Folks, it’s finally come to this: I ran a 5K race by myself this weekend. I’ve been running races for 5 years now (!!!) and this was my first solo race. And I was perfectly okay with that.
Last year, I had run this race with a friend but she wasn’t able to make it this year. I had already signed up before I found out she had to work, and I told myself I’d still run it either way. It’s a small race—usually around 100 people—and it’s in town, so I felt safe going by myself. (Plus Josh and my parents knew I was doing it in case something happened.)
I picked up my race bib and shirt the night before; if it’s an option I like to do that for races so it’s one less thing to worry about the day of the race.
The race was starting at 9:00 so I got there about 15 minutes before. I got myself ready at my car—putting on my running belt with my inhaler, turning on my headphones, and pinning on my bib.
I walked over to the crowd by the day-of bib pick-up, and after the National Anthem, we all walked to the starting line. I remembered from last year that this race starts right at 9:00 a.m. (I’ve been at races that don’t start until like 10 minutes after but this one is on time.)
It was in the mid-50s and sunny, which was perfect weather for running. I’m glad I opted for the short sleeve race shirt and bike shorts.
Like I mentioned last year, I like that the police block off the intersections for the race. One of the roads is pretty heavily traveled, especially with tractor-trailers, so it’s nice to not have to worry about running with cars.
The first mile was straight down the road, which I ran until I got up the little hill and the turn to the right. The second mile seemed to drag on, and I stopped to walk twice—even using my inhaler, which I don’t think I’d had to use during the race itself. (I’ll always take 2-3 puffs before the race, and I carry it with me for emergencies.) Once I got into the last mile, I told myself I could slow down around 2.5 miles, but I wanted to finish the race running. After I turned the last corner, I could see the finish line and kept telling myself “You got this” until I crossed it.
My final time was 35:21, which was about 30 seconds slower than my time last year. I’m perfectly happy with my 35-minute time—that’s usually my average time for 5Ks. Overall, I was 62 out of 87.
For the last 1.5 miles, there was an older guy who was running/walking around my pace, and he ended up finishing right after me. After I was done and was standing off to the side chugging a water bottle, he stopped and said “Good job” to me, and I said “You too!” I looked up the final results, and he’s 80 years old. Congrats, sir 👏
I came home and showered, and then ended up suffering from my allergies for the rest of the day. I guess I should have figured something was up when I had to use my inhaler during the race. But I was so stuffy and sneezy for the afternoon into the night. I’m better today, but I’m not going outside until I have to.
I’m already signed up for another 5K race on the first Saturday in June, and this time, Josh is able to come and finally see me run for the first time in our relationship!