Yesterday, I participated in the Hot Chocolate 15K! This was my first 15K race…And y’all KNOW how I feel about chocolate…so I was really excited!
The 15K didn’t start until 8:15, but I still had to be there at 6:30 due to parking so Mom, Brandon, and I piled in the car way too early yesterday. But it wasn’t all that bad! They had some kind of Zumba party and my mom and I LOVE Zumba, so we participated and warmed up!
This was my biggest race to date, 20,000 participants, so they did corrals. The 15K corrals were I-N, and I was placed in L. Due to the amount of people, I knew I wouldn’t get an award, but I was ok with that. I was just happy to be running in this race and wanted to try my hardest!
My excitement for the race quickly died, though. In all reality, the race felt like it was COMPLETELY uphill. Over the holidays, I’ve been at my parents’ house (aka FlatVille, USA) so I was completely unprepared for the hills. I literally felt like I was running at a constant 90-degree angle.
This is the elevation RunKeeper picked up. See what I mean?
The race had a lot of mile markers, which I loved because I was able to better pace myself. However, the course was on major Atlanta roads, so bike-pacers had to constantly tell us to “stay to the right” or “stay to the left” and there were also some very angry drivers!
Beside the hills and despite the mile markers, the run was very boring. My music had stopped playing after mile three due to everyone being on the internet. I tried to push through—I mean, I’ve ran 10 miles with no music before—but for a race it is ideal for me to have music. I think mainly because I’m in competition mode so I go faster and the music keeps me in the zone.
But, somehow, I made it without the music and I was coming close to the end. Volunteers were screaming, “IT’S ALL DOWNHILL FROM HERE!” And they weren’t kidding. Throughout the course, I had just been riding the hills (like I learned from Born to Run) and not pushing through them. But when I got to the end, you KNOW I pushed through that downhill and sprinted to the finish line. Heck…I even leapt like a ballerina to cross that finish line!
I don’t have a picture of my leap, but Brandon snapped this right before I crossed. I think it’s pretty awesome!
I was so happy to get done and I didn’t stay much longer after I finished because I had a laundry list of stuff to do. I didn’t get any special award, but I did finish at 1:17:03 and at 572 overall. I’m really proud of that! Especially since I was going from running on flat lands straight to running on crazy, steep hills.
It definitely was a humbling experience for me, but I’m glad that God gave me the opportunity and that I was able to finish strong without any injuries.
My next race is the Atlanta Mission’s Race to End Homelessness 5K. I’m running it with some good friends of mine who warned me that it will also be extremely hilly. Luckily I have 11 days to prepare for that!
Well, my first class of this semester is coming up, so I better go prepare for it!
Hope your Monday isn’t SUPER terrible ;)