My first ever 5k (has led me to define who I want to be)

Did you notice I didn’t call it a Fun Run?  Read here why that is.

But I did it!  It was much harder than I expected.  I run 10-14km each weekend so I figured that 5k would give me a challenge, good experience but not completely bugger me.  Was I wrong!!!  I was wondering whether adrenaline would work for or against me.  Against!

As I was hanging around the start line my heart rate jumped from 120 to 140 in a matter of seconds (resting HR at the moment is about 58).  When I started and was all of about 200m into the run, it was at 180!  And it sat there for pretty much the whole time.  I tried to talk myself down, because I wasn’t sure I could run the whole way with my HR up so high, but it just refused to budge.

Add in the heat and the headwind on the way back and it was a hard slog.  Part way through, I decided to forget my goal of getting my time under 33mins and just make sure I ran the whole way, particularly as a lot of people were stopping to walk.

I had hoped to get to at least the 2km mark before the first runners passed me on their way back.  Nope, came up a few hundred metres short.  I had hoped to pass a couple of people which I did achieve but probably just as many passed me.  I decided it was a good lesson in focussing on yourself, your own goals and your own achievements.  Didn’t matter if I came last, just that I finished and gave it everything.

That said, as I turned that final corner and headed towards the finish line, I tried to pick up the pace and finish strong.  Then I saw that my friends had made me a sign.  That fair dinkum blew me away.  It was so completely unexpected it threw me for a minute.  How did I end up with such good friends that they drove 4 hours to spend a day supporting me in a running race?  And they made me a sign to boot!  Awesome friends.

I ran along the carpet to the finish line (thankfully realising before I started that the place I thought was the finish line was about 20metres short!).  The carpet was on grass and made it quite hard to run – at one point I was terrified I was going to trip over.  Given that my friends had teased me that the only advice they could give me was to not trip over at the start line (and it did happen to one poor soul), I had to slow down to make sure I didn’t face plant!  Then, by the time I crossed the line, someone was waiting to collect the ankle timer bracelet thing and I have to admit I copied everyone else and just stood there and let someone bend down to collect it.  I had nothing left!

To be honest, one of my first thoughts when I finished was that it was just as well I had already signed up for my next 5km because I probably would have backed out otherwise!

After that though, I had a lovely time catching up with the people I knew there and debriefing.  And of course, getting photos under the finish line with my sign and my friends (see below).

Overall, I am so glad I set myself this challenge.  It opened up a whole new world to me and gave me an idea of the sort of goals I want to set for myself.  It was much harder than I thought it would be but I bloody well did it.  Bizarrely, I spent the rest of the day close to tears, almost putting me over the edge when I got supportive text messages or even just thought about what I’d done.  It wasn’t just the run, it was all the events that have led to me completing that run.  I almost feel like I’m ready to close that chapter and not define myself by the weight I have lost.  I don’t want to be the person who has lost 55kgs (and still has a few to go).  I want to be Jillian; a fit, healthy, focussed, driven person who sets goals, defines paths to achieve them and then exceeds them.  Yep, that sounds good.

PS – I did achieve a PB (though not under 33mins)
PPS – Wondering what the sign means?  Watch this
PPPS – Next challenge:  Canberra 5km

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One Response to My first ever 5k (has led me to define who I want to be)

  1. Leah says:

    I’m so proud of you ❤

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