Today I finished my very first race! I have been meaning to run and finish a race for years but I could never find the discipline to really commit to the project. Since I have rediscovered running 2 months ago I knew that I needed to work towards a goal to stay motivated. My original goal is next week’s Culemborg City Run 5k, but when I saw this local race popping up on a race schedule website I signed up. Yesterday I felt really weird. I had absolutely no idea what to expect. I knew that the race was pretty small but that is about all I knew.
I tried to start the day as normal as possible by just having my green smoothie for breakfast. This one had almond milk, spinach, oranges and a banana. I smelled yucky but tasted really good. The smell of the almond milk is just really overpowering.
I looks beautiful in all its greenness!
Since we only had to leave the house at 1 pm, I still had plenty of time left. To occupy myself I browsed some blogs and tried not to think about the race because I felt both nervous and excited at the same time. The clock literally inched forward, so the logical thing to do was to just make sure I had everything packed before leaving. Since it was a very short race I did not really need a whole lot of things.
My outfit consisted of my recently bought and reviewed H&M Sport’s Bra, my pink Craft t-shirt, a soccer short and my white/blue Nike running shoes. The weather was nice, 14 C and sunny so the weather was perfect for running. I still had to pick up something for my sister, I headed into town to get it and kill so more time. On the way back I picked up a very nice Brie sandwich. It was too big to finish it so the other half is still in my fridge but it was good!
We left right on time. The race was in Annerveenschekanaal, which is very, very tiny and about 30 minutes away. We could park fairly close to the start, so that we only had to walk a couple of hundred meters. The boyfriend was my support btw! The bib pick-up was fast, I was one of the last one’s to actually pick it up. There were two distances to run: 4.6k and 8.8k. 90% of the runners came for the 8.8k so we only had 7(!) people on the 4.6k.
Since bib pick-up was literally done in two seconds we still had some time to kill before the actual race start. The boyfriend sat and enjoyed the sun, while I paced back and forth anxious for the race to start. Finally it was time to get to the startline. The 8.8k started at the same time, so where not really alone. The buzzer went and off we went. I ran with my phone but there was still music playing from my last run. My first couple hundreds meters I was busy fixing my phone. I had to restart the ran, so my distance and time were basically useless information. The only info that I could still use was the pace. My goal was to finish under 3o minutes. My pace needed to be below 6’30”.
I started out alright, as the first kilometer was just road. I did not know, however, that the rest of the race was trail. We basically ran around a field. The unfortunate thing was that I had to look at the ground the entire time to make sure I wasn’t breaking my ankles in one of the holes in the grass. I could not really focus on the runners in front of me. I basically ran alone. I knew that the 8.8k were way too fast so I made sure not to get tempted to try and keep up. I was in last position for a couple hundred meters but then passed neon yellow lady runner. She became my driving force the entire race. I just did not want to finish last. As long as I was still in front of her, I felt confident that I could finish. I talked to myself. Out loud. A lot.
Since we walked in the field, and the Netherlands is basically as flat as it gets there was some side wind. Really had to motivate myself to not give up. Luckily I knew that I am able to run the distance, as I had already ran it before. After I past the 4K marker I saw blue tanktop lady runner in front of me. With some magical effort I managed to pass her a few hundred metres before the finish. I felt so great when I passed that finish line! The feeling is glorious! The boyfriend managed to record my finish so that was really awesome. My official time was 30:48, so no sub 30 race but that doesn’t really matter. I still did it, without any walking.
This was me pre-race sporting my very first medal. I am so extremely proud of myself. I feel like I can do literally everything now as long as I just commit! After the race I had to give back my bib which I was really bumbed about :(. Afterwards there was soup with bread. I gave away half the soup and the bread to the boyfriend and has some salty crisps instead. We stuck around for a hour to watch the prize ceremony. They also had a raffle with all the bibs. You could win a 125 euro gift card! I did not win but I think that is a really cool concept. Everyone had a equal opportunity to win something.
When we got home I did some pushups for a challenge and some stretching and then I hit the shower. We had a quick dinner and then went to the movies to see Rio 2. It was actually pretty good. And yes, I wore my medal to the movies.
Now I am enjoying my well deserved rest. This race was small but well organized. Maybe I will go back next year, but then I hope to participate in the 8.8k. Tomorrow I will start my 10k training plan, and next week is my second race that I will run with my mom. It is safe to say that I want more!