The morning of my first 5K seemed to come very quickly since I felt like I just started training not too long ago. As many of you know, I registered to run the Out of Hibernation 5k Road Race which is put on by my Masonic Lodge, St. John’s #1 in Portsmouth, NH. All the proceeds went to a great cause, the Seacoast Family Food Pantry of NH!
It was a great morning to run a race. It was cool but sunny, perfect weather to run in. Also, my longtime buddy, Pat, volunteered to run the race with me. He’s run a lot of races, including half marathons, so this 5K would be a breeze for him.
My bib number 115
The night before, they had registration open at the Lodge, so I swung by and picked up my bib and shirt. My bib number was 114 and seemed pretty lucky if I do say so myself! The shirts were really nice this year, being a white, higher-quality, poly tee that displayed the race logo on the front and all the generous sponsors on the back.
Me stretching out on race morning!
The start of the race!
All the runners convened at the starting line at 9am sharp. I worked my way to the back of the pack since I knew I was a slow runner compared to a majority of the people there. Waiting for the starting horn seemed to take forever, but when it sounded, I turned my music on and was off. Jill, Lylah and Kristen (Pat’s wife) were on the sidewalk cheering us on.
My buddy, Pat, leading the pack! Photo from http://outofhibernation5k.com/
It was tough to find my pace at the start of the race. I found myself wanting to run faster along with everyone else. However, I recall a lot of people telling me that I should run my own run, just like when you hike your own hike. I should try to zone out everyone else and focus on my own pace. I did so, and was on my way!
Me, on South Street!
I recall making the turn onto Court Street which is pretty flat and you can see all the way down to the river. Way ahead was a huge pack of runners, which my friend Pat was in stride with. This part was a little demotivating, knowing I was so far behind the bulk of the people. However, I tried not to let it get to me and kept moving.
My baby cheering me on!
As I kept my pace slow for the first mile, I started passing people who had stopped to walk along the way. My goal when running is to not stop to walk. I’d rather run slow for the entire race than run fast and have to stop for short walks. There’s nothing wrong with stopping to walk, it just doesn’t work for me. I can never seem to pick my momentum back up. Now that I was passing some people, I felt as though I was gaining ground. Even though it wasn’t about competition, it just made me feel good...So for mile #2, I picked up my pace!
Approaching the finish line!
Halfway up South Street, at the intersection with Miller Street, Jill, Lylah and Kristen were on the sidewalk cheering as I approached. Lylah was holding a big sign that said, “Run Daddy Run” in her BOB Stroller that made me smile and once again, motivated me to keep moving.
Me, near the finish!
Just after this intersection was the South Street hill which is long and grueling. This is where I saw a lot of people slow down and start to walk. Lucky for me, my house is on a hill, so running and training in my neighborhood requires me to run hills every time I head out. This hill was not any worse than the hills in my training routes, so I was able to push right up it!
At the end of mile #2, there was a water station. I was definitely excited for this and gladly grabbed a cup. However, I found out quickly how hard it is to drink and run at the same time! While in stride, I took a gulp and most of it went right up my nose! I did swallow a little bit of water but figured there wasn’t much longer to go so there was no need to inhale more water than needed!
Pat and I after the race!
Once I circled around to Middle Street, I knew I was close to finishing off the 5K loop. Once again, I picked up my pace and was able to pass a few more people while doing it. The Lodge came in sight and I knew I was going to finish my first 5K. When I ran across the finish line, I felt a huge feeling of accomplishment. My buddy Pat was waiting there. He shook my hand and congratulated me on my first 5K! Jill, Lylah and Kristen made their way over as well and we all hung out and waited for the results to be posted.
My family on race day!
Pat ran an incredible race and came in #37 out of 239 runners. I, on the other hand, didn’t place as well at #181, but I don’t care. I finished and had fun doing it. That’s all that matters to me! I hope to run some more 5K’s soon. In fact, I’m already thinking about possibly upping my distance to a 10K race…maybe for Portsmouth’s Market Square Days!
Me, listed at #181 (and proud of it!)
Pat, listed at #37
I wanted to throw out a big THANKS to my buddy Pat and his wife, Kristen for coming to keep us company at the Road Race. Also, I wanted to THANK Jill and Lylah for the support and seeing me through to my goal of finishing my first 5K.
Me, with a post 5K, IPA!
Also, I have to mention, Pat made it onto the front of the Out of Hibernation 5K Road Race website with an awesome action photo. You can see it posted here: http://outofhibernation5k.com/