I meant to write and post this over the weekend, but just didn’t get to it time-wise with Mother’s Day and all. Overall, I had a great time at the race. Was nice to get back out there and do a 5k, even if I had to walk it due to my injury.
The race itself started at 7:30am at Pointe Orlando on International Drive. I got there about 10-15 minutes prior to race time due to traffic backups. I quickly checked in at registration and did the obligatory restroom stop. The registration packet at this race was in a big plastic bag and I quickly realized that I could not walk the event carrying it. So, I made a quick dash to my car to store it. Unfortunately, in doing so, I missed the official start of the 5k. Since I wasn’t running it, this didn’t bother me too much. I noted that I was beginning about five minutes behind the clock time and got to walking.
Due to my late start, I walked pretty much solo for most of the first mile before meeting up with other racers. This actually got my adrenaline really pumping, as honestly, I did want to catch up to some other people. I had to remind myself though to take it easy with my injury. I had to force myself to take it a bit easier than normal. I completed the first mile at just under 18 minutes which wasn’t too bad considering (note: this was 18 minutes my watch time, not actual clock time). Then, about one and a half miles in, I started to “run” into fellow racers. I passed a few people, ensuring I waved and said hello to each one. Since I wasn’t going for a PR due to not being able to run, I wanted to greet and offer support to whomever I could. I applaud anyone getting out there and doing them, no matter whether they are a runner or walker.
By the time I hit mile two, I started to see a lot of people. I saw firefighters walking the race in full gear which amazed me. Not only is that quite a challenge weight-wise, but in the Florida heat? The dedication and motivation those guys had was just awesome. Also, I saw Gary, a man who had a disability who was walking the race. Talk about an inspiration! As I passed him, and smiled, he was just as supportive of my endeavors. He offered his kind words right back at me in response to mine to him. That was such a nice moment.
I didn’t complete the race until almost one hour in. My time, it was just over 52 minutes from the race start. Official clock time was 57 minutes and change. Sure, I would have loved to have done the race in 45 minutes or thereabouts, but in the end, I was proud of myself. Just over a month ago, I was down and out for the count, and here I was back out there walking a 5k race again. A lot of people seemed to be surprised that I was back out as soon as I was. Bottom line is, I’m not willing to give up on my new found love for fitness and running. Even if it takes me longer to get fully back to where I was with running, I’m going to be out there walking races. It’s just what I love doing now, it’s a part of the new me.