so, i’ve already shown you what i wore during and after my race last saturday.
i already told you all about what i ate on race day.
i think it’s time i told you about the actual race, huh?!
i wasn’t sure how to approach my pre-race morning since i don’t really run in the mornings and had never done this before!
i knew i wanted to leave the apartment between 8:15 and 8:30 since i was meeting kelly at 9. i set my alarm for 6am to give myself plenty of time to drink my coffee, eat breakfast, and go to the bathroom, and all of that fun stuff.
the whole time i was getting ready at home, i was checking and re-checking the weather, willing the rain to hold off and getting more nervous by the minute.
reading all of the awesome tweets and encouragement from all of my blog/twitter/instagram friends was amazing though. it definitely helped pump me up for the race! thanks so much to anyone who sent encouragement!
finally, it was time to go downtown to get the day started!
i met kelly around 9 at the shuttles by camp randall and we headed to the start line. i always like being early, especially for things like this where i didn’t really know what to expect. it turns out arriving an hour before start time was not a good plan in this case.
it was cold. we both used the porta-potties and then pretty much huddled by a building trying to shield ourselves from the rain and wind for an hour.
we lined up in our corral at 9:55 – 5 minutes before race start. since we were one of the last waves to start, we figured we would wait for maybe 15-30 minutes before we got to start running. hah! racing newbie naivety? we ended up waiting and freezing for almost an hour!
this was by far the worst part of the whole day for me. if kelly hadn’t been there with me, i would likely have cut out of line to walk back to my car after waiting and hardly moving for a half hour.
i am so not hardcore and this was pushing me way out of my comfort zone.
we did stick around and started moving more and more quickly to the starting line. our wave finally started running a little before 11am – almost a whole hour after the official race start time!
this is where things started to get good though.
it was absolutely exhilarating crossing the starting line and actually running my first race! i’ve wanted to do a race for so long and i was so happy to finally be doing it!
mile 1 went by in a flash. honestly, it must have been adrenaline, because i felt like i had only been running for maybe 5 minutes when we saw the 1 mile sign. based on the time, it had been around 10 minutes, but still, if the rest of the race was like mile 1, i’d be golden!
of course, right after mile 1 we saw the dreaded observatory hill. [i meant to walk over and take a photo of it earlier this week – i will do that at some point and put it in here]. it’s a steep hill and the one that everyone dreads.
kelly and i ran halfway up it and then walked the rest of it. but then we started running again as soon as we reached the top. running down observatory drive was fun because i work right near there and walk on that street all the time.
observatory drive was also fun because we saw kelly’s family there!!
[photo from kelly]
i loved that they were cheering for us (ok her, but i got some cheers too!).
the rest of mile 2 & 3 went by more slowly. we decided not to walk until after mile 3 and the turn-around.
we ran through the water station right after mile 3 – neither of us wanted any water. around mile 3.25 we walked for a minute or two and then started running again.
when we came upon mile 4 i was really feeling excited! there were a lot more people around (lots of people who had already finished the race were walking on the sidewalks and cheering) and there was one house where they were playing the rocky songs and cheering for us with a microphone! the crowd support at this point was really fun.
right as we came upon the stadium, there was one more hill that we walked up so we’d be able to run through the finish.
the last block of the race was kind of annoying because there were a lot of people already finished crossing the street through the course and right in front of us, but for the most part they were courteous and stayed out of the way of people who were still running.
then, before i knew it, we were running into the stadium and crossing the finish line!
[photo from kelly]
our official 8k finish time was 58:59. hooray!
i got a water bottle just as we passed the finish line and chugged it right away.
i was so pumped for us and so thankful to kelly for running with me! honestly, if she hadn’t been there i would have likely bailed on the race because of the weather, or probably walked a whole lot more.
after grabbing one last picture together, we split up. kelly went to go meet her family and i had to go find sweats pick-up.
i was also really hungry (i had eaten breakfast 6 hours ago at this point!) and kept seeing people walking around with fruit, so i went and found an orange. i skipped the free beer though. it did not sound good to me.
after i gathered my sweats and walked back to my car, i remembered to check and stop my polar hr monitor…
holy cow! i didn’t turn it on until a minute or two into the race bc i forgot w/ all of the excitement and i forgot to turn it off until i got back to my car after the race…
i’m sure my heart rate was extra high thanks to excitement and adrenaline before, during, and after the race – but wow! i was shocked to see that calorie count.
i should do a race every weekend!
running with a friend is awesome. i’ve never really run with anyone else, but running with kelly was fun and definitely pushed me harder than i would have if i were alone. (p.s. read kelly’s race recap here!)
if you’re a slow runner, you don’t have to be at the start line early. even if we’d taken the last shuttle at 9:30, we would have been waiting forever. if i could go back and re-do this, i think i would have wanted someone (kelly’s husband?) to drop us off near the start closer to 10 and maybe a little after!
i love running races. i am so excited to run another one! i’m thinking i’ll do at least one more 5k (in addition to the blend 5k) before my half marathon.
i want a race medal! haha. i love my first race t-shirt, but i’m after the bling!
have you run a race before?
do you run with other people?
are you running any races in or near madison that i should run too?!