I Survived My First 5K

If you joined us a couple of posts back, then you recall that for my birthday weekend the girls signed me up for a 5k run/walk followed by some CPR training. For the inquiring minds out there, we did go and I obviously survived since I am able to write this post. I thought that I’d take this opportunity to share my experience with you as it happened so that you can see how I was tortured by those who claim they love me. What you will find below is a timeline of my punishment and please remember, this is how they made me celebrate my birthday.

5:45 – Char woke me up, coffee waiting on the nightstand so that my eyes would be pried open. We’re supposed to be out the door by six as I was told we needed to be there by 6:30. I know you think this is nowhere near enough time to get ready. However, I learned how to shower, shave and get dressed in under five minutes when I was younger and had to be awake at seven, but didn’t crawl home and into bed until five. Sleep was at a premium, so I had to cut corners and speed up processes in other areas. If this was ever made into an Olympic event, I would win the gold every time.

6:00 – I discovered that the race didn’t actually start until 7:00, so we didn’t have to be there at 6:30. I slowed down and had another cup of coffee.

6:14 – Slipped my flask into the waistband of my shorts. The morning called for Irish coffee for that extra kick.

6:15 – The flask was confiscated and I was told it had to remain home. I pouted but it didn’t work.

6:20 – We’re finally out the door. I am wearing the light blue T-shirt that Health First provided, some gray exercise shorts, and an arm band with a case for my music player. So far this is the only gift I have received for my birthday and it was bought for me by my son, Zac. He wasn’t supposed to give it to me until the party Sunday night but he loves me and figured I needed the distraction and at least one gift before my carcass was found on the side of the road. I had actually wanted one of these for my birthday, because I wanted to start walking around the block–around my block at my pace, not someone else’s block and pace. Still, I was glad I had it and strapped it on before leaving the house.

6:23 – On the road and I just realized that I forgot the music player back at the house. Teri comes to my rescue by taking my phone and downloading Pandora. I also realize I forgot to use the bathroom before we left. This is going to be a rough morning.

6:42 – We arrive outside of the Space Coast Stadium and join the long line of cars waiting to park. Apparently I am not the only one who waited until the last minute to leave the house. I wonder if they have remembered their music players.

As we’re waiting to move at a snail pace, which is probably faster than I will be walking in this race, I notice a few people with participation numbers pinned to their shirts. They are already running up and down the sidewalks. The girls tell me these people are just warming up. I think they are showing off.

6:52 – We are finally able to park the van. The race starts at 7:00 and we have to cross a giant field to get to the starting line. I grumble that they could have had us park in the closer field and save us from walking even further, but the girls tell me to classify it as my warm up. Now I feel as if I am showing off.

6:58 – We join the long line of over-enthusiastic runners/walkers. As we’re approaching, several people are stretching their various body parts to avoid injury. I’m so impressed that I now want another coffee and a jelly donut. I’m also regretting that the girls confiscated my flask.

Along the running lane are six signs that look like hour markers to me ranging from 7:00-12:00. At first I grow annoyed thinking that the race was going to have six different start times and I could have slept in for another couple of hours.

“Those aren’t hours,” one of the girls tell me. “They’re minutes.” After seeing the baffled expression on my face, she continued. “They are there to represent how fast you can run a mile, seven minutes to twelve minutes.”

I begin to look around for the sixty minute sign. The girls shake their heads and lead me behind all the parents pushing strollers who are standing behind those who claim to be able to run the mile in twelve minutes. I can’t believe people brought little kids in strollers. I mean, my ankles have been rammed by negligent stroller drivers at Disney and the mall. Why was I having to dodge them at an event I didn’t even volunteer for? I take four giant steps backward.

Ahead of us is a trio–two guys and a lady. The guys are wearing Superman and Captain America socks and didn’t seem at all embarrassed by it. I glance around looking for the bullies who taught people like them the errors of their ways, but then realize it is almost 7:00 in the morning and most bullies are still in bed sleeping off last night’s drunken binge.

7:00 – The lady at the front shouts through her megaphone, “Ready, Set,” and then a horn blasts. I was expecting a gun firing into the air, but was sadly disappointed. A horn just seems anti-climactic to me.

We are so far back in the congested lane that it takes almost a minute for us to even move. Moms with strollers begin to pass me. I just turn Pandora up louder and walk on.

The girls have set the pace. They want to walk each mile in twenty minutes and so Char has set a Disney pace and I am wondering what ride we are rushing toward.

7:06 – My calves are starting to hurt and sweat is beading on my forehead. I still have to go to the bathroom.

7:18:45 – We have reached the first mile marker and the girls are happy that we exceeded our goal by fifteen minutes. I’m just happy I’m still in motion and try to ignore the circling buzzards.

Two things I notice at this point is that people actually do run at these events. Sometimes, they even pay for the opportunity and that is a waste of cigar money to me.

The other thing is that we actually did pass people. I was shocked, nay flabbergasted, that it was even possible. With a feeling of pride, we pick up the pace.

7:28 – The one and only water station is coming up on our right. They need these at every mile marker I think as some of us dehydrate faster than others.

We each grab our Dixie Cup of lukewarm water and continue on. Ten feet ahead on the left is a large garbage can for the empty cups. No one uses it. Instead, there is a mound of tiny, discarded cups on the right two feet ahead of the garbage can. Ridiculous! While they are teaching us to be healthy, we are destroying the environment. I am appalled and throw my cup on the pile with the others.

7:30 – My right foot starts to turn numb and I wonder what they had put in the water.

7:36 – We pass Superman and Captain America and feel quite proud of ourselves for the accomplishment. Of course, I have to convince Teri that is Captain America and not Flash. She is confused because there are wings above Captain America’s shield on his socks. I promise a superhero movie marathon when we get home if we survive.