A couple of months ago, my sister Katie (aka Sweet Girl) asked me if I wanted to run the Fifth Third Riverbank Run with her on May 14. Considering the fact that running a 5k in under 30 minutes is a goal of mine for the year, I gladly agreed to run it with her.
Now, I am definitely not a "runner". I have never gotten to a place where running has been enjoyable or anywhere close to pleasant. In fact, I've set a lot of running related goals but because I dislike running so much, I usually quit before I get to a place where running is comfortable. With my baby sister counting on me to perform, though, I knew I had to get serious about training, and I did! It was an interesting realization that I am a highly others-motivated person and not very self-motivated. Something I've known deep down, but until I trained for this race, I hadn't quite understood it. There are pros and cons related to that, but that's another blog post entirely.
Katie and I decided to make a big weekend out of the race. We found a hotel to stay at Friday night in downtown Grand Rapids so we wouldn't have to worry about driving/parking/and most importantly, waking up crazy early in the morning. We started our night by registering for the race, then we went to the hotel to get a little dressed up for dinner, and left to meet Mom at Olive Garden. We had a delicious dinner and so much fun during the course of the meal. When we were finished, we decided to make a quick stop at Target where Katie and I got some matching race day attire (thanks Mom!). We also tried on a bunch of different clothes and laughed at each other quite a bit. Well, I suppose I should clarify: Mom and Katie laughed at me. I see more potential in some clearance items than they do. ANYWAY.
|Before the race!|
Everything went really well with the race! Unfortunately, it was raining, but by the time our race started it was more of a sprinkle. We set off at the 10 minute mile pace and got started with thousands of other racers. Katie and I both felt quite good during the first mile, pretty good during the second mile, and I think Katie still felt pretty good during the third mile but I was strrruggling. I think it was the rain plus a couple of small hills (I only ever run on flat roads haha) that got me. We ended up with a chip time of 31:43 which isn't below the 30 minute goal we had set, but we both felt great about it in the end!
|Immediately after the race. I think my face expresses how I was feeling the last mile better than my words ever could.|
Mom and Josh made the trip out to watch which meant the world to both of us. As we neared the finish line we spotted them right away, due to a bright yellow duck umbrella that has floated around our family for a few years. After we noticed the duck umbrella, we saw that Mom had even made a sign for us. Having our own personal cheering section was a great feeling!
I'm also happy to share that I have continued running since the race, and have finally gotten to a point where running is even kind of enjoyable! I've learned that I need to run for me, and not for anyone else, and to listen to my body closely as I'm running. When I desperately feel like walking, I walk. When I know I'm being a baby and can push myself harder, I push harder. Learning to run for myself and my own expectations has really transformed my running experiences. Also, celebrating every little achievement was a big deal for me and I really appreciated sharing each milestone ("I ran a 10 minute mile!") with Katie and Josh. I am still planning on breaking my under '30 minutes goal' at some point this summer! This first race was such a great experience though, and I loved making such a fun memory with my baby sister. Several times throughout the race I made sure to mentally relish in the moment. It was a sweet memory with my Sweet Girl.