dad. That was my goal: to finish the 15K in the 3 hours so I was in time to start the 5K with Dad. Well he ended up not doing his race due to knee issues. I finished my race at 2 hours and 38 minutes. After getting my medal, my “free” water and banana I had 10 minutes grace before the 5K was due to start. So, in theory, I could have done it with him. Since I was already regretting the horrible life decision of doing a 15K without any training I opted not to compound the issue and didn’t do the 5K either. If Dad had been there I think I could have managed and pushed through it but he wasn’t and I was already fantasizing of my bed and Tylenol so why torture myself?
As you can see from my stats above I didn’t finish last, though I wasn’t far off. Not sure why my tracking app went crazy and thought I did 19 miles, but you can see where I actually started walking and my average of minutes per mile. Also, take note of that little tail of street we went up and back down. That little tail was someone’s idea of a not-so-hilarious joke I think. “Oh? They’ve been running for 7 miles already? Let’s throw in a super steep hill when they’re already exhausted! That’d be super fun!” Oy vey…
Also, not going to lie. As the minutes ticked by I got more and more pissed off at the tall people! One stride equaled 3 of mine! They’re just casually sauntering down the street while I look like Richard Simmons on crack speed walking.
The only reason I attribute finishing before my goal was because of Bright Green Shirt Dude, and so consider this my ode to BGSD.
As I was nearing the 2 mile mark I noticed my speed was not what it should have been. I was already getting lapped by old dudes pushing strollers. Then I noticed BGSD just ahead of me. He was just jogging away, a steady speed, never slowing or speeding up, just slowly plodding along. He jogged straight for the first 4.5 miles without stopping. I was very impressed. Once I noticed him and his steadfastness I decided to use him as my pace person. As long as he was within eyeshot I was okay. I’d jog for a bit to catch up every now and again, but for the most part I was able to keep up with him the entire time. Near the finish line he pushed ahead and full out ran, losing me in the process. You can see his neon loveliness crossing the finish line off in the distance in the photo above. I had intended on hugging him at the finish line and telling him how he got me through the race, kept me moving and honest, kept me from quitting. He was too far in front of me though and I had no energy left to do a huge last push like he did. So shoutout to the glorious BGSD: you rock and thank you!
Compare my face at the start line to the finish line. At the start line I looked hopeful, although resigned to a not-so-fun task. At the finish line I just look pained. You might also notice the lack of headphones at the finish line. That’s because right after I took my “before” photo I realized that my headphones were dead. With only 10 minutes left I didn’t have enough time to run back to the car and get my other pair so I had to do the whole thing in silence, with the occasional spurt of music from the volunteers’ cars and other runners who were listening to music with just their phones/ no headphones. I didn’t want to be that person to force my music on other people. I tend to exercise to old blues mixed with some newer stuff. It’s not everyone’s cup of tea.
I’m glad I did it, and super glad and proud that I finished it, but I could have made better decisions surrounding my first 15K.
-wear gloves when it’s 45 degrees out and you’re running by the river. My hands were freezing!
-make sure your wireless headphones are charged the night before
– and train beforehand!
Now to apply my newly learned common sense lessons towards preparing for the Flying Pig 10K…