So all of this babbling about doing a 5K finally came to a close on Saturday with me actually doing a real life 5K event. The event was put on by AbilityFirst, a non-profit organization who helps disabled people find their abilities. When I got there, I have to admit I was nervous. There were people who obviously spent more time running than me. There were people who I could snap in half with one hand like a twig. There were people who had legs that were strangely long… it was really kind of weird. And then there’s the fact that I’m a very competitive person. That doesn’t mean that I compete over every little thing I can, but when I am in an actual competition, you bet your booty I’m going to do my best to win. The problem is, many things I compete in aren’t my “strong suits” and that includes running.
But I did great! I told my wife I wanted to try and run the entire thing and I did just that. And not only did I run the whole thing, I beat my personal record. And not only did I beat my personal record, I SLAUGHTERED it. No matter what I did – whether I was on the treadmill or on a trail – I could not do it any faster than bout 36 minutes and some change. Well, Saturday changed that. I ran the entire 5K without stopping to walk or rest once. Not only that, but I paced myself rather well and didn’t get passed by anybody except one guy I passed earlier. When it came to the finish line, he and I were on a full on sprint and he ended up winning by two-tenths of a second. I didn’t pay attention to the clock, but when they posted the results I was shocked to see that my time was 29:39! 29 minutes! I shattered my personal record with my very first race. I took 11th place out of men age 18-54 and 25th overall.
I think it’s going to be tough for me to do better than that, at least right away, but I told my wife I think I found a new Saturday hobby. I may have to start doing these more often.
And then Sunday had to bring sad news. My girls were going back home after surprising me for the weekend. It’s always exciting to have them around, always fun to have them be a part of our big family. But it’s always sad to see them leave.