Well, I did it. I turned 32, and I ran in my first 5k. And suddenly I have no idea what I was so freaked out about for so long! While I didn't run the whole time, I am proud of the amount that I was able to run, and I even more proud given the circumstances: one busted heel and a less-than-ideal shoe situation. Let me explain.
First of all, I was so lucky to have four friends run with me in the Natasha Watley 5k, and they made the morning so much fun!
The race started at 8:30, and I arrived at the site at about 7:40. I parked close to the start and finish line, but I had to go across the street to check in, and pick up my tshirt and goodie bag. I walked over to get the stuff, and on my way back, my right heel was really hurting, to the point that I started limping. My shoes are a bit tight, but I have been wearing them to the gym, so I didn't think it would be an issue. Boy was I ever wrong! I met up with Rebecca at her car, which was parked just a few spaces away from mine, and took my shoes off. Not only had a giant inch-wide blister formed at the back of my heel, but it had already popped and the epidermis was pulled down, exposing raw red new flesh. I couldn't believe it! I keep a first aid kit in my car, so I limped over and covered it with ointment and a large bandaid. Bandaids tend to be rebellious when you put a shoe over them, and they always fall off, so Rebecca pulled some tape out of her car and we taped the bandaid onto my foot so it wouldn't go anywhere.
I put my shoe back on, but it was excruciating, and I couldn't walk, let alone run three miles in that condition. Someone suggested that I push the heel of the shoe down and step on it, but these shoes are still too new and rigid. I did, however, have some Croc-material Skechers in my car, and squashing those heels was easy. Looking back now, I wish I had just thought to cut the backs off of the Skechers, because I never wear them. I didn't, though. I didn't have time to think of it, because the race started as we were trying to figure out the best solution for my foot.
Bethany, Rebecca and I started with the end of the crowd, while Ken and Sullia were delayed by about four minutes. It was amazing they were there on time at all, since daylight savings time happened that morning, and Ken's phone didn't automatically reset while Sullia's did, but her alarm was on silent. Despite these mishaps, Ken and Sullia caught up to us not too far after the first mile marker, and we all stayed together from them on. Going in, I didn't know how that was gonna work, since we're all at different running levels. I am by far the slowest, and I didn't expect my friends to keep my pace, but they did, and that made it a million times better for me.
We alternated running and walking, and the longest running stretch was at the beginning, where I estimate that we ran for about a quarter of a mile before walking. I found that my squashed shoes worked really well when I was running, but as soon as I started walking, they didn't want to stay on my feet. It was getting pretty annoying so just after the second mile, I decided to finish without the shoes.
I was surprised that nobody said anything to me about my feet, but seeing this picture now, I see that maybe someone WANTED to ask. This girl is totally checking out my feet as I run by. Haha!
I should have taken a picture of the socks at the end of the race. They both had big holes on the soles, and were completely brown on the bottom. We joked around about needing a sharpie so that we could all sign the socks as a momento. This is probably what we're talking about in this picture, where I look especially beautiful... Thanks for that shot, Rebecca. Haha
We came in at 46 minutes and about 15 seconds, so that sets my goal for the next race: less than 46:15! Sullia and I will be doing a Color Run in May, and I hope Bethany and Rebecca join us for that one too!
I am officially a runner! Not a good one yet, but you have to start somewhere! I came up with a brilliant running plan that I'm working out with my friend Jen who lives in Seattle, and as soon as we get it going, I will share details. It is super exciting and I can't wait to see if it's feasible!
As an endnote: A special shout out to my friend Regina for walking a 5k on her own that same day since she lives in Northern California and couldn't join me in this race. Thank you for always supporting and encouraging me! You are an incredible woman and a wonderful friend!