I Finished an 8K!

Before the race. I look a little like a marshmallow since I have four layers on.

As I mentioned in my last post, after finishing the Tough Mudder, I felt like I was capable of anything. Luckily I didn’t get too carried away and only signed up for one more event, the St. Patrick’s Day 8K.

As I also mentioned in my last post, I haven’t been running much lately so I was a little concerned that I wasn’t going to be able to run just under five miles (4.97 to be exact) without stopping. I wasn’t really nervous before the race but I made up my mind that if I needed to stop, I would.

Then came race day. Let me say first that whoever decided to schedule a race the morning after losing an hour of sleep to Daylight Savings is a moron. I suppose it’s better than scheduling it for this Sunday, which is the day after St. Patrick’s Day, but still, not the best move.

When I woke up, I was in an extremely foul mood. I had been having some bizarre dream about being caught in the middle of a battle between two militias in Africa and I had just barely escaped on some shoddy plane. (Maybe I was subjected to too many of those Kony2012 videos or something.) Anyway, being shot at in your dreams will make you grumpy.

I dragged myself out of bed and I was extremely tired. Even though I had gone to bed early in preparation, it had taken me a long time to fall asleep. It was still somewhat dark out and when I checked the temperature, it was 30 degrees. I plopped down on the living room chair and told Joe “I don’t want to go. I’m really not feeling it.” When he tried to convince me that I would be happy when I had finally completed the race, I basically threw a fit like some sort of child. And yes, that’s embarrassing to admit.

I mumbled to myself the whole time I was getting ready and reluctantly agreed to go. But I wasn’t going to like it.

We got to Freedom Plaza and by then my mood was slightly better. We picked up our shirts and bibs and tried to kill 45 minutes until the race started. (Let me add here that I hate those people that make a show of warming up before a race. You know, the ones that basically feel the need to show off their awesome yoga abilities? I hate them. I was also tempted to step on the fingers of the guy who was doing pushups on the steps.)

Joe and I got in the 10-minute mile group. Normally I can run a mile faster than that but A) I didn’t want to be in the way of better runners and B) I knew that to have a chance at running the whole thing, I would have to go at a slower pace.

For whatever reason, I felt absolutely awesome with my running from the start. Getting to the 5K mark felt like a breeze. I never once contemplated walking because physically I didn’t need to.

The best part was that we were getting faster as the race went on. Our first mile was 10:10 (first miles are always slow because you’re packed in so tight at the start). Each mile after that was a little faster. By the time we ran the last mile, we had done it in 8:59. I know that’s still pretty slow for some folks, but I hadn’t really done much prep work for this, so I saw it’s awesome. My goal had been to finish in 50 minutes. I finished in 49:13.

I have to admit I felt pretty amazing at the end and I begrudgingly admitted to Joe that he was right, I was glad I had done the race. Even better, I enjoyed every step of the way. My bad attitude completely disappeared and I felt good, not just okay. Part of that was the fact that we were running outside, something I hadn’t done since the fall. And running outside (especially in D.C.) is 100 times better than running on a treadmill.

In true Lisa fashion, I was ready to sign up for 10 more races once I finished. (I told Joe that from now on, I must wait 48 hours after finishing a race to sign up for another so I don’t get carried away.) We’re thinking of trying a 10K next at the St. Michaels Running Festival. And now that there’s more sunlight at the end of the day and temperatures are soaring, it’ll be a lot easier to go outside and start training!

Days to Tough Mudder: 180