Abra Goes

on theatre, running, writing, and looking up

My first 5k

with one comment

I ran my first 5k through Riverside park this morning.

Though misty near the Hudson river, it didn’t rain on us, for which I’m thankful. But I was way under-dressed for the chilly morning. We arrived at registration right on time, an hour before the race. It took all of one minute to give our names and get our numbers, leaving an hour to jump up and down and try to stay warm.

Who knew you can check a bag and coat at registration? I arrived in thin pants and a thin hoodie over my running top, holding my metro card and questioning how anyone does these races without bringing any stuff. Now you and I know their dirty check-in secret. Next time I’m checking two bags. And a coat.

Unfortunately, no pictures because none of my bums friends came to run along side me, documenting each stride, frame by frame. My running partner, RC, ran, too. But apparently he’s too uncoordinated to run and photograph me. I’ll have him work on that.

It feels silly to talk about running a 5k, especially as I’m reading First Marathons, edited by Gail Kislevitz, and just finishing Ben Cheever’s Strides. After reading about grueling, exhilarating, lengthy 26.2 mile marathons, 5ks go by fast. I couldn’t believe how quickly the whole 5k shibang I’ve been obsessing about was over.

The fastest man was 18+ minutes and fastest woman was 19+ minutes.

I had energy to burn after so I know I could have gone way faster. When the race started, about a hundred people charged and I thought ‘They’re gonna pay for it in the last mile when I pass them!’, pacing myself more for 6 miles instead of 3. The chargers never slowed…and I never passed them.

However, I ran my fastest 3.1 miles yet so I can only get fierce from here. Right?

The most difficult and unexpected aspect of running a 5k was pacing myself and breathing. I run with myself all the time so I just assumed I’d naturally find my race pace – slightly faster than my usual. But everyone else seemed to be going so much faster! While I wanted to keep up with that first wave of starting run charger, and I don’t think I could have, I didn’t even try because I was pacing. Pacing.

It wasn’t as hard as I though it would be to let people pass me. They just did.

Next time, my pretties. Next time, I’ll do a few training runs at faster than usual/ not quite race pace in order to get my breathing up to speed.

Everyone there was in great shape, and it was nice to be around a large number of runners who all woke up around 5am.There were many smiles before the miles and plenty after as the organizers quickly announced winners and prizes while we all inched away to the warmth of bus exhaust on our faces.

I can’t wait to do another 5k now that I get:

  • When they say ‘GO’ You really ‘GO’ – with kick.
  • 3 miles is not much so if you run regularly, you really can push yourself.
  • There’s always going to be handfuls and handfuls of runners who can just run faster than you. It’s fun to be in the same race with them, and maybe one day I’ll be in a handful of someone else’s un-catchables.
  • Find out if you can check bags and if so bring a camera and something warm.
  • bananas and cashewnut butter are our best friends

Here’s the course we ran, south of the George Washington bridge, through Riverside Park. I did my best to

map it, but it’s about .02k short. Jersey’s on the left.:


Written by abragoes

May 3, 2008 at 7:56 pm

Posted in NYC, running, Uncategorized

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One Response

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  1. The banana was a great boost firs thing. I also like having something just before to hit the ground running.

    Also, by the next one, I’m going to have some brand spanking new sneakers as these new balance have taken a beating.


    May 5, 2008 at 1:21 am

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