My First 5K Road Race Experience

Back in November the company I worked for was a sponsor of The Great Confluence Race and Family Fun Day at Mid Coast Hospital. I work with a few runners who thought it might be fun to assemble a team for the event. When I was asked and read that 1.) the description was of a “challenging course” and 2.) it was in mid-November I thought, no way. Not only am I not a runner but the thought of running on a challenging course, which stirs up images of hacking up a lung or puking, and the temperatures that are typical for mid-November (can be cold and snowy) I said I’d pass. However, I did offer to look into purchasing team shirts for those that did participate. You can’t be an official team without looking official.

So the next thing I know I’m caught up in the spirit of the team so I figured I could run it. I did a little running this summer, emphasis on little, and I knew my cardiovascular was in good enough shape from cycling to run it. We had the option of the 5K or the 10K and I chose the shorter distance. I figured I wouldn’t be terribly fast but I’d at least finish.

It was a cold day. The race started at 9am and I think the temps were around freezing. I dressed in layers for the occasion. I’ve done enough cold weather cycling so I had the appropriate attire for it and knew that I’d want to be cold before I started and then I’d be comfortable once I got warmed up and my heart rate elevated.

I actually enjoyed myself more than I thought I would, finishing with a respectable time (28:48). Now I know that’s not a great time if you are a true runner, but for me I was quite pleased. It’s interesting to be in a race like that with others and to get caught up in it. It’s very much like cycling in that regard.

I liked it enough to consider a race a few days later on Thanksgiving Day. But the weather looked questionable so I didn’t sign up early and as it turned out it rained that day. I’m not hard core enough in any recreational activity to want to do it in the rain. And the other deciding factor was the fact that the days that followed The Great Confluence Race I could barely walk. I had to wait for the soreness to leave my muscles. Given that the Turkey Day race was very hilly I suppose it’s good that I didn’t run it. I might have been bedridden until Christmas!

So that was my first 5k. It probably won’t be my last. If it’s something I’m going to be doing I’ll prepare a bit more with some cross training, which is my goal for the off-season at this point, though it’s not going so well. There’s always the New Year’s Resolution!

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