Written by Renee

Topics: Bicycling, Uncategorized

Recently, I made a commitment to myself. I would participate in another 5k run. As many of you know, I suck at running am not a runner. Not by a long shot. Being significantly overweight,  with asthma,  and an ankle in need of reconstruction (again), cycling is my preference. I love cycling. Always have. I walk a fair amount, but marathons aren’t my thing. Hell, exercise hasn’t been my thing for a long time. But I have to exercise to:

  • lose weight, and
  • feel better

The Sacramento Run to Feed The Hungry happens every Thanksgiving Day. A few weeks ago, I realized I would not be able to go see my daughter and grandson for Thanksgiving. The cost of fuel is just too great right now. So, I decided to do this run. A few friends of mine were also doing it. Last Tuesday, I signed up. An interesting facet of this event is that you don’t have to choose which race to do until race day. I put in my head that I would at least do the 5k, but I started to think about the 10k race. I’ve done a 5k before, and it didn’t seem difficult. Even the day before, though, I wasn’t sure if I would do the 10k.

Yesterday morning, I decided to commit to the 10k. So, I got to the venue, found a decent parking spot (It helps that the venue is my old Alma mater, and I know my way around campus), and picked up my number and shirt.

It was pretty chilly, and I only had a short sleeve dri-weave shirt on, so I changed shirts, and hunkered down in my Jeep for about 30 minutes. I drank some water, but decided not to bring any with me (MISTAKE!).

As race time approached, I made sure I had other necessities with me, locked up my Jeep, and moved to the crowd, which was 25,000+ strong at this point. Most were there for the 5k race, but the 10k racers all were on the street, waiting for the start. I stationed myself with the walkers. After some introductions, a singer that performed America the Beautiful, and a quick question about which of us were there for the first time (There were a lot of us!), the race started. With that many people, unless you are up at the front, you start walking. Time starts when you cross the start line. Since I wasn’t officially timed, I noted my start time as I crossed the pads.

I started jogging more than walking, but after mile 2, I wimped out and couldn’t jog much any more. I still walked, and jogged a block here and there. I made it past the cutoff for the 5k race diversion (YES!). Got to mile 3, which seemed to be a popular spot for people to take their picture. So, of course, I followed the lemmings did it also.

About this time, I realized I hadn’t seen any aid stations. No water. Lots of police and volunteers keeping traffic off the streets, and one lone ambulance at the split point for the 5k, but no water. And I was starting to get thirsty. It was warming up a little, and I was sweating a bit. Since I know I have an issue with sodium balance, I like to stay hydrated.

I noticed a hotspot developing on my right foot, just behind the ball of my foot. It is where my $50 orthotics end. I stopped briefly and put a bandaid at the hotspot, hoping to staunch a blister. Yeah, my experience working marathons paid off in this respect… I had put some bandaids in my fanny pack before the race (Except the H2O as noted).

At mile 4ish, there was finally an aid station with water. I grabbed a few cupfuls of water. No electrolytes, though. OK. I was feeling ok, but I did down a Roctane package also (I should have had it before the water… it left me wanting more fluids). There were spectators offering fluids… of the alcoholic variety. I decided that wasn’t a good idea. I was hoping to run into a few of my cycling friends that were volunteering at the intersections and bum a drink, but that never happened.

I also made some friends out there around this time. Two ladies were walking, and as I passed them, one of them asked something, and I happened to know the answer. They had just come together right before I came upon them. We struck up a conversation, and I stayed with them for the remainder of the race, each of us encouraging the other. This was actually a way to get my mind off the fact that both my feet were really beginning to hurt at the same spot (That hotspot).

As we approached to confluence of the 5k and 10k race, about 5-2/3 miles in, the sheer numbers of people began to show. The 10k was to use the left side of the road, and the 5k the right, but it is a huge mingling of people toward the finish. I saw the finish. YES! And a sea of people all around me. My new friends and I stopped briefly for a free photo done by the event organizers:

The gentleman in the picture is the son of the gal to the left of me. He was waiting for his mom to arrive. They left shortly after, leaving me with the other lady. We kept going… As the finish got closer, I remembered what several of my friends said… Finish strong. So I began to jog to the finish, then run. Good thing I did. I finished under 2 hours, at 1:58:12. If I had just walked, I don’t think I would have done it.

So, I finished my first 10k race. Yeah, it wasn’t officially timed. I should have done better am OK with that. My goal was to finish. I would have liked to have done it in 90 minutes, but under 120 works.They gave away samples of Builder Bars. I normally don’t like them, but after 10k, that little bar tasted pretty darn good! And I sucked down a water bottle as fast as it was handed to me.

Next  year, I want 90 minutes. I have a year to get ready…

Oh, no blisters. But damn, my feet were sore!

And… I did a little MTB riding today, to be kind to my muscles and work some of those lovely metabolic by-products out of the system. It wasn’t a long ride, but it felt good. :-)

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