A few weeks ago, my good friend Robyn asked if I would be up for a 5k the first weekend of March. Initially I had said no but when she responded as to how much her sweet little Jake wanted to do it, my arm was twisted. I was fortunate enough to have Robyn sign up for us, making this race free for me. The race got added to my calendar and I didn’t think much more about it. Thursday night Robyn came by my apartment to bring me my race packet. This made race morning so much easier because I got to snooze just a tiny bit longer.
The night before the race, one of my roommates sprung me with free tickets for me and my boyfriend to go see George Strait! He was on tour in Knoxville. We willingly agreed but I knew we would be out late resulting in a not so great night of sleep.
Race morning came way too early as my alarm started buzzing at 6:30. After a quick breakfast and a check of the weather, we were out the door. It was snowing and bitterly cold, but I made the most of it and thought that maybe it would be a smaller race as a result. Robyn ended up staying home and staying warm instead of racing which was totally fine since she had a long trip to Nashville later that afternoon. After getting to the race and sitting in the car for twenty minutes, I realized that we were supposed to pick up chips before the start. The race was supposed to start in less than five minutes so panic set in. Luckily there were tons of people in line still waiting for their chips so the race got delayed.
After milling my way to the back to wait for the race start, I found a nice group of young kids to talk to. There were so many kids there since this race was mostly one for children. All the proceeds went to local elementary schools. The start gun went off with no warning and we were off. The course ran around a huge parking lot then ended up down an open road in Knoxville. I was very entertained at all the young kids who would run back and forth and all over the place to talk to different friends. Too bad I didn’t have their energy.
I could tell from the beginning that this race was going to suck. I wasn’t prepared, I hadn’t ran, I didn’t sleep, I hate the cold, and it was horrible. Complaining is definitely NOT something I do, so it was hard to feel defeated at such an early stage in the race. About half a mile in, I just decided to take it easy and walk most of the way, talking to kids and parents and making the most of what seemed to be an unenjoyable experience. We went up so many hills in the race. Hills is actually an understatement. These hills were beyond steep and straight up torture. So steep in fact, that power walking up them wasn’t even an option. With every hill came more and more negative thoughts. My Garmin seemed to be broken because the tenths of miles crept by.
Then, there it was…the finish line. I have never been more happy to see a finish line. I scanned the crowd looking for my biggest fan who was on photo duty but couldn’t spot him. I finished in 40:20. Almost a personal worst. Part of me felt defeated that the race got the best of me and that I am so incredibly out of shape. But the other part of me was incredibly glad that I crawled out of bed for 3.1 miles. Even though they were slow, miserable, and painful, they were still miles and I have another race under my belt.
I finally saw TJ and he gave me a big sweet and sweaty kiss. Bless his heart. We got me some water and a big ole cinnamon bagel. There was no reason to endure the cold any longer so we left as soon as we got refreshments. Thank God it was over. Yes it was a bad race. Yes I seem negative. But overall I’m just happy that I did it and got my March race in. There’s always next year.