One of my biggest aspirations is to run a marathon, but the problem is... I can't even remember the last time I ran a mile. And I mean running the entire way - not running and walking, while panting furiously in between.
This page will chronicle my marathon training - my progress, as well as my mishaps - as I stumble toward the finish line in my pink and silver running shoes.
Miracle Miles 5K Orlando 2010 September 25
This was my first race ever. I mean, the first race I ever attended. I didn't train at all the weeks before, but I thought that I could use this as a "diagnostic" to really assess the damage. The 5k race was supposed to start at 7 in the morning, so I got up at 5:30 and drove over to the site. The traffic was awful, and I spent about 30 minutes on this one-mile stretch of road. After parking and checking in, I walked toward this semi-circle of balloons, which I thought was the starting line. It was 7:15 on the dot.
"Did you just get here," an official-looking woman asked me. "Follow those people to the 5k starting line."
I followed that group of people, all of whom I didn't know. But they all knew each other and were laughing. I started talking to a pregnant woman, who was walking the race.
We seemed to walk on forever, but nobody was in sight. We saw the 15k race runners in the distance, but we couldn't find anyone from own 5k race group, or even the starting line.
"Have we even started the race course?" I asked. No one knew the answer.
Finally, after an hour of walking, we sighted some 5k walkers. A police car with its lights turned on was following behind them.
We caught up with the stragglers, who were mostly elderly women. As we all walked toward the finish line, everyone started clapping. The loudspeaker blared : "Great race everyone!"
My time for the 5k race was 1:03:15.
A few things I learned : 1) Consider heavy traffic when estimating transit time; 2) Arrive well in advance before the starting time; 3) Bring a map of the area in case you get lost (maybe I should've brought my GPS ;)); 4) Bring an ipod.
Next time, my goal is to find the starting line and start the race on time with everyone else. That seems to be important.
Considering how things went today, I have a lot of work to do. The bright side to all this is... I have set such a low bar that my time can only get better.