Hi everyone! I’m very excited about this week’s Friday Five with Mar on the Run, You Signed Up For What?!, and Eat Pray Run DC! The theme this week is “Top 5 Race Memories” and I’m so excited to look back on my favorite racing moments! Focusing on these positive memories is definitely reducing my stress today 🙂
1. My first race ever. In September 2012 I ran my first race – a 5K at Ridley Creek State Park (the same park where I got married and trained for every other race!) benefiting Alex’s Lemonade Stand. It was hilly and I had no idea how to pace myself or deal with other runners – it was a mess! I remember leaving and not being super happy about the experience. But then a few days later I signed up for my next 5K and the rest is history! Even if your first race is a mess it will always have a special place in your heart.
2. My first half marathon. If you read my blog at all you know how much this race will always mean to me! This race was one of my bucket list items that I dreamed about doing even before I was a runner. It consequently inspired me to start running and to keep running! It was an incredible experience and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. If you want to sign up for your first half marathon, this should be the one!
3. The first race where I felt like a real runner. When I signed up for my first 10K ever – the Hershey 10K – I had no idea that it was going to be the biggest race I’d ever run up to that point. I was nervous seeing all the people, but it turned out that the race course had a ton of crowd support and hearing someone cheering for me (my name was on my bib) was the greatest feeling ever! When we ran through Hershey Park and saw that the entire staff was in there cheering for us I got emotional. And when I finished 8 minutes before I predicted I would, I was the happiest girl on earth! I left that race feeling like a “real runner” and it’s a feeling that I still get when I run longer races. Oh, and we got milkshakes at the end. Can’t forget that!
4. The first time I felt invincible in a race. I won a free race entry to The Love Run Half Marathon in Philadelphia, and I was so excited to run through Philly in a race setting! I started out faster than usual and loved seeing tons of people cheering for us. I made it to the halfway point still going fast and thought “Hey, I might be able to meet my 2:30 time goal!”. And then it started POURING. Like, monsooning. For the rest of the race. I was cold, soaked, and my bib kept falling off because it was disintegrating. But despite all the crazy things going on around me I stayed strong and continued to run at a faster pace than I’d ever run in a long run. And I finished just short of my 2:30 goal, getting a 19 minute PR in the process! It was the most amazing feeling knowing I’d run in the cold rain for so long and still didn’t slow down or give up. If my bib wouldn’t have repeatedly fallen off, I know I would have beat my time goal and I’m hoping I can have another good race like that again soon!
5. The first time I felt fast! I ran the St. Patrick’s Day 8K in DC this year and finished it way faster than I thought I would! Although 8K isn’t quite 5 miles, it’s all I have to compare it to – and I ran it 10 minutes faster than my first 5 miler and 5 minutes faster than my most recent 5 miler only 3 months prior! I was so impressed with how fast I was able to go and loved that I was seeing improvement! The race scenery was awesome (we ran past the capitol and independence mall) and my friends Angie and Avery got to cheer me on which was so exciting! Plus this race included a free post-race milkshake from Shake Shack. Noticing a trend here?
Looking back on my happy racing memories is helping me feel more confident about my next race in September. There’s nothing like looking back on your favorite race memories to help put you in a better mood!
What’s your favorite race memory? Do any RunDisney events make your top 5 list?