If I’m being honest, I don’t really like to look at 5:00 am on a Sunday morning.
I don’t like it at all.
Add about 46 degrees to that equation, and I am not starting out with the best conditions for my first ever 5K. But I made it work.
I did ignore the alarm I set at 4:30, and 4:45…and the one Mark set (oops…)
But a bad dream about missing the race sent me straight up in the bed at 5:00am…wide awake. So, that was something.
It was difficult to find the parking lot for the race. Knott’s Berry Farm’s have never impressed me with their signage, and today was no exception. There was like one sign…far away from the address given on the race page. Lame.
But I left way early anticipating long lines to pick up my race bib, so I still made it in plenty of time.
I got to bib pick up by about 6:25.The sun was just starting to peer into the lot, and the Knott’s roosters were crowing their little heads off. I found it sort of hilarious, actually. Happy Race Day, from the roosters.
I wondered around for a while, after bring my race tee and bag of goodies to the car. I grabbed a free coconut water for some pre-race hydration, and snacked on an apple and half of a cliff bar. I also got a free $5 gift card to Home Depot at one of those spin the wheel, get free stuff booths. Score.
But finally I made my way over to the start. They did three starts. The first was a sub 7 minute mile, the second was 8 to 12 minute miles, and the last was over 12 minute mile/ walkers.I squeezed into the back of the middle group. I run about an 11.5 minute mile, but didn’t want to squeeze in with the walkers either.
Apparently there was traffic (I didn’t see any), so we started about 12 minutes late. I got tired of staring at my shoes, and I didn’t know anyone…so I took a picture of my race bib for posterity.
It is my first race, after all. It’s on my leg, because despite cold, I thought my sweatshirt would come off at some point (which it did).
The gun fired for the 7 minute milers, and I got ready. We moved towards the start line, and I turned my music on, and fired up my fit bit’s stop watch. Bam. We were off…
My group of runners was the biggest, and it was so crammed I could hardly move, let alone jog. I was just hoping, that if I must get stuck in a crowd, they would at least move along.
About half a mile in, we did run under Ghost Rider…which was pretty cool. I mean, this is the Coaster Run, right?
The crowd really didn’t thin out much during the race, but I was happy to find that most in the back of my group seemed to keep up my pace. I was even able to carve out a little spot for myself in the far right. I had to slow to a walk about five times, but never for more than a minute or so to catch my breath or stop a cramp from spreading.
I was thrilled to find the water station about half way through. I don’t really like running with anything in my hands, so I was ready for a quick cup of water. I was so into running that I tried to drink it while I was still jogging. It went everywhere, but I got enough down.
I meant to check my time once or twice on the fit bit, but I never really got around to it. But I felt I was keeping up the best pace I could, so why did it matter?
Finally, with a little over half a mile to go, I glanced at my time. 29 minutes. My goal of 35 minutes was within my grasp. But I had to run. I quickened my pace, which was good since I started hitting the race photographers, but I stumbled with the finish line in my site. I had to walk…just for a second. But then, I regained my composure and sprinted all out to the finish.
It was worth it.
My official race time was 34:46.
I know it’s nothing special…but for my first time, I was really happy to reach my goal.
After I crossed the finish, I nearly fell over gasping for air. Someone handed me a medal, and I stumbled over looking for water, after shakily getting my sensor off my right shoe. I tried to eat an orange, but settled for sucking the juice out of it. And my complimentary Knott’s pie came home with me for later. Food was not an option.
But I did it! And I’m really proud of myself for sticking to it. And yes, I know. I look like just as big a nerd as ever.
Next one in two weeks.