Today I ran my first 5K.

"Ran" is, of course, open to interpretation. I was running for a fair bit of it, probably more than I usually run when I go around the neighborhood, as my time was better than usual for the same distance. Someday I'll be able to actually run the entire length without walking breaks, but I did pretty good for myself.

Last night, I was feeling like I ought to be nervous, but I was grateful that I wasn't so I could get a good night's sleep. I was also grateful that Nate went to the doctor yesterday and got a nebulizer treatment and an inhaler for home so that he could also get a good night's sleep. This cold of his has been kicking both our asses.

The nerves finally hit about 10 minutes before the race was supposed to start, but I couldn't back out. Nate called and said he was there (I wasn't expecting to see him before the race; if I'd given him the correct start time, I wouldn't have. My bad.), so I got to see him briefly before the start and that was nice. Eased my nerves a little.

As we walked to the starting line, our team decided to let each person run the race at their own pace so no one felt like they were holding anyone back, but that we'd meet at the finish line and wait for everyone. The course had a giant hill at the end, and had it not been there, I may have felt bad about making them all wait for me at the end, but as it was I was just grateful to finish.

When the race began, nerves took over and though I planned on walking to warm up, I ran. I did a nice easy run for the first half mile or so, then slowed down to walk. While I walked, a nice couple walked up behind me and complimented on our team's shirt design ("Geek Girls Go: Not Just a Pretty Brain"). We leapfrogged each other a few times throughout the race, but eventually they disappeared ahead of me.

In fact, I'm pretty sure everyone finished ahead of me. I'm not sure, because I refused to turn around and see who was behind me. I figured if I didn't see anyone, I'd just get discouraged, and if I did see someone, it wasn't going to help (I'm not competitive enough to care). I do know that very soon after catching my breath the closing ceremonies began, so I must have been very close to last.

The racecourse went along a soccer field, and to have those kids give me high-fives as I ran by was just the absolute best feeling. I almost cried. It gave me the energy to run the entire length of the soccer fields, which was probably another half mile or so near the end of the course. I felt like I was running on air.

Hearing my teammates cheering for me at the end was my absolute favorite part. I could never have done this without them. For one, I'd never have signed up for it if it weren't for their encouragement. Anyone who doubts that the internet is real life needs to understand that these women were all women I'd only known through Twitter before this.

I'd like to thank my friends who contributed to my fundraising. I raised $70 for Hardy Girls, Healthy Women, and every day I looked at that pledge sheet and saw names of people who believed that I was capable of doing this even when I couldn't see it.

I'm feeling all gushy and lovey dovey right now, and I don't know what to do with those feelings, so I'm just going to leave a link to my runkeeper page so you can see the course and stats and such (I generally keep them only visible to "street team", but I've made this one public).

http://runkeeper.com/user/dianarchy/activity/57122598

Who wants to go for a run?
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