My journey to a healthier me

Tales of my life

Pitter Patter 5k (2015)

Yesterday, I completed my first race of 2015 — the Pitter Patter 5k/10k.  It’s a small local race that supports community policing.  This was my third year doing this race.

I was a little concerned about this race.  In the last couple of weeks, my seasonal allergies have flared up, and along with them, so did my asthma.  And because of that, I didn’t go out running as much as I really wanted to recently.

On the upside, though, this is a race I’ve done before, so I know the route and the terrain.  Always a plus in my book.

I was up early yesterday, a little earlier than I normally would get up for a race.  But I wanted to have plenty of time to get prepared before I headed out to the race location.

I was a bit surprised that I wasn’t super nervous when I first got up.  I tend to get pretty nervous before a race.

Anyway, because mornings can still be a bit chilly this time of year, and it was windy, I decided to wear my INCLUSION hoodie for the race, with a wicking shirt underneath.

After having my smoothie and coffee for breakfast (as I do almost every morning), I spent about 20 minutes doing some easy stretches to get warmed up.  Over the last several months, I’ve been doing stretches on a near-daily basis.  I’ve really noticed a difference in my flexibility since I started doing them.

Before I knew it, it was time to head to the race location across town.  My husband and I stopped for coffee on the way.  He dropped me off near the start line.   That’s when I noticed the nerves starting.  I found my friend Karen, and shortly after that, my friend Andreas.  Always nice to see friends.

The nerves really started in after I got my bib.  I wondered if I was really ready.  I kept telling myself to just think about crossing the finish line; don’t worry about how long it takes.  I kept repeating that in my head.

Karen, Andreas and I chatted about nerves, other races we plan on running, and just generally caught up on our lives. Karen is a very seasoned runner; Andreas and I are both still fairly new, although I think Andreas ran when he was younger whereas I didn’t.  Andreas will be running his first full marathon this year.  It’s the same race that I’m doing as my first half marathon.  I think that’s pretty cool.

The closer it got to race time, the more nervous I was getting.  I tried to do some meditation, but it wasn’t working.

Before I knew it, it was finally time to head out to the start line.

I always stand at the back because I’m a slow runner.

And suddenly we were off!

I didn’t get very far before I had to take my first walking break.  I was not impressed with myself.  I reminded myself that you never NEVER judge a run by the first kilometre!

I started running again.  A few minutes later I had to take another walking break.

The first kilometre of this race is a bit tough mentally (at least for me) because you’re running through the parking lot.  It just seems to take forever!

I felt a bit better once I got onto the road.  I still had to walk a bit, but I was okay with that.  The super fast runners were already heading back before I was at the 2km mark.  I gave cheered them on as they went by.

At about 2km, I told myself that I needed to just run and not take any more walking breaks.  I paused at the halfway/turnaround point for some water.  Then started running again.

There are a couple of small hills on the way back, but I wasn’t worried about them.

As I neared the entrance to the parking lot, I told myself I was in the home stretch, almost there.  I looked behind me and saw my friend Andreas not far behind. (He was doing the 10k).

About halfway through the parking lot, I saw my friend Karen coming towards me.  (She had done the 10k, and had long finished.  When her and I run the same race, she always comes back to help me finish.)  Andreas went by us not long after that.

As I neared the finish line, the Rocky theme started playing.  It’s the last song on my racing playlist.  And, in my opinion, the most epic song to finish a race to.  I turned the volume up and pushed myself as hard as I could so that I could cross the finish line with that song playing.  And I did.

Before the start, I was worried I wouldn’t be able to finish.

But I did.

Not my best time.

My lungs were burning, and I was having trouble catching my breath.

I thought I was going to puke.

But I didn’t care.

I did it what I set out to do — I crossed the finish line.

And that’s what matters.

My official time 1:02:12. (My running app was a little less.  My app also said it was just over 5k)

And now to prepare for the next race.



Andreas, me, and Karen after the finish line.

Notes:  She got a PR and 3rd in her age group, and Andreas took 1st in his age group!  Well done, my friends!



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