I did the 5K today and learned a few things. My sister and her boyfriend were there too, I was worried they would pass me easily but it didn’t happen, though she pulled ahead of me for half the race. After the race I came home and an hour and half later, against my better judgement, went walking at the lake with my son.. We went to the grocery store deli after for something for dinner, no way I felt like cooking tonight. I expect to be sore tomorrow. For future reference here’s what I learned.
- Wear two pairs of socks. I had 2 pairs set aside but because it was warm today I only wore one. Mistake, the balls of my feet began burning halfway through the race and I wished I had worn both pairs.
- Buy a pair of sunglasses and wear them. And sunscreen. I wore my contacts and it was a definite advantage over glasses. But the sun glare made me squint and worse, I wasn’t able to see the screen of my mp3 player. I had made a special “race mix” for today, was unable to find it and used another folder instead. Next time I plan to wear big oversized sunglasses even though they make me look like Yoko Ono. I did smear sunscreen on my face but being a brown skinned person who doesn’t burn easily (I get dark) figured it was no big deal. Now I have a red patch on my chest that I hope turns into a tan.
- Walk, dadgum it, don’t run or jog at the beginning no matter how tempting. I start every workout by walking to warm up. Getting started is the hardest part, my body has to get used to the idea. I know this but when the gun went off and we started moving I forgot this and started out with a jog. I did pretty good, for me but overall I only jogged 5-6 minutes total, mostly due to my heart rate.
- Pay attention to your heart rate. My son gave me a neat little heart monitor/pedometer watch for my birthday and I broke it in today. I learned that my heart rate is higher when I am outside, in warm weather whether or not I’m going up a hill or on level ground. So even though I didn’t feel out of breath my heart rate was still too high so I walked instead of jogged. I’m not taking chances with this one.
- Training methods make a big difference. I have relied too much on the treadmill. Being indoors is a different world from being outside in the heat, the wind and without little handles in front of you. I am a little too accustomed to the air conditioning too. Though the clammy feeling I get from sweating while having cool air blowing down on me is a lot less comfortable than being cooled naturally by sweat. I need to start walking/jogging at the lake, somewhere outside so I can manage without sending my heart rate up and keeping it there. My heart rate was in the 160s for most of the race and my heart rate for my age is 173.
- Bring my own damn water. In a cooler. I almost did this, but I was in a hurry and figured “nah, they will have plenty of water on hand. It’s hot, they know what they’re doing.” Wrong. The volunteers for this race, a well-meaning but inept church group, ran out of water before the end. My sister and her boyfriend each got a bottle and she assured me they had some somewhere. They didn’t, we tried 3 different sites and they were all out. I was hot, sweaty, irritated and needed a drink. I ended up going to Sonic for a diet cherry limeade and a water, fortunately for me it was Happy Hour. I wonder how many other people needed water and were also told “sorry.”
- No matter what you think, there is always somebody behind you. The most encouraging thing about getting to the halfway point is seeing all the people behind you. There is going to be someone slower than you, even though I passed a turtle that didn’t seem to move but was still going faster than me. There were 2 groups of runners and one called “walkers” which I was a part of, for obvious reasons. Most of these people, including my sister, passed me. But there were still people behind me, including my sister’s boyfriend. I crossed the finish line neck and neck with a baby in a stroller. Yes, I am slow. Old and slow but I reminded myself at Sonic that yesterday was my 47th birthday and this was the 4th 5K I’ve done in less than one year.
- After a race don’t push yourself too soon. I did this, my son wanted to go walking at the lake and since I felt OK I agreed to go It was only 30 minutes. Another mistake, I felt a little stiff at first and my feet still hurt but by the end I felt all right. Then when I got home and got into the shower I felt it. Sore feet and aching legs, the legs are OK, so far, but I expect the feet will still be sore tomorrow.
It wasn’t a bad day. The weather was nice, I got a t-shirt and my sister gave me a belated birthday present. I also did the optional warm-up some Navy guys led. Ironically the hardest part was the quad stretches, balancing on one leg. They took it easy on us, it made me feel a little more loose and I’d probably be really hurting now if I hadn’t done it.