So tomorrow is my first running event, the Folsom Firecracker 5K. I suppose you could call it a race, because they do give awards to the fastest runners, but my goal is just to go do it, have fun, and get a feel for what it's like to run in a crowd and in front of people. I doubt I will ever be a competitive runner, but there is definitely a winning feeling that goes with taking on a challenge and completing it. This is just one step on my journey toward the marathon! The distance is easy enough as it is the same as what my short training runs have been for the past couple of weeks. My goal is to finish with a sub-14 minute pace, which I should be able to do, although Kim has warned me that if it's really crowded I may not have much control over the pace. So, I can't get too hung up on it.
It was really cool to go pick up my packet today. It was at Sports Authority in Folsom, and there were a bunch of other people there picking up their bibs and t-shirts. It was neat to be one of them. I've joined this whole community of people from all walks of life who all run. I've found that most of them are very supportive. Out running, especially on the American River Parkway, it's common for other runners to not only say good morning, but to offer words of encouragement. I think they all know how hard this sport is, especially when you have a body like mine, and they encourage each other to keep at it. I love that. Anyway, I walked around the store for a bit to see if they had anything I wanted, and I felt really proud carrying my bib and t-shirt. I'm part of something. And that something is happening tomorrow. It seems a little silly being so hyped up about a little 5K run, but I am.
I used to tell people I hate running. In fact, just last week someone said, "I hate running. I suck at it." and I replied, "I do, too. That's why I do it...I hate being bad at anything!" and you know what? I don't hate it anymore. It's not as hard as it used to be, although it's still hard enough, especially when we up the distance or the interval. But even though it's hard, I end up getting through it. And that feels awesome. I can run two and a half minutes without stopping, and that's more than I could a year ago. I can run/walk five miles and still sprint at the end. I couldn't do that a year ago. Remind me of that next time I talk about how hard it is, ok?
Here's to my first event tomorrow...going to get a good night's sleep tonight!