November 6, 2016 was the day of my first official race! The 10th annual City of Oaks race located in Raleigh featured a kids mile, 5K, 10K, half marathon, and marathon. This beginner decided to skip both the kids mile 😉 and 5k event and jump right into the 10k. Today’s goal is to finish in under an hour which is going to be difficult considering my personal best in my neighborhood filled with fun and exciting hills is an hour and 7 minutes but this downtown Raleigh course does not include those same hills so this rookie has a chance.
4:30am- I woke up way to early but my nerves of sleeping late got the best of me. I made some coffee, a bowl of Honey Bunches of Oats, showered, and got my gear on. The plan was to wear my white long sleeve cold gear since it was 38 degrees that morning but last minute I decided to add another layer and put my NY Giants Victor Cruz Jersey Tee on top! Huge Giants and Yankees fan!
6:00am- I pulled into my parking spot, looked down at my apple watch and thought to myself… What am I going to do for the next hour??? Well after a 10 minute walk to the starting line I found out what I will do with all my time. You guessed it! Wait in line for the bathroom. With 5 minutes to spare I popped my Gatorade energy chews, joined everyone at the 10 minute pace marker and sang the national anthem. I thought to myself is this really happening? Am I running in a race with thousands of other people at the same time? This moment reminded me of the times back in Jersey watching the NYC Marathon on TV which was also being held on this day.
7:00am- The starting gun goes off and the crowd slowly starts moving. I get my Apple watch ready to start mapmyrun and by the time I clicked start I was off and running. Now remember those awesome hills I spoke about earlier, well normally that is what I am faced with right from the start, but this course was a rookies dream. It was all downhill early on and somehow I managed a 7:54 pace for the first mile… SAY WHAT???
7:27am- Everything is just clicking! I have reached the 5k point which is a personal best for me at 27:46 and I am well on my way to reaching my goal of finishing in under 1 hour.
7:48am- With 1.2 miles left I know that my goal of under an hour is in reach but during that final stretch some jerk decided to add a hill that consisted of a 100 foot increase in elevation that slowed me down. I pushed as hard as I could but I ended up stopping for my longest walk which I would later regret.
8am- I can see the finish line up ahead so I started to sprint my fastest. I can see the clock ahead displaying over the one hour mark and my watch did the same but remember it took some time for me to reach the starting line so it was all up to my race chip to give me my official time. I kept going as hard as I could crossed the finish line with a little fist pump and that was it. My first race was officially in the books.
Shortly after my race ended, I received a text alert with my official time. It read 1 hour 0 minutes and 12 seconds… Are you F-ing kidding me? Seriously I missed the goal by 13 seconds. Either way I was not going to beat myself up I just ran a personal best and finished 24th out of 52 in my age group. Not bad for this rookie!
The fun did not end there! It was a short walk to the food area which greeted me with bagels, breads, fruits, donuts, and my favorite pizza. I was not really in the mood to eat but I am not going to pass up on some grub so I grabbed some fruit, bread, donuts, and water. Sorry Papa John’s not feeling your pizza truck! I sat down for a quick bite before heading over to the beer garden. Now in N.C you are not allowed to purchase beer prior to 12pm but hey at the City of Oaks we will give you 2 beers before 9am. At this point game over… mic drop… sign me up for the HALF!