Say what? A race so soon after surgery? I’ve been slowly increasing my walking day by day and I knew from previously participating in the Covey Run it was a flat course and the race would have lots of walkers so I needn’t worry about trying to keep any type of pace. And I probably wouldn’t need to worry about being last. Plus I woke up to a beautiful overcast sky. As an added incentive, my co-worker was going to be doing the 10K. It is always nice to see a friendly face.
Even with all the good reasons to do the 5K, I still didn’t completely decide until I woke up. If I didn’t feel well at all, I was going to go right back to sleep. I woke up and felt good. On to the race!
I signed up for the 5K walk and got to the registration table only to learn that the 5K walk was not timed. Boo. I still wanted a time even if it was going to be slow. Apparently I should have signed up as a runner. After all I was masquerading as a runner – I had both my race belt and Garmin for what was probably going to be my slowest 5K on record. But I looked official!
I met up with my co-worker (who was surprised to see me!) and we chatted before she moved up to the start line.
After the 10Kers set off, the 5Kers were directed to the start line. From previous experience, I remembered the start was chaotic. Not everyone abided by the runners first policy. It was still the case. I tried to start at the back of the runners, but in front of most of the walkers. I still had to dodge around a number of people before it started thin out.
Normally in a race, I would start out to fast and at least try to push myself. Pushing yourself and leaving it all on the course is a great sentiment, but not when you are in the process of recovery. There was a battle going on. It was me versus myself. Do not let yourself get caught up in the race. Do not start out fast. Do not push yourself. Well, push yourself, but don’t overly push yourself. But how to set that boundary? It was slightly easier than I anticipated because I am still gaining back my strength. Oh, I struggled a bit, especially as I saw people in front of me I would normally be able to pick off. But I didn’t have it in me. And I shouldn’t have it in me right now.
Basically I was on a long walk with a lot of other people on a road that was partially closed to traffic. Being in the race atmosphere was fantastic though! The excitement was tangible.
It is amazing how long a 5K felt! But finally the finish line was in sight. I came across the finish line and FORGOT to turn off my Garmin. Not only was I not chip timed, I don’t have an accurate time. Oh snap!
I was able to cheer my co-worker across the finish line. And there you have it. My first “race” back.