Now that I'm an "experienced" 5K runner, I thought I would share a few tips for all you newbies out there who are preparing to run your first race.
Step 1. Invite some of your best friends to run the race with you. Running with buddies is the way to go.
Step 2: The night before the race, be sure to drink at least 8 ounces of wine.
Step 3: Load up on carbs. Personal pizzas will usually do the trick.
Step 4: After your meal, be sure to drink another 8 ounces of wine.
Step 5: Make sure to feed your leftovers to someone else so that the temptation is not there in the morning.
Step 6: Meet up with your best friends and just HAVE FUN!!!!
When I first started running, I promised myself I would never get competitive. I swore I would never worry about my time or pace...I would just run for the fun of it and be proud every time I crossed a finish line. But after running a few races, I could feel the competition creeping up inside me. I wasn't competing with anyone but myself...but sometimes that's the worst competition of all :-)
This year I've set a lot of new goals for myself with running. I said I wanted to get my time under 30 minutes, and I have. I said I wanted to run at least five 5Ks this year and I am already on #9. I also said I wanted to run a 10K or 15K and even though that hasn't happened, I have big plans for next year :-)
But even though I have been hitting a lot of my personal goals, I've found myself disappointed at the end of races where I didn't set a new personal record. Isn't that silly? I mean really...who cares? The fact that I can run 3.1 miles is a big enough accomplishment and I should just be thankful that I have the health and ability to do so.
So when my girls and I decided that we would run this race TOGETHER and not worry about times or pace today, I was a little relieved!!! I went into today feeling relaxed and excited to just have some fun with my friends. It was a beautiful (chilly) fall day and we got to run the beautiful lake front in Chicago. And the best part...I got to spend some time with these amazing ladies.
This was Mandy's FIRST 5K and she did amazing. It actually blew my mind how relaxed and natural she seemed! It was like she had been running for years!!! Even Amy, our experienced marathon runner, was impressed with Mandy's run today. We were both so proud of her :-)
And then there is my BF Tara. This girl has been through SO MUCH the past few weeks and she just keeps smiling and holding her head high. She is such an amazing person, and friend, and I was happy to share this day with her. She did AMAZING today and even set a new personal record for herself. I was so, so proud of her :-)
And as a special treat, our friend Tom (or Tommers as we like to call him) was able to make it to the race today too!!! Tara and Tom and I managed to cross the finish line holding hands and I can't wait to see the pictures :-)
I just want to end this post by saying thanks to all my running buddies today!! Thanks for all the laughs, the inspirational quotes (Tommers: "I'm hungry for that finish line!!"), the gossip, and best of all...the support. It was a great day and I can't wait for all of us to run together again soon!!!