I did it!
This morning, in an uncharacteristically cold 39 degree morning in The Woodlands, TX, I completed my first official 5k run: the Jingle Bell Run benefiting the Arthritis Foundation.
We got there at 7 am and while Sherry went to the area to wait up for some employees of hers to show up, I waited in the car to keep warm. It was VERY chilly out there, and with the wind chill, it felt like 24 degrees!
I headed back into the cold to stand in solidarity with her at around 7:30 am, and I kept warm by doing push ups. I did 70, and yes, it did warm me up!
After getting the preliminaries out of the way, the run began and I started off strong with a first half mile pace of 8:16. I kept below 9:10 for the first two miles and let my pace slow a little for the final mile to a 9:42 and a 9:30 with the last little bit down to a 7:31 pace. In the end, I finished at 27:37.5 with an average pace of 8:55/mile. These are all personal bests for me, and I’m very proud of the numbers considering I had to lay off running for almost two weeks. Had I not had that break, I’m sure my time would have been much better.
But, it is what it is. I’m proud of my accomplishment in running a 5k after starting running exactly three months ago today. Sherry and I were talking about how she ran this last year (she had a personal best today as well!), and when she suggested that I run this with her this year, I told her back then, “I don’t think I’ll ever do one of these.” After today’s run, I told her about some more that are coming up that I want to do.
It was a good time, and it felt good to be out there among the other runners. I haven’t run with that many people since I was in the Marines. It felt good to be back.